“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. 2 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 NKJV
Deep in our hearts we know that we were created for a purpose. Destiny is in our DNA and we all desire to know God’s “good and acceptable and perfect will” for our lives. God has set it up so that you cannot discover your destiny by seeking it; you can only discover your destiny by Seeking Him (Jeremiah 29:11-13; Matthew 6:33). The first step to seeking God and discovering your destiny is becoming a living sacrifice.
Think about a sacrifice for a moment; if you put an animal on an altar and sacrifice it (kill it), it is dead. Now that it is dead it has no will or desires. The animal cannot get up and go somewhere, it cannot get hungry or thirsty, and it cannot decide to do anything. The Bible says that we should offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. This shows us how we need to be in seeking God and fulfilling our destiny.
Firstly, this means that the decision is yours, and you need to offer (or commit) yourself to God. God will not force Himself or His will on you. You choose to offer yourself and be a living sacrifice. This means that you choose to let go of your desires and will (what you want), and you choose to embrace God’s will and desires for you (what God wants).
Secondly, the Bible is saying that you should offer yourself as a living sacrifice– it’s not dead but alive. That means that as a living sacrifice you can still choose to get off the altar and follow your own will and desires. Being a living sacrifice isn’t just a one-time-commitment, it’s a daily decision to surrender to His will. The enemy will tempt you with many opportunities to do anything but follow God’s will – as a living sacrifice you resist the temptation and say, “not my will but Yours, Father.”
“Many plans are in the human heart, but the advice (guidance) of the LORD will endure (it is lasting and sustainable).”
Proverbs 19:21 GOD’S WORD (brackets mine)
The problem is that we think that we know best and we think that we know what will be good for us. God knows us better than we know ourselves and He is a good Father who only wants good things for His children and so we can relax, and trust Him. His plans for our lives are far better than our plans for our lives.
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Luke 22:42 ESV
Jesus didn’t feel like going through the suffering of the crucifixion that He knew was coming, but He chose His Father’s will over what He felt. An important side note must be made: Jesus suffered for us so that we wouldn’t have to suffer – the only suffering that we are called to as believers is to suffer persecution for our faith (2 Timothy 3:12). God does not call us to suffer with sickness, pain or poverty, ever. The point of this verse is that we should adopt the same attitude that Jesus had and desire to do God’s will above anything else. If you want to walk in your destiny then you need to adopt the Christ-like attitude of, “Not my will, but Yours, Father.”