Surrender Yourselves To God
In our readings for Day 1 is a very popular short passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Here it is in TPT (Romans 12:1,2):
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
If we back away for a moment from the conventional approach to evangelism, which involves a legitimate ‘in’ or ‘out’ perspective with an intention of inviting people who are out of fellowship with God in to fellowship with God, and look at things from perspective of appropriate reaction to God and His ‘marvelous mercies’, we can potentially see a fresh way to comport ourselves and thus, to evangelize.
The ‘proper response’ to God’s ‘marvelous mercies in our lives? ‘Surrender’.
Paul clearly instructs, “Surrender yourselves to God to be His sacred, living sacrifices.”
To surrender is to “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” Its presence in this text implies that our natural lives as independents (living independently of Jesus) are in clear opposition to God, involving active resistance (because He is always pursuing us), and defiance of His authority in our lives.
So to surrender our lives to Him is to reverse those positions:
Instead of opposition, we move into alliance with God, fellowship with Jesus;
Instead of resisting God, we accept Him into our lives (see Colossians 2:6-7 on this exercise);
Instead of defying God, we assist, respect, and praise Him (to lift just a few antonyms of ‘defy’).
So, in this scenario, the fitting approach in evangelizing with a focus on surrender might be God’s ‘marvelous mercies’. We can testify to them in our own lives (those of us who are surrendered to Jesus). We can recount them from Scripture. We can point them out in nature. We can even evoke them from the experiences of the people with whom we are conversing.
Romans 6:19b (TPT): For just as you surrendered your bodies and souls to impurity and lawlessness, which only brought more lawlessness into your lives, so now surrender yourselves as servants of righteousness, which brings you deeper into true holiness.