So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Romans 12:1-2 (TEV)Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about.
This act of personal surrender is called many things: consecration, making Jesus Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.
What matters is that you do it, not what you call it. God wants your life. All of it -- 95% is not enough.
Our total surrender to God is blocked by several things, including -
- Our ignorance of God - not knowing what he's really like.
- Our sinful nature - the desire to be God ourselves, and
- Our misunderstanding of surrender and the trust that it requires.
Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender. We won't surrender to God unless we trust Him, but we can't trust Him until we know Him better. Fear keeps us from surrendering, but love casts out all fear. The more you realize how much God loves you, the easier surrender becomes.
How do I know God loves me? He gives us many evidences:
- God says he loves you (Psalm 145:9);
- You're never out of his sight (Ps. 139:3);
- He cares about every detail of your life (Matt. 10:30);
- He gave you the capacity to enjoy all kinds of pleasure (1 Tim. 6:17b);
- He has good plans for your life (Jer. 29:11);
- He forgives you (Ps. 86:5);
- He's patient with you (Ps. 145:8);
- He sacrificed his Son for you (Rom. 5:8).
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1, HCSB)
If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with his arms outstretched on the cross saying, "I love you this much! I'd rather die than live without you."
God is not a cruel slave driver, or a bully who uses brute force to coerce us into submission. He doesn't try to break our will, but woos us to himself, so that we might offer it freely to him. God is a Lover and a Liberator, and surrendering brings freedom, not bondage.
When we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that he is not a tyrant but a savior; not a boss, but a brother; not a dictator, but a friend.