Derek Prince - Discovering God's Will
This excerpt is from: How To Find Your Place
And then Paul says that your sacrifice will be acceptable to God and it’s your reasonable service. It’s the least you can do in view of what God has done for you. You see, the first great sacrifice in the Christian life was offered by who? Who offered the first great sacrifice? Jesus, that’s right. He gave His body on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose wounds we were healed. Now, if we follow in the steps of Jesus we will come to the place where God asks us to put our body on the altar. Not in literal crucifixion but in a total surrender to God where you say: God, now my body is yours. I don’t control it, I don’t choose what happens to it. It belongs to you. From now on I don't decide the work I do, the clothes I wear, the food I eat. All that’s your responsibility because I’ve given my body to you.
And then Paul goes on, verse 2: Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind... You cannot renew your own mind. But when you present your body and make that surrender, God moves in, and begins to transform the way you think and you are renewed in your mind. Basically the difference between your natural way of thinking, your unrenewed mind, and the mind that God will give you through the Holy Spirit is that your mind is self-centered. The renewed mind is God centered. In the natural we all say what will I get out of this? With the renewed mind we say what will God get out of this? Will this glorify God? Will this please God? Paul says when your mind is renewed then you will be able to prove, to find out in experience: ...what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
You see, without your mind being renewed you cannot find God’s will. God has a plan for you but you can’t find it. The first step is present your body and let God renew your mind. And with your renewed mind you can find out God’s will. And, it’s progressive. It’s good, acceptable and perfect. It’s good. God never willed anything evil for any of His children. You can trust God; He knows better what is good for you than you do. Second, it’s acceptable. The more you discover it, the more you are pleased with it. And finally, it’s perfect. This is an astonishing fact but God’s perfect will includes every detail of our lives, there is nothing left out. As I continue to walk with the Lord I’m surprised from time to time by the fact that God has arranged every tiny detail of our lives. I find myself in a situation sometimes I didn’t plan. I look around and I say: God, you arranged that. I didn’t even think about it. Ruth and I travel so much, we’re always staying in hotels. But we’ve learned to pray: God, put us in the right hotel, in the right room, and let everything be the way you want it. We travel so much by airplanes, we always pray: Lord, let us travel in the right airplane. Let us sit in the right seat.
It makes a difference what side of the street you walk on. Did you know that? I think I told you I have an adopted African daughter. About, I forget how many years, four years ago she came to spend time with Ruth and me in our home in Jerusalem. One afternoon she said she wanted to go down to the center of Jerusalem. She described to us she was walking on one side of the street, and she felt prompted just to cross the street, she didn’t know why. A minute or two later she ran into a couple who were old friends of hers, who knew she was in Jerusalem, and had been praying that they might meet her. See? God arranged that. There are no accidents in the Christian life. Everything is beautifully planned by God. If you could see heaven’s computer, it would astonish you. There is nothing that isn’t programmed on it. That’s a metaphor, you understand. All right. We’re going on. Verse 3, Paul says: For I say through the grace given to me to every one who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Your renewed mind will cause you to be realistic, sober.
You see, I’ve discovered that the Holy Spirit is the greatest realist on earth. He’s never sentimental, He never exaggerates, He never misrepresents. He tells it like it is. Now, some of us when we start the Christian life we may have great ambitions. I’m going to be an apostle, I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that. Paul says be careful. Don’t let your imagination run away with you. Be realistic. Find out just how much faith God has given you because your faith will determine what you’re going to do for God. But, if you walk in the faith that you have faithfully, God will increase your faith. You see, if you wanted to be employed by a bank in Singapore, you’re a young man or a young lady, you wouldn’t walk in and apply to be president of the bank. That would be unrealistic. You’d possibly be quite grateful for a job just emptying wastepaper baskets. But, I’ll tell you, this is a true story. This is about a young man in Germany who got into the drug culture and his mind was absolutely wrecked with drugs. Then he met Jesus and was wonderfully saved and a Christian pastor took him into his home to rehabilitate him. The teaching of the pastor was very simple: Whatever you do, ask Jesus to help you and do your best.
And I mean, he was unemployable, nobody would employ him. But eventually, he got a job, I think in some manufacturing firm. And all he was doing was emptying the baskets and taking the trash out. But his method was: Jesus, help me. I’ll do my best. And you know, the Bible says: A faithful man, who can find? The only qualification he had was faithfulness. So after awhile he got promoted. And then he got promoted and then he was doing quite a responsible job. And then he thought: Well, now I need more education because the Germans really believe in education. I need special training. So he went to see his boss and said: I think I’m going to leave and get some special training. And his boss said: You can’t leave. You’re the only man in this business I can trust! Stay with me and I’ll train you to take over the business. That’s just the result of faithfulness, you see? Doing what you’re placed to do. So, Paul says be realistic. Don’t expect to be the president the first day. But whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord and ask Jesus to help you.