Picture a cool fall day in a Midwestern farming community in the year1947. A faithful, young farmer heads out to his fields at the break of day. He notices a slight scratchy feeling in his throat. As he puts in a full day of work, he has a sinking feeling that he is coming down with something. By the middle of the week, he can hardly swallow. Hating to go to a doctor, he tries gargling with a mix of lemon juice, apple cider, vinegar, honey, and one “special” ingredient. His throat, however, keeps on getting worse.
Early the next week, he is barely able to swallow. Reluctantly, he agrees to go see his uncle, who is a doctor. Taking one look inside his mouth, his uncle’s face grows very serious. “Jake, you have a bad case of strep throat.” “I’m giving you a new medicine that I hope will take care of the problem; be sure to finish all the pills.” Jake takes the pills, thanks his uncle, and heads home.
After a few days on the medication, his throat feels so much better. Because the pills were so bitter, and he is feeling better by now, he decides to stop taking the pills. He says to himself, “I am over the problem, and I don’t want to overdo this medicine business.”
Two weeks after stopping the pills, Jake is flat on his back, hardly able to speak. Now, he has a fever and a rash. When his uncle comes and examines him, with tears he grimly informs him that he has rheumatic fever.
For the rest of his life, Jake is a crippled man who no longer can take care of his farm or even himself. The damage to his heart was just too severe for him to do much of anything. He is unable to live out the life that he might have lived had he followed the full prescription given to him.
God has given us His prescription for our sinful condition (Rom. 12). Although we must present ourselves to God, we must not stop with just making a decision to do so. We must go on and live out His will for our lives as He teaches us in Romans 12:1ff.
If we do not fully follow that prescription, we will be crippled and not fulfill His will. God wants us to prove His will for our lives.