“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.” [Romans 12:1]
It is not easy to be a “Living Sacrifice.” After all, if a sacrifice is dead, it will just lie still and allow the fire to consume it, right? Being alive, however, is an entirely different arrangement. A living sacrifice? Really? To be honest, there are many times I want to crawl off the altar when the fires get heated up; when circumstances are such that I need a deeper level of trust and a deeper level of understanding. But as a living sacrifice, I am called to offer myself holy and acceptable unto God no matter the circumstances.
I think of when the Israelites were wandering around in the desert. The Word of God says that God had them do that to test them to see what was truly in their hearts, because He knew that once they went into the Land of Canaan that they would be given blessing after blessing in abundance. He knew that their hearts would turn from Him, and that they would forget that He was their Source, and that the blessings were only resources from His hand. So, He tested them by bringing them up against different obstacles so that they had to learn to look to Him first instead of allowing fear, anxiety, and worry to overwhelm them. Time after time they seemed to forget what He had provided for them in the past and they would fail the test.
As a living sacrifice, I don’t want to fail the test. I don’t want to forget who my Source is because I know that my Source is the Lord God Almighty. That He has already prepared the path before me. He already has the answers. He already has the resources ready, just like He did for the children of Israel. He performed miracle after miracle of provision when He parted the Red Sea; brought water out of a rock; rained down manna from heaven every morning for them to be able to pick up and supply their daily need for food. One after another, He faithfully provided the resources that they needed. All they needed to do was to look to Him, remember Him, and to remember Who their Source was and to seek Him first.
That is also the challenge for us today isn’t it? When we are faced with great need and the circumstances of this life seem to be out of control and ready to overtake us, may we remember that our God may be allowing those times of uncertainty to test us and to see if we will turn to Him and seek Him first. To see if we will be mindful that the His is our Source and remember His faithfulness in providing for our needs in the past. To know that nothing is impossible for Him and nothing is too hard for Him. So, let us cling to the horns of the altar though the fires of adversity and obstacles may burn. Let us learn to trust Him more fully as we look to Him first. Our God is forever faithful.
I want my heart to be steadfast, LORD. I want my mind to be steadfast. I don’t want to be shaken by anything that comes my way. I know, God, that You are testing me and You are checking to see if I’ve learned the lessons from the past; if I’ve grown in my trust; if my “trust muscles” are a little stronger this time around. I confess that I have low times, but LORD I know that You are for me and You have the way prepared, and that You will provide. I love You, LORD. Thank You. Amen.