Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Me - a living sacrifice
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." -- Psalm 105:4
The word sacrafice is usually considered a negative word. It means the things we give up for the sake of something else. It means something is lost or taken from us. In Old Testament times, God demanded burnt offerings as sacrifices, but also grain offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings and fellowship offerings. (See Leviticus 6-7) God followers were expected to give God their best...give it up and give it to God. In pagan, Indian and other cultures, live human sacrifices to the gods were a common occurance. Is it any wonder why looking at the verse "Offer your bodies as living sacrfices..." (Romans 12:1) is hard for us to understand and willingly do?
God gave us free will. Our bodies and our lives belong to us. We choose what we do with our lives and how we live our lives. And while circumstances and events come into our lives that cause things to happen, how we react to those events is totally up to us. We know this and we hang on to every bit of freedom we can.
Because God is who he is: all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, he COULD exert his power upon us and make us do whatever he wants. That means he COULD have created a world with no sin, no guilt, no pain. He COULD have created a world of humans who did exactly what he said and loved each other all the time. I often wish that he DID exert that power so I wouldn't have to see the suffering that I see in the world every day. As the song says, "What a wonderful world" that would be.
But, that is not the way God decided to work in our world. While he created us, he gave us the CHOICE to love him or not. We have the CHOICE to follow his teachings or not. We have the CHOICE to love others or not. It means so much more to God when we CHOOSE him!
When we do choose God and make our bodies living sacrifices to him, He renews our minds. This is a process and does not happen immediately. We are a work in progress! The more we choose Him, the easier it becomes for us to follow him and choose Him again!
There are times I make the right choices and my body and my mind are serving God in a way that pleases him. But, there are also times when I make the wrong choices and choose myself and my own selfish ways instead of God's way. The good thing about this is God's mercy. He knows I will trip and fall and make mistakes. He knows that I love Him and will reach out to Him for help again and he provides the help I need to start again.
I WANT to sacrifice my body mind and soul to God! I want everything I do and say to bring God glory. I want to give up my wants and selfish desires for Him. It is not easy, but it is my heart's desire! I am thankful that my mind is renewed each day and I get another chance to CHOOSE God!