Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I have been meditating on this passage of Scripture for a very long time. I am not yet done. I suspect I won’t be done for a long time still. There is so much in these two verses!
Let’s start with the first concept; because of the mercy we have received, we are commanded to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. Right there I was dumbstruck. What is a living sacrifice? How do I become a living sacrifice? I asked the question on FaceBook and the answers were varied, but not one made my heart jump with an ah-ha moment.
Yes I could have gotten more information from more people. Google is always helpful. I could have looked for books on this matter, but I didn’t want to. I have become very stubborn lately. Every sermon is the preacher’s interpretation of scripture. Every spiritual book is the author’s interpretation of scripture. That is not what I am interested in. I want to interpret scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I am like a two year old who stubbornly refuses to be dressed, insisting to do it herself. Why? I don’t actually know. I think I just go so tired of preachers with skew points of view, that they want to force down on the congregation as if they are the only ones who hear from God. God called each one of us into an intimate relationship with Him. He wants to spend intimate time with each one of us. Christian have become lazy. Many don’t want to make the effort to hear from God; it is easier to hear from the preacher. I want to hear from God, and I believe I did.
So what is a sacrifice? Looking at dictionary.com, a few explanations are given, one of which resonates in my heart:
I have to surrender or destroy something, for the sake of being obedient to God – obedience is the higher or more pressing claim. But WHAT exactly am I suppose to sacrifice?
Everything. When times get tough, I have to sacrifice my urge to moan and complain, and instead, I should give praise for the things in my life that I am grateful for. When things are stressful, I have to sacrifice the natural tendency to worry, and instead, stand in faith that God will never leave me, nor forsake me. When I feel used and abused by ungrateful people, I have to sacrifice my want to walk away, and rather keep on doing good. In short – to be a living sacrifice, means to be obedient to the Word of God. All of it. Not just some of it. If you read the Word of God, you will see that being obedient to what God wants, doesn’t come easy. It takes hard work. Everything in our nature, goes against the Word of God. We want to moan. We want to hate. We want to worry. We want to complain. We want, we want, we want, we want. Instead, we should just enter the rest He has for us. Why is it so difficult to just trust God?
I am working hard on myself to become, and remain a living sacrifice. I want a deeper relationship with God. I want more of His peace and quite despite the noise in the world around me. I want to please Him because of His amazing mercy He has extended to me. If it wasn’t for His mercy, I don’t know where I would have been today.
I want to be a living sacrifice, simply because I love Him so much. All it will take, is obedience to His Word. More of Him, less of Me.
What about you?