It is God's will for the church to be renewed and transformed. Is there a secret to renewal? Two truths answer this question.
II. Yield yourself to God
The key word to spiritual renewal in the Christian life is "yield." It is the same word translated "present" in Romans 12:1. It is the word that is used to describe the "presenting" of an offering in the sacrificial system in the temple. It is an act of worship whereby we personally acknowledge that we belong to God. This act is the secret of renewal of life. Notice three things about this act.
A. It is a realistic act.
1. It is a definite act. In Romans 6 the second use of the word yield according to the original language. There must be a time in my life when I present myself to God and consider my whole life belongs to Him.
2. It is a transfer of my life to Him.
3. It is an act of the will.
4. It is a surrender.
5. It is an act of obedience.
B. It is a reasonable act. This is what Romans 12:1 indicates. The lost person has only one nature, "the old man." But then something happens when a person is born again. A new life comes in, Christ's life, in the person of the Holy Spirit. The new believer now has a new nature. The self-life and the Christ-life. These are enemies and they struggle for full control of one's life. How we choose-this is the secret to victory!
C. It is a resisted act. The flesh resists the Holy Spirit in us (Gal. 5:16-26). Surrender becomes the key to victory. What is it that stands between you and renewal? Jesus must be Lord of our lives!
III. Yield your members unto God
The word "members" refers to the parts of your body, thus the areas of our lives. We are to yield ourselves and our members to God. This makes Romans 12:1 clearer, where it says "present your bodies." Present them to God!
A. Yield your eyes to God.
B. Yield your ears to God.
C. Yield your speech to God (see Col. 4:6).
D. Yield your mind to God.
E. Yield your hands to God.
F. Yield your feet to God.
G. Yield your knees to God. This represents how you worship.
H. Yield your lungs to God. This involves what you breathe and take into your body.
I. Yield your stomach to God.
J. Yield your face to God. This speaks of your countenance, whether sad or cheerful.
This is the secret then. Yield yourself and your members to God. Build an altar and place yourself and the areas of your life before God.
Giving to God of the Best: Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into God's hand; and then, when we have given all to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about. Hudson Taylor.
Ellen G. White quotations:
The Secret to Renewal: "Through the Holy Spirit the character is transformed and the mind and will of the human agent are brought into perfect conformity to the divine will." -That I May Know Him, p. 162.
"Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.' This is a self-denying way. And when you think that the way is too strait, that there is too much self-denial in this narrow path; when you say, How hard to give up all, ask yourselves the question, What did Christ give up for me? This question puts anything that we may call self-denial in the shade." -Testimonies for the Church, 1:240.