|Julie and I took our daughter camping in Tennessee this past summer. Behind the campground, there was a long trail up into the Smokies. At the base of the mountain, the trail crossed a beautiful clear stream. Country boy that I am, I led the way across the rocks, showing what I thought were the best stepping stones for the girls. About a dozen rocks later, we were on the other side. We needed each one in order to cross the stream without getting wet.
I’m preaching this Sunday night on how to find God’s will. That is the topic that is most requested by the people in our church, so every couple years I speak on it again. Here’s what I discovered this time ’round. There are three simple steps, like the stones across the stream, to finding and doing God’s will.
1. Present your body as a living sacrifice to God.
2. Don’t be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
3. Then you can prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I find most people want to skip steps one and two and get right to finding God’s will. Once they see God’s will, they usually want to skip it, too. Why? God’s will is that you do steps one and two. But this requires that we as Christians give up our own agenda. I knew a guy years ago who didn’t want to be a living sacrifice or have his mind renewed. He wanted to be conformed to the world. But to this day, he claims he wants to find God’s will.
Our passage refers to step one as our reasonable service. Are you willing to be reasonable? If you won’t present your body as a living sacrifice, you won’t find God’s will. And if you’re busy conforming to the world, you won’t find God’s will.
May you find His will. More importantly, when you do find it, may your route to it have been through steps 1 and 2. Otherwise, you skipped His will to find His will. And that can’t be His will.
Use every big rock God puts in the creek. Skip any, and you’ll wind up wet and cold in a mountain stream instead of enjoying the hike on the other side.