I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ISV
Today we would like to take a closer look at the steps you and I should take to discern God’s perfect will for our lives. Time and space permit us to only cover one step in this episode. We’ll treat the other equally vital steps in subsequent episodes. Let me hasten to add that we are not talking about some shortcuts here. Shortcuts are often wrong cuts!
Now, the first step is to DAILY PRESENT YOUR BODY to God as a living, holy and pleasing sacrifice. Why does Paul start with our bodies rather than our spirits? Well, one reason is that this Scripture is addressed to believers-that is, to people whose spirits are born again. As such our inner man (spirit) is already surrendered to God. So the problem is not so much with the status of our spirit-man but with that of our bodies.
Beloveds, I have met so many genuine Christians whose bodies are not fully surrendered to God. How can we tell? To start with, if you struggle to shout praises to God with your mouth and voice, you may be stifling your body’s surrender to God. If you are so inhibited in the presence of God that you can hardly lift up holy hands in worship, you’ve not fully yielded your body to Christ. When you are asked to clap your hands unto the Lord, and you respond reluctantly, as if it’s quite a bother, check your physical surrender to God.
There is a lie of the devil that we don’t need to worship God with our bodies. That’s where we miss it! Many have misinterpreted Jesus’ statement that the Father seeks those who worship Him in spirit and truth to mean our bodies don’t matter in worship. Lord have mercy!
Beware of a spirituality that marginalises the physical dimension. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are to love the Lord with our mental, spiritual as well as our physical realms. Look, the primary means by which we bless the world and make a difference in society is through our physical (bodily) faculties. That’s why God wants us to glorify Him THROUGH OUR BODIES.
For instance, we cook delicious meals with our physical hands, speak words of comfort and encouragement through our physical lips, hug our loved ones with our physical arms, hold our precious babies on our physical laps, and carry heavy loads for our families on our physical shoulders, to name a few examples. We laugh, sing and dance using our physical faculties. We write, read and listen using our physical senses. There is so much we do for others and ourselves using our bodily functions that we couldn’t possibly cite all examples.
But suffice it to say that the first step to discovering God’s good, perfect and acceptable will for our lives is to present our physical lives to Him. If you dedicate your physical senses to worthless sights, stories, sounds and situations, don’t blame anyone if you have no clue about your purpose and significance. What will you do?
Pastor Josh