Romans 12:1-2


Most believers would say their desire is to experience God’s greatest work in and through their lives. The question becomes how to do that and whether or not we are willing to do what is required to see the Lord move in and through us. It is not by the force of our will, but rather the opposite: absolute surrender, that is the key to unlocking God’s power. Also, it is the call beckoning every follower of Christ.

Absolute surrender is an appeal to all believers, to give themselves wholly to the person and mission of Jesus. It is the response of those who have been saved from their own death and destruction through the sacrifice of Christ on a cross, a response to the mercy of the Lord – the same mercy that offers a way to reconcile the sinner into the presence of a most holy God. When we accept the gift of salvation, absolute surrender is proof of authentic worship. The apostle Paul argued in the first eleven chapters of Romans, leading up to chapter 12, that when a person fully recognizes and appreciates the incredible favor bestowed upon them through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the appropriate response is complete submission to the will and power of the Lord. This is not an automatic response, but rather a decision that must be made by each and every believer. God never forces this commitment upon us, but offers the invitation upon receiving the gift of a life in Christ.

This decision is not one that comes without conditions or demands. In fact, choosing to walk in absolute surrender is a lofty one. It requires a total life commitment to the Lord, and not to the ways of this world. It offers up every part of oneself as a living and holy sacrifice. The life of the surrendered looks noticeably different in every aspect especially regarding the way in which they think. Absolute surrender demands a different way of thinking and seeing which means not being “conformed to this world, but…transformed by the renewing of [the] mind . . . .” (Rom 12:2a).

When the decision is made to wholly commit, heart, soul and mind, to the way of Christ, it doesn’t come without reward. By fully surrendering, you get to be the beneficiary of experiencing the goodness of God’s will and accept it as such. Through the regeneration of your thoughts and daily sacrifice of all parts of your life, you get to “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2b) The word prove in that promise means to see unfold or to see worked out in your life. It doesn’t require us to find the will of God, but rather allows God’s will to find us after we have completed the conditions of total commitment. The characteristics of God’s will, good, acceptable, and perfect, guarantee that whatever He chooses will be for our best and pleasing to our sensibilities as we grow and understand His ways. The perfection that will come will be that of completeness, which is a fullness of God’s glory revealed in and through our lives.

As you consider the result of absolute surrender, you should find yourself motivated to want to be in the will of God. The call to a life fully committed to Christ has been offered to you and your response will express your understanding of the mercy you have been given, as well as reveal your authentic worship. When you step up to meet the demands of a total life commitment by not conforming to the ways of this world, and allow your mind to be transformed by God’s word, you open yourself up to the benefits of absolute surrender. Those benefits include experiencing the goodness of God’s will and the blessing of finding it acceptable and not lacking. It is only when you surrender that you will see God’s greatest work being done in and through you each and every day.

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Getting Started

  1. What do you think of when you hear the word “surrender”? What are some images that come to mind?
  2. How would you define absolute?

Let’s Get Personal

  1. As you look at the whole of your life, would you describe it as absolutely surrendered? What areas do you tend to refuse to surrender to God?
  2. In what ways are you conforming to the ways of this world? What is keeping you from being transformed by the renewing of your mind?
  3. Do you struggle to find God’s will in your life? How can not being fully surrendered hinder your ability to see God’s good and perfect will being worked out in your life?
  4. When you think about the benefits of absolute surrender: experiencing the goodness of God’s will, accepting God’s will and the completion of God’s will, how does that motivate you to give all of yourself to the Lord?

Take the Next Step

  1. In what ways do you need to surrender your life fully to the Lord? How could you make steps towards that this week?
  2. How are you allowing Scripture to transform your mind so that you are not conformed to the ways of this world? What are some ways you can challenge yourself to a deeper study and more time in God’s word? Give someone in your group permission to help you stay accountable in this.
  3. What prayer should you pray today in order to become wholly surrendered to the Lord? In what ways do you need God’s help to fully commit to Him? Pray for that now.
  4. Want to dig deeper? Take a look at the following verses: 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; Galatians 6:14; Romans 12:3-8; 8:27.

Renew Your Mind

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2