Which Father Is Yours?
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1-2 To a young Christian the idea of presenting his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, must seem challenging and downright unappealing. "Sacrifice?" A loaded word for sure. God is asking me to give myself up as a sacrifice? How can I be willing to do that? The willingness comes with understanding. One of the clever works of Satan is to paint a totally false picture of God, especially to those who don't know him, but also to the young believer, and sadly, even to the seasoned believer. How it must grieve the heart of God to see people view him as an implacable tyrant. The very word "Father" denotes something so entirely different, yet Satan sees to it that people miss that and go instead with the angry-God concept who only cares about moral behavior and who is ready to smack anyone who slips. Understandably then, who would not chafe at the Scripture's command that we present ourselves to this God as a sacrifice? Satan lies. Jesus said Satan is the FATHER of lies. "You are of your FATHER the devil, and the desires of your FATHER you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the FATHER of it." John 8:44 Our God, on the other hand, has revealed to us in his Word that he is THE TRUE FATHER, in all that that word implies. He LOVES us. As any father, he wants the absolute best for us. But we are children in his sight, and a child does not have the wisdom of the adult, a child does not have the wisdom of a father, therefore most children simply surrender totally to their father's will. To the obedient child of God, the Lord will move heaven and earth to bless him in all manner and kind and type of blessing. This father, our Father, is he who fashioned the very DNA in each of us, so he knows exactly the makeup of each individual, he knows every kind of interest each will have, he knows the gifts and talents he has sovereignly placed within each one, he thoroughly understands each one's personality, and he knows what is going to be the deep desires of the heart, all of which he determines to bring together for the child who will surrender to him and obey him. Once we understand this thoroughly, it sure does change the picture of what the "sacrifice" means, doesn't it? It simply means surrender, and to a mature believer it means JOYFUL surrender - to our TRUE Father, who is full of love for us. The Father goes on to teach us that the world is under the rule of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4), and that Satan has filled it with lies, with the representation of all that he, Satan is and he is first and foremost a liar. Therefore, we are not to believe the picture he paints to us of a tyrant God, and we are not to be conformed to this world which is under the true tyrant, Satan himself. What child in his right mind would want to be conformed to that world? No, we instead are to follow after the will of OUR Father, subjecting our minds daily to be nourished in his Word, so that we may PROVE the truth of this message, that it's all good. It's all VERY good! And when we understand it, it will become the delight of our hearts to present ourselves totally to him. Once we understand this, we can rest in the promise that whatever Satan hurls at us in life, and even the wrong decisions we make that bring us into trouble, God WILL work it out to the good. That's a promise! “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28