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. 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. Romans 12:1-2
For most of my Christian life, I have heard Romans 12:1-1 taught from a position of sexual purity, but today God opened my eyes to another view. As we contemplate sacrifices and the importance of presenting sacrifices that are without blemish, let us think in terms of how we can make decisions that can make our sacrifices less than pleasing to God.
According to Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance, the word for sacrifice in Romans 12:1 is thusia, and in this context it means “of service, obedience, praise offered to God, an offering, oblation (offering to God)”. For many of us who are in ministry, we often take on and do as much as we can for the Kingdom of God. We often wholeheartedly serve in different ministry areas, yet we hardly plan for time-off to physically rest and rejuvenate the bodies that He has given us – the same bodies that we are to present ‘holy and pleasing to God’.
I have been told that in any organization, there are always three types of individuals:
- Those who always take on more than their fair share of work,
- Those who will do just enough to get by.
- Those who can be counted on to ‘pick-up the slack’ where others fall short
It is not uncommon to find these individuals in churches.
Our entire bodies are to be presented to God – our entire bodies and all we do whether we sleep, eat, rest, work … whatever we do needs to be a living sacrifice. There is no doubt that there is much to be done, especially in these last days. Sometimes it is hard to walk away, but are we doing the right thing when we overcommit and under-rest? If we are tired and worn-out from doing what we believe to be the work of God, are we able to offer ‘true and proper worship’?
Sometimes a simple ‘I am sorry, but I cannot take this on’, will leave more room in our day to spend time with our Papa, or simply to rest. While we acknowledge that God is more than able to sustain us through what He has called us to do, we also acknowledge that God Himself rested. Jesus told us to come and rest in Him. Rest is important in the life of a Christian.
May God grant us clear revelation so we know when to step forward. May He also give us the wisdom and understanding to know when to step back and allow others to move forward, and may we find peace in the moments we choose to let go.
What God has ordained must be fulfilled – we need not worry that if we can’t do what needs to be done, then it won’t be done at all.
We are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices. We are not to conform to the expectations of the world, but to experience transformation that comes from having our minds renewed, then (we) “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. When we know His will we can walk in His will, accomplishing what He has called us to do with the bodies He has given us.
Inventory / Introspection: How can I make sure my body is always presented to God as a living sacrifice?
Personal Application: Scheduling time away from ‘frontline’ ministry does not mean I am not offering a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
Dear Father, we give you thanks for the bodies you have given to us. We know that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made!’
We confess that we don’t often treat our bodies the way we should. Please forgive us for the times we have neglected meaningful rest and meals and other ‘transgressions’ as we hurry about doing what we understand needs to be taken care of. Help us to honestly weigh our schedules, and to make the right decisions when work needs to be done.
Eating well, resting well, and working smart are ways in which we can keep our bodies in ‘living sacrifice’ mode. Help us to make the decisions that enable us to offer worship that would give You the greatest glory.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
“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 12:2
If you’ve ever visited the doctor, you may likely have received medicine that says “take until finished”. For some, the tendency is to stop taking the medication when normalcy is presumed to have returned, and failing to follow the instructions often result in another onset of ailments. Our instructions, as Christians, are that we should be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Mind renewal is not something we do until we feel better, but it should be a constant process as we live out the Christian walk.
Mind renewal is important in helping us keep our temples clean. In St Mathew 12, Jesus speaks of the unclean spirit which was cast out of a person. It went wandering around, and when it found no place to rest, it decided to go back where it came from. “And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first.” – St Matthew 12: 44-45. Mind renewal is not a one-off incident, but a mind that is constantly being renewed will not serve as a residence for things unclean.
Sometimes we pray for God’s guidance and direction but we move off long before the answer has been given. We use our own ideas and wills to chart our courses instead of waiting on Him to act. We may find ourselves trusting God for something He has not yet manifested in the flesh, but we have the assurance that if we trust Him, He will direct our paths. When God is not at the center of what we do, we leave ourselves open to pain, disappointment and failure. Proverbs 3:5-6 says Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV) A mind that is constantly being renewed will rely on God for guidance and direction.
Philipians 4:4-6 offers great encouragement. Rejoicing may not seem appropriate to our several circumstances, but twice in Philipians 4:4 we are told to rejoice! Not only should we rejoice, but we should “let our gentleness be evident to all”. We are also asked not be anxious, “but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving”, we should present our requests to God. A mind that is constantly being renewed will experience the “peace that passes all understanding”, even in the midst of situations that have the capacity to cripple us.
Keeping our lives clean, trusting Him for guidance and direction and experiencing His peace in mind-numbing situations doesn’t come because we are good. We are able to please Him with our lives when we choose to walk as He directs. Trying to make it on our own is a sure way to fail, but constant mind renewal will keep us connected to the Source that can never disappoint.
Inventory / Introspection: Are there crevices and corners in my mind that can serve as a hiding place for things that do not bring Him glory? Have I been trusting Him to lead me through my painful circumstances? Have I experienced the peace that comes through rejoicing, being gentle, and praying with thanksgiving?
Practical Application: With all that we have to do on a daily basis, how can the Christian live the principle of mind renewal?
Father, when I gave You my life, I gave You all of me, but there are those days that I have taken back what I placed in Your hands as I tried to live by my agenda. So far, I have not been successful. It is my heart’s desire to live a life that pleases You, but as long as I live in the flesh, I will always have the desire to sin. I pray that You will teach me the process of true, daily mind renewal so that whatever I do or say will come from a place that exalts You.
I realize You do not always act when I want You to, but I have come to discover that trusting You truly brings a peace I cannot explain. I am grateful for Your peace in the midst of trying circumstances.
Help me to live a life reflective of a mind that is constantly being transformed through renewal. I do not want to hold onto anything that holds no glory for You. Amen
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.