‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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. Romans 12:1-2
Romans 12 has been my favorite chapter since my Walk to Emmaus many years ago. I’m not certain why, but I think that it had to do with the concept of being a living sacrifice… not that I really had any clue what that meant. Since that wonderful weekend retreat (thanks Melissa & Andrew for pushing me to go), my walk with the Lord has continued to evolve and grow deeper and deeper… not into a dependable cadence, but rather a never knowing what’s next adventure. In fact, it’s quite exhausting when I try to be the Living Sacrifice all on my own.
I now look at the living sacrifice phrase a bit differently and am challenged by it daily. Frances Roberts wrote about this passage and paraphrased it as he heard it from our Lord,
For I must have a vessel through which to operate. I would have you to be a vessel not only yielded to Me, but purified, dedicated, sanctified for My use, available to Me at all times, and ready to be used at whatever time I have need of thee. Thou wilt not have time to make thyself ready when I need thee. Thou must already be prepared. Thou must keep thyself in a state of readiness. Thou canst not live to the flesh and at the same time be available to the Spirit. Ye must walk in the Spirit, and in doing so keep thyself from becoming entangled in the things of the flesh. Ye must live in obedience to the Spirit, and thus be kept from being in bondage to the desires of the flesh.
Sounds completely exhausting, eh? If you stop there, how would you ever convince a young believer to walk down this long path of obedience? Well, thanks be to God there is – as Paul Harvey would say – ‘ the rest of the story’.
By setting your soul through deliberate choice of your willto pursue the worship of God by praying in the spirit, thou shalt find thy faith strengthened and thy life bathed in the love of God. With thy faith laying hold upon God’s promises and power, and thine actions motivated by the love of God, thou wilt find thyself in the path of the activity of God: His blessings shall be upon thee, and He will accomplish His works through thee. Thou needest make no plans nor resort to any clever strategy. Keep yourself in the love of God. Pray in the Spirit. Rejoice evermore. Set your affections upon Christ. God will do through you and for His glory such things as it pleases Him to do, and thou shalt rejoice with Him. This is the greatest joy that can come from a human heart, for it is the joy of God, and the joy of God transcends the joy of man.
Praise His wonderful name. He is the EverReady battery available to each of us – to enable us to walk this journey of becoming Living Sacrifices for Him.
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