“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. 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, pleasing and perfect will.”
After reading this passage from Romans, one may come to the conclusion that God is not loving. Often have I found my peers saying that the word sacrifice brings too many negative connotations. However, when given more time to think about this verse, it reveals something altogether new.
God is Holy. In the Bible He is referred to as the “Holy of Holies” and in both Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8, God is referred to as “holy, holy, holy!” If the Church serves a God worthy of a title which no earthy thing or creature deserves, how much more praise Christians should give! He is worthy of everything, and yet He asks for little. In the verse are traces of His mercy and love, as He does not ask His followers to die. Instead He asked Christians to live for Him. To give an entire life of praise is certainly a gift to me as a Christian.
God is no tyrant, He wants us to live for Him! Giving life, love, praise, adoration to God who surely deserves the title of “Holy of Holies”. Further, God wants us to actively pursue becoming more like Him. It truly is a test of love, because when you truly love something, you do everything in your power to become more like that person or thing. God deserves no less than our most respected idols of today! He instead deserves so much more!
The entire verse reminds me of an event that caused me to believe in God’s perfect will for my life with determination. It reminds me of multiple events in my life, but one in particular stands out.
This past spring semester has been a difficult journey, and eventually I came to the decision that I needed to transfer out of my current college. Although I reached a point where I thought my faith would be strong, I could not bring myself to search new colleges and begin the process of applying again. Instead, I prayed and asked God to give me the college I was supposed to be at. Over the next few weeks, I found the challenge of believing that God would show me a direction incredibly difficult. Eventually, I sat down and prayed out loud to God.
Though it was difficult, I knew that I needed to live in the moment’s God was giving me and wait. This action was the exact opposite of what the world would have done. I did not look into colleges, I simply waited for God’s direction. During those weeks, I felt as though I was giving more of my life to God than ever before. Constantly I struggled not to worry about the deadlines closing in on me, but to rest in God. The separation from the world’s thought gave me a new perspective, it renewed my mind. God came through and showed me the way to make it through the rest of this semester, and I am forever blessed for “His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Be blessed today.