Friday, October 9, 2009

Submission and Romans 12

Submission is a daily, often unpredictable battle. We may always have our ups and downs, but Celebration of Discipline has some great thoughts on leading an increasingly surrendered life. I liked Richard Foster's discussion of the "cross-life" because who among us doesn't have a lot of work to do in this area? And I especially love the end of the chapter where he talks about seven distinct acts of submission, because we can really get a hold on how we are doing by looking at these seven areas. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, let me once again encourage you to obtain and read the book. Click here to purchase.

But there was one thing that Richard Foster didn't talk about that I think is really important when it comes to submission. A few years ago I heard Chip Ingram give a life-changing message on this topic. (check out Chip's ministry at www.lote.org) Will and I were attending a conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Chip was teaching that weekend out of Romans 12, and on that Sunday morning he was wrapping up his remarks by reviewing, in part, what it means to live a life fully surrendered to God. Many of us know Romans 12:1 pretty well: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God --this is your spiritual act of worship." (NIV) But I'd never before considered the verb tense used in this familiar verse. Interestingly, in the Greek the tense means something that is ongoing but also something that happens at a point in time. Don't you just love the nuances in God's Word? I mean the ongoing part isn't surprising. We know we need to work at being submissive. Surrender doesn't come naturally and we need to declare that Jesus is Lord everyday. But what really struck me, what Chip so artfully pulled out, was that this surrender also happens at a point in time. And it's not when you give your life to Christ. In other words, this verse is asking you to make a one time, all out surrender. We may rationalize that we can never attain perfection -- "it's a journey". And it is. But it is also a moment. A moment between you and God where you commit to Him, not for the sake of your salvation, but for the sake of Christ's Lordship in your life. Have you made that kind of commitment? Or is there something or someone you've held back?

May I boldly invite you to surrender all to Him today?

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