This morning I found inspiration and challenge in the words of Pastor Steve Schell, from a sermon he delivered on Romans 12:1 (bold mine):
Paul urgently appeals to every believer who understands the mercy we have received from God, to respond by completely devoting themselves to His service. This, he says, is the only appropriate way to thank Him. We surrender our lives to Him as completely as if we had placed our bodies on an altar like an animal about to be sacrificed, only in our case we are not there to be slaughtered but rather recruited into His service (Ro 14:7: 1Co 6:19, 20; 2Co 5:15).
Our full surrender will find its expression in a series of costly choices that lead us away from something we desire toward something selfless that God wants us to do. We choose a path that to the natural mind appears to lead downward, in the wrong direction. (Henri Nouwen, The Selfless Way of Christ)
Abba, in light of this passage, please show me the downward path You’ve chosen for my life. I am so tired of trying to pursue my own dreams and wanting to be more worshipful. I will oh so gladly abandon my dreams altogether if only I know that YOU have chosen a different path for me. I willingly and joyfully place myself on the altar and will completely devote myself to Your service. I choose a path of worship before work, praise before play, devotion before dreaming, and prayer always. Only show me the way within the Way. Guide me and direct me, so that I don’t just make up my own seemingly spiritual path that actually pleases neither me nor You! I trust that You will guide me. I’m Yours. Thank You for this beautiful word.
In Jesus’ name, amen!