“Therefore I urge you brother, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodes as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1
This has always been one of my favorite verses. No not because it has the name of an amazing hardcore band (Living Sacrifice) in the title. It is one of those verses that shows the resolve we are supposed to have as Christians. Sure I mess up all the time and I DO NOT offer my body as a living sacrifice, well before I get ahead of myself let me tell you what I am talking about.
Before Christ was sacrificed as the final sacrifice for human kind, people used to sacrifice animals, grain, etc etc. When it came to animals there were two kinds of sacrifices a living one a dead one (each used for different severities of sin, bare in mind this is old testament law). Anyways. THink of it this way, if you take a calf kill it and through it on the fire to be burned as a sacrifice to God, thats it, it burns up and its over. Now do the same thing with a live calf and see the difference. It will kick and scream and do everything in its power to get off that sacrificial alter to save its life. I realize this is somewhat of a disturbing picture, but that is in essence what we are called to do as Christians.
Paul is saying when our life is hard, when everything is going wrong and you don’t want to live anymore. When it seems easier to just give into the tempation, or depression, or “the flames” seem to hot to handle, stay on that alter. Don’t run away, don’t jump off to save yourself in doing so you will only end up hurting yourself. It is those times that God can use to strengthen you.
James 1:2-4 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perservereance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” We are going to face times that for lack of a better word SUCK. It will often seem like there is nothing good that could every come out of these times, but when we stay on that altar and look up to Jesus and say “God be my strength” he will answer. Our God is faithful to answer, and he has promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Key words God is faithful , he will also provide a way out, this isn’t a flippant statement it is a promise.
Next time you feel like its just not worth it, and all the walls are falling on you don’t give up, Jesus is there always watching over you, call out to him and let his wounds heal yours.