“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1 NKJV
The problem with living sacrifices is that they crawl off the altar.
Presenting my body a living sacrifice is difficult and something I have to work at moment by moment. I find myself trying to pull my body off the meat hooks that keep me clamped, secure and surrendered. There is much blood and carnage as I tear myself off, seeking to be free, only finding myself in bondage.
There are so many daily choices that stand in the way of surrendering my will to God. So often my flesh wants what it wants, even if it isn’t food for my soul.
Presenting oneself a living sacrifice covers every aspect of our lives. Simple choices such as whether or not read my Bible, or
pray, or even think about the things of God can make all the difference. Grace in my dealings with others is a living sacrifice, as is showing mercy when I have been wronged. When I fail at these things, not only am a I wounded by the meat hooks, there is also there is collateral damage as others are injured. The sad collateral damage is to new believers who are watching. Sadder still is the damage to the lost. If ever there is an incentive to obey it is those desperately needing Jesus.
I can tell when I have strayed from my obedience, sin comes on like a tsunami and floods my life like a beach. When the waters recede there is nothing but the carnage of guilt and shame. Praise God for His grace. There is joy in repentance. I climb back on the altar and fasten the hooks.
Every morning I have the opportunity to choose how my day is going to go. I have no power over what is going to happen, but I do have the power to turn it over to God, since He has the knowledge of my day from the end to the beginning. I can have confidence that He is in control.
Often when I have found myself in a trial things are a blur and I am not aware of God’s presence in the midst of it. My life like a tornado, full of debris, making it hard to discern anything outside of the storm. I rely on past victories God has won in my life and try to keep doing the things that I know I should do.
Sometimes I forget and get caught up in all that is happening. It is not until later that I realize that Jesus has lead me every step of the way.
In those times it easy to be that sacrifice. I cling to the Lord and seek Him. He lights my path and holds my hand as I seek to make my way along the treacherous path bordered by shear drops from great height. Falling brings damage.
Sadly, when the danger is passed I all too often seek to have my own way. Oh how I fail to learn. That path is still treacherous and the shear drops are still there.
We should always seek to be living sacrifices. As the Scripture says, it is reasonable. Jesus gave all to lay aside His glory and live as one of us, choosing to be vulnerable.
I marvel at how He has transformed my life, from filthy sinner to cleaned up saint, holy and acceptable to God. I also marvel at His patience, as I wriggle off the hooks in the altar and suffer the damage from the consequences of my indiscretion. He is so patient with all the 360 degree spinning I do as I repent and fail.
I can say that His grace is winning the battle with my flesh. The more time I spend with Him, the easier, and more comfortable it is remain on the altar, a living sacrifice. The life of a living sacrifice is peaceful and filled with joy.
Whatever you are doing that separates you from God, it is worth laying aside for the goodness that is fellowship with God. Besides that, yanking at those meat hooks is darn painful.