The apostle Paul urges us to, “..offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God,” (Romans 12:1). What does that mean? Have you ever said this to God, maybe in a morning prayer? We sing the old hymn, “I Surrender All”, but what is ALL? Would we dare pray, “Father God, I offer most of my body a living sacrifice to You but I’m gonna keep part of it for myself.” Or sing, “I surrender some. I surrender some.” Sounds silly doesn’t it? But, I’m afraid, that is exactly what many of us do.
The Levitical sacrifices of animals were such that the animal was killed, its blood sprinkled or poured around or on the altar, and the remainder of the animal was burned either entirely or consumed in some manner. But when the sacrifice was over, there was no animal left. The animal’s body was offered as a sacrifice and it surrendered all. Are we willing to do the same?
Actually, I don’t want to keep part of me to control because I’ll mess it up as we have all done. I want God to take all of me but that is hard to do. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well“. (Matthew 6:33). He says to put all these other things, even our bodies, desires, wants, back down the list and seek God first. Give Him all that, (offer Him everything), and see what happens. We can’t even think or imagine what will happen, (see Ephesians 3:20). Remember the rich young ruler in Luke 18? He was invited to “surrender all” and follow Jesus and could possibly have been the next disciple but he refused because he, “was very wealthy” (verse 23).
Let’s think about what it will take for us to “offer our (whole) bodies” and “surrender all”. Are we willing? It will take a commitment similar to the commitment an Olympic athlete makes compared to the commitment of a 5 year-old in T-ball. God wants us. He wants us all and ALL of us. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so we could do the same. The time is now.