If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. – Woody Allen
When my mom was young, single, and desiring marriage, she sat down to make a list. She was going to help God by writing down her criteria for a husband. Each night, she knelt by her bed and prayed through the list. After a few months of praying without success, she began to wonder if she was doing something wrong. This time she prayed – with list in hand – and asked, “What am I doing wrong?”
My mom sensed the Spirit whisper, Just give Me the list, Jill, and I’ll fill it in. It was an invitation to submit her will to His.
Submission. It’s an interesting word. The prefix sub means “under.” Submarine is “underwater.” Subterranean means “underground.” The simplest meaning of submission is to place one mission under another.
If you’re wondering why you don’t hear from God very often, it might be because your mission is a higher priority for you than His mission.
This isn’t hard to imagine, right? Our ideas often take precedence. Our plans become all-encompassing. Our desires are consuming. All too often we live like we know best but long for His best. The only way to shift that is to place our mission – our plans and desires – under His mission.
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. (Romans 12:1a)
The word offer is in the aorist tense. It’s a decisive moment in time. You make a decision that you’re going to offer yourself fully as a living sacrifice. This is vivid imagery being used here – reminiscent of animal sacrifice. The apostle Paul wants us to see ourselves as sacrifices too. Not a dead sacrifice, but a living sacrifice. It’s all about the life of Christ.
The first question we asked yesterday was: Have we received Christ’s mercy? Are we on the court?
The second question we must ask if we want to discover God’s best for our lives is this: “Lord, does my mission fall under Your mission?”
Jesus, it’s the simplest and most difficult prayer: Whatever You want, Lord, I place my plans beneath Yours. Amen.