Romans 12 1-2: (1)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. (2)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 and pleasing will.
sacrifice:The act of giving up something highly valued for the sake of something else considered to have a greater value or claim. (dictionary.search.yahoo.com)
Our church started a new sermon series “transformed”. It is Rick Warrens study. We have a workbook and everything! The first part of the seven week study is spiritual growth. As usual our pastor inspired and encouraged us to jump fully into the study so that we can experience the transformation of what being a Christian really means from the inside out.
After the service I went to say hello to one of my friends. This friend in particular inspires me in the way that she seeks Christ. We have the best conversations about the ways that we have seen God move or things that we are wrestling with in our lives. Last night at the 6pm service was no different.
During the sermon, the pastor brought up Romans 12 1-2. My friend looked very concerned and said she was having issues with the words “living sacrifice”. When you combine it another verse from the study, Mark 10:45-For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” The fill in the blank that goes with that verse is: I must “serve others unselfishly.” That sounds a little exhausting…and it is if you do not include God in your decisions to serve.
Sometimes I get caught up in what humans think I should be doing instead of God. You know “we could really use your gifts here or there…or I need you to drop everything and help me.” I can also get caught up in the comparison trap, thinking I need to live up to what my other Christian friends are called to do. I have some friends that clearly have gifts that I do not. I am thinking of a woman who has been the key person in the nursery at church for years…to me, that’s exhausting. Thankfully last year I read a life changing book: The Best Yes by Lysa Tyrkeurst. Lysa clearly explains that God does not mean you must do every single thing that you are asked simply because you are a Christ follower. God has specific plans for each of us. If we are busy saying yes to every single request coming our way, we can not give what God desires for us 100%.
The sacrifice in Romans 12 is our open hearts. To get into the word each and every day. We are to ask God to speak to us, to give us His desire for our lives. To let go of what the world says is important and hold on tight to what IS truly important, what will give us peace. Every single time you say yes to one thing you are saying no to another. That is between you and God. Not you and your spouse, children, or even your pastor. You must seek Him, no one else can tell you His plan for your life.
I read over this post and it sounds like I have it all figured out. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I still find myself looking for the approval of humans, seeking worldly desires, not going to God before I say yes. I am still a baby in my walk with Christ…learning everyday. Thankfully God does not love me based on my performance.