All I Want

Sunday, October 13, 2013, 6:00 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “Draw Me Close to You” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 12.

I Urge You

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. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~ Rom. 12:1-2 NIV

Paul (strongly and insistently) advised the believers in Jesus Christ in this matter before us here. Because of what God did for us in sending his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, so we could go free from slavery to sin; and so we could be free to walk in Christ’s righteousness in the Spirit of God within us, we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God. This means that we forgo our rights to live like we please; and we surrender our lives, wills, bodies, minds, emotions, i.e. everything we are, to the control and power of the working of the Spirit of God living his life in and out through us. We let go of our fleshly desires, and we yield to Christ’s righteousness within us. Jesus said that if we want to come after him, we must deny (disallow) ourselves, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him (Lu. 9). Yet, we do not do this in our own flesh, but only in the power and working of the Spirit of God within us, as we cooperate fully with that work.

Only as we yield control of our lives to God; to Jesus Christ; to the Holy Spirit, can we live holy lives pleasing to God. We will never be good enough in our own flesh or of our own merit. Our good deeds will never outweigh our bad. We also cannot just do good things for God thinking he will be pleased with us. When Jesus Christ died for our sin, he bought us with a price so that we would no longer be our own, but his. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ means that we die with him to what once bound us and enslaved us, i.e. we yield our lives to the cross of Christ, being crucified with Christ so that we (the “I” in us) no longer lives, but Christ lives in us. I know we know the word of God teaches this, and I know that intellectually, at least, we believe this, but how many of us actually believe this in our heart of hearts and have literally surrendered all to Christ so that he is truly the boss of our lives; and so daily we surrender, yield control, and allow his Spirit to live his life through us instead of us deciding what we are going to do and then squeezing in a few minutes each day, even if we do that, for a time of devotions with God/Christ Jesus?

Jesus doesn’t want part-time, occasional or periodic followers, i.e. he is not content with taking a back seat to anyone or to anything. He wants us surrendered to him 24-7. He wants our all on the altar of sacrifice laid, allowing the Spirit of God to have control of our hearts, minds, actions, schedules, plans, careers, futures, dreams, words, et al. He is not content with our leftovers. His desire is that we die to ourselves, i.e. that we allow the Spirit of God to empty us of us and to fill us with himself. He said if we love our mother or father more than him, we are not worthy of him. He said if we do not take up our cross and follow him, we are not worthy of him. This does mean we do these things to earn favor or grace. We cannot! Yet, to truly believe in Jesus Christ means that he should be number one in our lives and that he is boss, and that he is in control, and that we are surrendered and yielded to his Lordship, and we allow him to do his work and his will in our hearts. Oh, how I wish that the church taught this and that believers truly got this, yet, for the most part it is not taught and it is not modeled to us by those in leadership over us.

True Worship

Paul said, in the Spirit within him, that when we offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God, holy and pleasing to him, that this is our true and proper worship of him. Wow! Oh, how the church today in America has promoted, I believe, a wrong or at least an unbalanced idea of what true worship is. “Worship” services often times are nothing more than just big stage productions where we put only our best people on stage who will draw in large crowds of people. So many of the songs, too, are just “happy, happy” songs which make us feel good about God, but is true worship really taking place? Maybe it is, but maybe it isn’t. Truly music is a big part of praise of our Lord and of worship of him. Yet, it is possible to sing the songs and even lift our hands in the air and never truly be worshiping him at all.

When we truly worship God we show him honor, respect, adoration, reverence, and devotion; affection, fondness and passion; we follow him in obedience; and we are committed, dedicated, loyal, faithful (showing fidelity), steadfast, and continuous, et al. All of this, though, is done only in the power of the Spirit of God within us as we yield control over to Him, i.e. as we lay it all down on the altar. This is true worship of God. We can sing all the praise songs we want and lift our hands high to heaven, but if we are not yielded to him; if we have not ever truly come to the cross and allowed the Spirit of God to work in us death to sin so we can be made alive in Christ, and if we are still holding on to our old lives and are only parceling out what we choose to give to God, then that is not true worship. God is not pleased with what we choose to give to him out of our lives while we hold on to the rest. What pleases him is when we surrender it all, and our lives truly are his unreservedly.

Not Conformed

He said we are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world. To be conformed to something means we follow, obey, and adapt to it; fit in; and agree, harmonize and coordinate our lives or lifestyles to it. Wow! So much of today’s institutional church here in America does just that in their “worship” services and in their programs and meetings. So much is done to try to attract the world through worldly means and methods, using marketing schemes and gimmicks to try to get people into our churches, following the patterns of this world. So many professing Christians today live just like the world lives; thinks like the world; and copies what the world does. We were called to come out and be separate, yet today if you do that, you are considered “not normal; crazy.” We are not supposed to become like the world to win the world to Jesus. We are supposed to be like Jesus and share his gospel, and allow the Spirit of God to transform hearts and minds to be like Jesus, not like the world. God is calling out to his church to forsake her idols, her spiritual adultery, and her worldliness and to return to him as her only Lord and husband.


Instead of conforming our lives and lifestyles to the design, shape, form or model of the sinful world, we are to be transformed in the renewing of our minds. To be transformed means to be renovated, changed, and/or altered completely; to be converted from one form to another. It is a lot like metamorphosis, i.e. a complete change of substance or form, such as the change that takes place when a caterpillar is changed into a butterfly. We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer? We are to be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. We are to walk in the Spirit so we no longer gratify the desires of our flesh. Jesus Christ did not die so that we would just clean up our lives a little, attend church services, do good deeds, get involved in church ministry, go to Bible studies, and do mission work projects, etc., and yet live how we want the rest of the time. He didn’t die just so we would spend 5 or 10 minutes a day in devotions with him while we spend hours upon hours on TV, games, videos, movies, etc., often times taking into our minds pure garbage and/or filth. He died to transform us from “caterpillars” to “butterflies.” So, let him transform you today.

Draw Me Close To You / Donnie McClurkin

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I'm Your friend

You are my desire
And no one else will do
'Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace

Help me find a way
Bring me back to You…