Living Sacrifice | Romans 12:1-2
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 | MSG
Waking up to God is waking up to the essential dynamic of worship being not random or regular or ritualized acts but the foundational action of offering up our own bodies as “living sacrifices.” After eleven chapters of theology in the book of Romans, this is Paul’s starting (and ending point, really) when he finally gets around to how this all applies to us. It’s been observed that the problem with “living sacrifices” is that the live ones tend to crawl off the altar and slip away. I like Peterson’s translation: “Take your everyday, ordinary life.” Not a momentous, extraordinary, remarkable sacrificial effort. Not the stuff of which headlines are made. But rather so ordinary, unnoticed and plain that it doesn’t even make the section with corrections in fine print. “Your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life” – all of it threaded through with God and grace and Life, forming a tapestry of kingdom come that is frequently only recognized from a distance. Signs of being awake, along with practices that help us to stay awake are as numerous as the individuals creatively seeking them out: Worship in song on Sunday or in the shower. Strumming a guitar to the Lord on a bright spring morning, just for him and you. Kneeling in prayer where no one can see. Stopping to watch a flight of geese in wondrous formation overhead, the beauty of a squirrel darting between branches, or the leaderless efficiency of a long line of ants. Listening to a stranger’s story. Weeping over a friend’s loss. All of life becomes a sanctuary, every step an act of worship, every movement of my body a prayer.
“Offer your body as a living sacrifice.” What does this look like for you?
Lord, shake the “you’re not good enough” or “that’s not enough” intimidation off me today. Set me free to enter this day as a sanctuary in which you and I live and walk together. Show me what it means for me to offer my body as a living sacrifice right here, in this body, in this life, on this day. Through Jesus.
Be intentional as you walk today out to your car, into your work or school. Don’t just “zone,” lift up your eyes and see people, trees, the clouds, the sun. See his hand at work. Savor the beauty. Praise him.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.