Devotional | Josh Edington | Oct 29, 2023
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
A few years ago, I created a wooden sculpture of the Hebrew word for surrender: כניעה. It hangs above my desk and serves as a daily reminder for me to offer all that I have to the One who created me.
What comes to mind when you hear the word surrender? I imagine most people think of it as a battle term. A war concludes when the weaker opponent has no choice but to yield to the other army who is more powerful. Surrendering to God works in the same way. God has a plan for our lives, and surrendering to him means we set aside our own plans and yield to his. I have found this is a daily choice I need to make. The good news is, God’s plan for us is always in our best interest (Jeremiah 29:11), unlike our own plans that often lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12).
Would you consider the words Paul wrote in Romans 12:1? This verse has been transformative to me through the years. God constantly uses these words to make me reflect on my life. Let me break it down:
Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters. I imagine Paul has a serious and persuasive tone to the church of Rome. He is about to provide some critical direction in response to everything he taught in the first 11 chapters of Romans. He refers to this group of people as brothers and sisters which infers a sense of family and intimacy. He clearly cares for these people and wants what’s best for their lives.
In view of God’s mercy. The Bible says God's mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). It also says his kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Through God’s prevenient grace, he makes us aware of who he is. In light of who he is, contrasted with our depravity, we are left only to respond. When was the last time you were in awe of God’s mercy for you?
To offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is our response. A choice to surrender everything we have to Jesus. Our hopes, dreams, fears, doubts, successes, failures, even our physical bodies. Despite how imperfect we are as an offering to a holy God, he is pleased by our choice of surrender.
This is your true and proper worship. Paul answers a question we all should wrestle with — what is worship? How do we live a life of worship? Choosing to surrender it all to God is our true and proper worship.
I hope this verse helps shape the way you view worship. Every time I meditate on this passage, I feel like I rediscover this life secret everyone needs to hear. The simple prayer of surrender and yielding to Jesus puts everything in perspective. In some ways, it takes the pressure off of me to control everything. I’d encourage all of us to take this verse seriously, as if our life depends on it.
Lord, I surrender to you. I believe your ways are higher and better than my ways. I’m tired of trying to control everything. I’m tired of being stressed out and confused. I’m tired of lacking purpose and peace. I’m tired of conforming to the patterns of this world. Help me learn to offer everything to you, in total surrender. Transform me by renewing my mind, so that I can test and approve your will for my life. You are good. Thank you for loving and saving me. Amen.
Josh EdingtonContemporary Worship Pastor, OKC Location
Josh Edington is the Contemporary Worship Pastor at Crossings OKC, where his main role is leading the Venue service on Sundays, though he finds joy in also being involved with many of the ministries at Crossings. He feels his purpose is to inspire people to live a live of worship to Jesus.
Song of Surrender written by Crossings Venue Worship
Explore other devotions like this one any time at crossings.church/devotions.
Missions & Outreach