"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."
Over the past few years a lot of my friends have jumped on the marathon, 1/2 marathon and "k" races bandwagon. I've run a couple 5k myself, but nothing like many of my friends who train daily and have traveled the country for different marathons. I haven't done more because, well, because it hurts. Over the years I've put on some weight...gotten lazy...realized the benefits of "downtime" and basically gotten lazy. (Did I say that already?)
So, then I opened up my Bible one morning and got hit right between the eyes. "...offer your bodies as a living sacrifice...act of worship..." ACK! How many times do we long to please God? Long to do His Will? Fervently pray, "Lord, whatever it takes for me to worship You today, I'm in."? Then it seems like all these people around us are getting healthy ~ making sacrifices in their daily diets to be more able to do what they're called to do, and every which way we turn there's someone else talking about running or Zumba or Spin class or walking or Paleo or Vegetables and fruits and how it clears the mind and energizes the body....and all we want to do is live in such a way to worship God all day long.
Not everyone is in this place, but I have a feeling if you're reading this you're in the same boat as me and God is trying to get your attention about what needs to happen in your life IN ORDER TO worship Him all day long.
We need to make some sacrifices...in our bodies.
We need to not make that purchase at the store that will bring more junk into an overloaded house.
We need to not sit mindlessly eating those "healthy" processed snacks while we read blogs about loving God.
We need to actually DO SOMETHING with ourselves that is living out the words of this passage ~ making our bodies a living sacrifice as an act of true worship.
I mean, really, when do you sense the presence of God the most? When you're living free and easy and everything is going right ? Or is it when you're going through something that is difficult and you know that it is in that weakness He is made strong?
I'm not sure He was talking about training for marathons here (pretty sure he wasn't because they were pretty healthy having to walk everywhere), but what is it He is asking you to make a living sacrifice in your life? Maybe it's leaving that desk at the office and actually interacting with your family face to face. Maybe it's putting on those running shoes and pushing through that thigh burn to finish a race you never thought you'd run. Maybe it's being honest with your friends and/or family about an addiction and getting the help you need.
In doing so you and I will be transformed. We will renew our minds and be able to test and approve what God's perfect will is. He asks us to not only know, but to obey...to make a living sacrifice to LIVE for Him. What will you do today?