Read Romans 11:25-12:2
Long ago, God made some promises to Abraham. (See Genesis 12:1-3.)
- His descendants would be numerous.
- They would be given land.
- They would be an instrument of blessing and cursing to other non-Jews.
For centuries, then, God’s focus was on this nation. And then, Christ came. He was the ultimate expression of blessing to the nations. But, interestingly enough, He was largely rejected by His own people. Their rejection of Him, however, has allowed for a fruitful response within the Gentile nations over the last 2,000 years. It is true, the day will come, when descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will embrace Him. For right now, however, Gentiles are front and center on God’s radar screen.
I am guessing that most who read these lines do not have a Jewish heritage. You are among those who benefit from this aspect of God’s plan. Even though you lack these Jewish roots, there is an almost “Jewish” response that you are to make to God’s merciful act of including you. It is the response of sacrifice. Not the sacrifice of a lamb, ox, or dove. No, this sacrifice is you. You are to surrender your body to Him. As one infused with new life, you express worship and gratitude by giving yourself in God-pleasing holiness to Him.
As you pursue this life set apart from the world and as you seek to think differently, there is a wonderful byproduct . . . an ability to discern God’s will. Perhaps this is the frustration of many. They may yearn to know God’s will for a given situation. They may be earnestly asking for wisdom in a major life decision. They may be struggling to understand some of what “life” has dealt them. But it seems that their pursuits lead them only to frustration or to anger with God.
I wonder if the missing ingredient is a foundational surrender to the Lord? Could it be that they are struggling to understand God’s plans because they are not allowing their thinking to be transformed? Are they unable to understand God’s will because they are not committed to His ways?