Weekly Topic Saturday #35: A Living Sacrifice
Welcome to Weekly Topic Saturdays!
Hello all, I pray that your week was filled with joy and love. Welcome back to those who have been with me here at A Golden Dream. For my first-timers, a great big hello there, if you haven't already please check out my previous posts when you get a chance.
Please don't hesitate to join the conversation, there are no right or wrong answers or questions. I'm not proclaiming to know everything, I am simply just discussing and picking topics on things that I personally have gone through and that I know would help someone.
When I first heard about being a Living Sacrifice, I did not know what all it entailed. For those who don’t know it requires us to give up the things that the flesh desires and finds comfort in. Recently, we discussed in Ctrl+Alt+Delete, Spiritual Fitness, Your Body is An Investment, and The Subconscious Mind the things that we needed to do in order to become closer to God, prepare ourselves for the next phase in our lives, and to protect our mind.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Each and every one of us on this earth from the moment we are born up until our last breath has the opportunity to gain salvation. It's imperative that you remember that we only live in this world; we are not of the world. The things in this world are only temporary and will wither away. The only thing that is permanent and everlasting are the things that we store up in Heaven.
How To Be A Living Sacrifice
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.
When I think of being A Living Sacrifice I think about the song Yes by Shekinah Glory. The song talks about saying YES to God's will and his way. To be a sacrifice it takes our whole being, 100% of us, this includes our mind, body, heart, and spirit. Offering ourselves up to God means that we make the conscious decision each and every day to give up our desires and live out our lives obeying, praising, worshiping, and honoring God. When we offer ourselves up it means that we have Active Faith and that we trust in the plans that God has for us.
Renew Your Mind...Daily
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Like we discussed in the post The Creator, The Manual, The Invention, God (our creator) left us with the most important resource the bible (the manual). We will need this when times get rough for us, or when we (the invention) need guidance when we no longer decide to lean on our own understanding. The bible lets us know that in order to offer ourselves up as a sacrifice we have to first be transformed by renewing our minds daily. If you are anything like me you have already asked "how do we renew our minds?." Sit tight, I'll explain. To renew your mind it starts with transformation.
The best way to transform our minds would be through constant meditation on the truths within the Word. Once we have begun meditating on the Word the next step is applying what we are learning to our lives transforming our bodies in the process.
Asking God to guard and protect your mind from wickedness and things that are not of him. Ask for spiritual transformation and maturity. God already knows what you need he's just waiting for you to ask. Everything starts in the mind so start with God in prayer.
Meditate on The Word of God
Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and excellent. The bible tells us to think about these things. Pick a scripture and think about that scripture all day. When you're stressed, lonely, happy, frustrated, think about that word and let it penetrate your heart and mind to the point where it becomes muscle memory.
Surround yourself with good company
I use my spiritual village well. If I don't know something, I'm not the kind of person who will put on like I do. I will ask or research the living soul out of something until I have answers to the questions I have. I've always been like that since I was little. I ask my village who is more experienced in the bible to educate me in understanding and breaking down God's word so I can understand it. Create or find a village that will teach you and cover you and pray for your spiritual journey. Never stop learning and never stop being a student of Christ.
To become a living sacrifice for God, we have to be prepared and willing to fight the pull of the flesh. The flesh is very strong, it wants what it wants, and if you are not careful or prepared it can suck you in. The flesh craves the things that we as Christians are not supposed to indulge in like drugs, fighting, greed, lust, money, sexual immorality, and other fleshly desires. When the flesh is tempted, it will do anything it can to get what it wants. Think about some of the things that bring you pleasure but are not any good for you. I’ll give you an example if you got into an argument with someone the flesh would tell you to fight or cuss that person out. In cases like these, it's important to remember the tools, techniques, and tips that we talked about in Facing Confronting, someone who is a sacrifice for God would pray for that person, forgive them of their trespasses, not give in to their anger, and would walk away.
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10
I'm sure that many of you are aware of that little voice that is in the back of your head that calls out when you are about to do something that you shouldn't. That voice is the Holy Spirit stepping in. Part of being A Living Sacrifice for God is allowing the Holy Spirit's voice to guide our decisions and convict us when we do wrong. If you are reading this and thinking what voice, I don't hear a voice? Then you should first seek God and get to know him better, once you do that pray for his eternal guidance and you will be able to feel him and hear him clearly. It is only when we allow ourselves to belong to him wholeheartedly will we be able to have the strongest connection with God.
Being A Living Sacrifice is not something that you can force, or do begrudgingly, you have to want to do it willingly. We have discussed it before many times on this blog and it is mentioned several times throughout the bible that God wants a relationship with us but it is not something that he is going to force upon you. Like we discussed in Mindfulness: Your Choices Have Power God has given us the power to choose the direction that we wish to go in. So it is up to you to make the informed decision once you have read the bible, gotten to know God, and seen what has been promised to you in your next phase of life.
But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4
In the Attributes of God blog post, we talked about what some of the many attributes of God were and what each one of them means. To be A Living Sacrifice we must be holy and pleasing to God to be approved by him. God is holy, he is pure, he is the truth, he is loving, kind, fair, just, righteous, understanding, giving, honest, and so much more. We were made in his image, and we should all be aspiring to become more and more like him. None of us are or will ever be perfect but God wants to see the effort that you push forward and he will meet you the rest of the way. He knows that we are born into sin and that our fleshly desires will sometimes hinder our connection but he wants to know that we are dedicated enough to fight those temptations and do what we are supposed to do, to do what is holy.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
2 Timothy 1:9
God made the ultimate sacrifice when he sent his only son, Jesus, down from heaven to die for our sins. He didn’t have to save us but he did, he could have been like “Whelp,” and let us perish without even having a chance at eternal life. God chose to save us because he knew that we were meant for more because he knew that each and every one of us was worth it no matter who we are. When we make the conscious decision to turn our lives over to Christ everything we do from that moment on should be for the Glory of Him.
What things should I do to be more like Him,
what is pleasing to him?
What God finds pleasing is when we aspire to help others out of the kindness of our heart without looking for anything in return. When we are slow to anger and quick to listen by first seeking to understand rather than be understood. When we show mercy to others who have wronged us even if what they did was unspeakable. When we Love Without Limitations because God loves us in this way. When we forgive, show compassion, and empathy. These are the things that God finds holy and pleasing.
After these things God decided to test Abraham’s faith. God said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Yes!” Then God said, “Take your son to the land of Moriah and kill your son there as a sacrifice for me. This must be Isaac, your only son, the one you love. Use him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains there. I will tell you which mountain.” In the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took Isaac and two servants with him. He cut the wood for the sacrifice. Then they went to the place where God told them to go. After they traveled three days, Abraham looked up, and in the distance he saw the place where they were going. 5 Then he said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go to that place and worship. Then we will come back to you later.” Abraham took the wood for the sacrifice and put it on his son’s shoulder. Abraham took the special knife and fire. Then both he and his son went together to the place for worship. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!”
Abraham answered, “Yes, son? Isaac said, “I see the wood and the fire. But where is the lamb we will burn as a sacrifice?” Abraham answered, “God himself is providing the lamb for the sacrifice, my son.” So both Abraham and his son went together to that place. When they came to the place where God told them to go, Abraham built an altar. He carefully laid the wood on the altar. Then he tied up his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached for his knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord stopped him. The angel called from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” Abraham answered, “Yes?” The angel said, “Don’t kill your son or hurt him in any way. Now I can see that you do respect and obey God. I see that you are ready to kill your son, your only son, for me.” Then Abraham noticed a ram whose horns were caught in a bush. So Abraham went and took the ram. He offered it, instead of his son, as a sacrifice to God. So Abraham gave that place a name, “The Lord Provides.” Even today people say, “On the mountain of the Lord, he will give us what we need.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time. 16 The angel said, “You were ready to kill your only son for me. Since you did this for me, I make you this promise: I, the Lord, promise that I will surely bless you and give you as many descendants as the stars in the sky. There will be as many people as sand on the seashore. And your people will live in cities that they will take from their enemies. 18 Every nation on the earth will be blessed through your descendants. I will do this because you obeyed me.”
Another quality that we need to have is a worshiping spirit. We have to serve God through our worship. This is done through saying YES to God’s will and doing what he asks no matter what it is. This story in the Bible is a perfect example of someone who is A Living Sacrifice and willing to do anything that God asks them to do. Abraham was about to kill his one and only son for God even though he prayed and fasted for his son for so long, without question. This pleased God so much that he spared Abraham’s son's life and rewarded him with a promise and a blessing that would cover his family and their descendants.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Questions To Consider:
1. Will you sacrifice what is temporary for something that is eternally promised to you?
2. Do you possess the qualities needed to be a Living Sacrifice? If not, what qualities are you 3. lacking?
4. What has God called you to do that you have been neglecting?
5. Do you allow conviction to guide your decision?
6. Do you renew your mind and spirit daily? If not, why?
With Love, being a living sacrifice for God is not something to be taken lightly; it requires a lot and it requires dedication. A living sacrifice has to be prepared to fight the pull of the flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives through the power of conviction. Remember to pray to God and renew your spirit and your mind daily so that it can be clear to focus on God and the things that are Holy. Everything you do whether it be to eat or drink, do for the Glory of God.
~Just Breathe...A Golden Dream~