1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
living sacrifice. a term i feel like i have heard all of my life. we sing about it, we talk about, but for me, it hasn't been until recently that i have finally begun to understand what it means. i thought i knew what it meant. i thought it meant that i was going to have to make sacrifices in my life to follow christ and that he would love me for it. give up the dream job that makes more money or is more fun. be single longer than i planned. do some things out of my comfort zone. give up some vacation time for kingdom work, etc. but i had no idea, that i was way off. a living sacrifice is not making a few painful sacrifices here and there. no. a living sacrifice is giving up all semblance of control in your life. you give it ALL up. you lay down all of your dreams and desires, saying that they are rubbish compared to the kingdom. sure god gives you desires and dreams, but if they are something that you cannot let go of or that you must have filled, then they are hindering you from sacrificing all. oh and you know what else, a living sacrifice does not keep track of all they have given up for the Lord, as if to brag about it or to hold it over the lord's head. as painful as it might be, they leave it all behind so that they may know the fullness of the lord and his glory!
i have made my fair share of sacrifices in my life, some for the lord, some i thought were for the lord, but were really for me and my attempt to live as a good christian. but i can confess, that i have not been a living sacrifice. the lord is continuing to show me all the things i cling to and love more than him and he is actually beginning to sever them. very painful, but the most fulfilling love and pain i have EVER felt. i hope that you can take some time to think about this idea of living sacrifice. i promise it is the hardest thing you will ever do, but i am tasting and seeing that it is the best thing i could have have ever done. i surrender all.