Finding God’s Will; 1. The Belgian Duke

13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6.13.

In the fourteenth century two brothers fought for the right to rule over a dukedom in what is now Belgium. The elder brother’s name was Raynald, but he was commonly called “Crassus,” a Latin nickname meaning “fat”.

After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him and assumed the title of Duke over his lands. But instead of killing Raynald, Edward devised a sneaky solution. He had a room in the castle built around “Crassus,” a room with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised Raynald that he could regain his land and his title any time that he wanted to. All he would have to do is leave the room. The obstacle to freedom was not in the doors or the windows, but with Raynald himself. Being grossly overweight, he could not fit through the door, even though it was of near-normal size. All Raynald needed to do was slim down to a smaller size, then walk out a free man, with all he had had before his defeat. However, his younger brother kept sending him an assortment of tasty treats, and Raynald’s desire to be free never beat his desire to eat (adapted from EnduringWord).

Crassus was certainly not using his members (his body) as an instrument for righteousness, was he?

On a very simple level, we should be living to please God, not ourselves.

Our bodies are servants to the master that is our will.

Simply, our will is greater than our bodies.

That’s how people can do extreme endurance events, function with no sleep, rescue others from dangerous situations, how there are stories of mothers lifting cars off children. The will is far more powerful than the body, and we are to choose to present ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and our members, our bodies, to God as instruments for righteousness.

The will is far stronger than the body, and it is up to us how we use our bodies; in service to or in rebellion against the way God says we are to live. Our will is strong and will ultimately direct our path, but sometimes takes us places we ought not to go. But God’s will for our lives is always sure, always perfect, and, if it is sure and perfect for Jesus to follow (Matthew 26.39), then it is absolutely sure and perfect enough for us to follow.

This week we will focus on how to find God’s will for your life, how to see God’s guiding hand in your life. For today, think,

Am I presenting myself to God as one who has been brought from death to life, and am I presenting my will and body to God as instruments for righteousness?

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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