By: Jonie Buckley
“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
Offer your body as a living and holy sacrifice. God created us with His intricate design to bring glory to Him. How do we honor God with our body in this beautiful act of worship? How can our fleshly, worn, scarred, bruised, or failing bodies become holy, acceptable, pure, and pleasing when we sacrifice them to the Lord? By surrendering every part to Him. Our surrender becomes our sacrifice.
This is a continuous surrender because our flesh will always be at war with our spirit. This is why we need to endlessly die to ourselves and consecrate our bodies as we follow Christ.
“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’”
Luke 9:23 NIV
When we repeatedly surrender our bodies to King Jesus in His service, there will be many opportunities to say “no” to things of the flesh. Our new response becomes, “I no longer think/desire/hear/see/say/do/go to those things. My body belongs to God.”
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 NLT
Since the glory days of my childhood I have desired sugar and far too much of it. I found that I easily bowed to it. Sugar revealed to me that I am an ‘all-or-nothing’ girl as I seem to have zero self-control in this department. A little never satisfied. I previously gave it up during times of fasting, because it truly was a sacrifice, not only to my sweet tooth, but to my entire mouth of sweet teeth! At the beginning of 2021, I eliminated table sugar from my diet to see if it was contributing to my migraines. I quickly realized the power I had given sugar – over my desires and emotions – often treating it as an idol. (If it’s how you escape, calm down, feel happy, or what you “need,” it is an idol, therefore replacing God). A few months later, I was given the opportunity to dedicate my body to the Lord. Holy Spirit easily revealed that I needed to surrender this unhealthy addiction to sugar. It became part of my regular surrender. Once I did, my new dialogue to myself became, “I no longer consume sugar. My body belongs to God.” Now, I agree that may sound dramatic. Previous ‘sugar-addicted Jonie’ would read this and likely roll her eyes in complete denial. And I’m certainly not saying you should stop enjoying confectionery delectables. But through surrendering my body and offering it as a living sacrifice to Jesus, Holy Spirit revealed this as a Lordship issue that I needed to yield to Him. Surrender is not easy or pleasant, which is why it is our sacrifice. But yielding our bodies to God is crucial in developing spiritual maturity and allowing the rule and reign of God in and through us. As I surrender, I hold onto my declaration of, “My body belongs to God and therefore does not need sugar, it just needs Jesus.”
Consider what each of your senses take into the gateway of your mind, affecting your attitudes and actions: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. When we choose what is pure and pleasing to enter our bodies, what is good and pleasing to God will be the output. Perhaps your exercising, eating and drinking habits are not idols as they nourish your physical body. But maybe you need to surrender what your other senses are taking in – what are you watching, hearing, reading, speaking, or believing in your mind? What areas are God asking you to surrender in service to Him? What will be your personal declaration? “I no longer _________. My body belongs to God.” Are you bowing to your flesh, or to the King?
Would you consider dedicating your body in service to the Lord? Join me in this prayer of surrender:
I surrender every part of my body in service to You, that You have given me to glorify You:
I surrender my mind – that you would transform and renew my mind so that my thoughts become Your thoughts.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT
I surrender my heart - that you would align the desires of my heart to Yours.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” Psalm 37:4-5 NLT
I surrender my ears - that I may listen and be attentive to Your voice, Holy Spirit.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 NLT
I surrender my eyes - that I may see with spiritual eyes, what You want me to see.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” 2 Kings 6:16-17 NLT
I surrender my mouth - that I may speak words of Your truth, life and praise to You.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 NLT
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” Hebrews 13:15 NLT
I surrender my hands - that I may use them to worship You and serve You.
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 NLT
I surrender my feet - that they may go where you lead, to bring Good News for all.
“For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15 NLT
Father, I am depending on Your strength as I surrender each part of me for Your purposes. I know that my yielding every area of my life to You, brings Your Kingdom here, Jesus. Let Your Kingdom come and may Your will be done in and through my continuous surrender of sacrifice. Amen.