“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.” Romans 12:1 (NLT)
“Offering our bodies to God” is something we don’t talk much about. We talk a lot about offering our hearts, or our souls, or even our minds. But our bodies? It is so foreign to our thinking that it even sounds funny.
But God wants it. He wants all of us.
And just in case you might think that the word for “body” might, in its original language, mean something broader than our physical body — it doesn’t. I checked. The original word is soma, and it means, precisely in fact, the physical body, the flesh. (In later years, it also took on the meaning of the body of Christ, but again, in the very physical sense of Jesus’ followers being the tangible extension of Jesus on earth.)
God wants you. He wants your physical body — your flesh — too. Will you give it to Him? Will you make it holy and acceptable for Him?
I was reading in Jesus Calling the other day, and it said: “The free will I bestowed on you comes with awesome responsibility. Each day presents you with choice after choice. Many of these decisions you ignore and thus make by default.” (Jesus Calling, September 18) In other words, God allows me to make innumerable choices each day; many of those opportunities I am not recognizing as such and therefore am not making the choices I should. I am giving away my choice to habit or thoughtlessness or other people (or worse).
And for so many of us, the body suffers as a result. The choices we make (or don’t make) about what we are going to feed our bodies … the choices we make (or don’t make) about exercising and strengthening our bodies … the choices we make (or don’t make) about caring for and sanctifying our bodies. The many choices we don’t make that make our bodies unhealthy, undignified and unglorified. We, as a church, have forgotten to give our bodies to God. We, ironically called the body of Christ, have forgotten to make our bodies holy and acceptable to Him.
“Every day presents you with choice after choice.” So be careful then, how you live … making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16).
By the mercies of God, I urge you to offer your bodies to God …
This is your true and proper worship.