In Romans 12:1 God is asking you to present your body as an offering to Him.
I urge you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
God is very practical when He asks us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice on His altar: when He has our bodies, He also has the content!
In Matthew 23 Jesus was talking to the Pharisees and He is explaining to them the things that really mattered in their religion because they had got their values wrong. They were saying that the offering was more important than the altar on which it was offered. Jesus says:
You blind men, which is more important, the offering or the altar that sanctifies the offering?
That last phrase is very significant. It’s the altar that sanctifies the offering that’s placed upon it. What makes that offering holy is its being placed upon God’s altar. And that is how it is with your body. When you place your body on God’s altar, it becomes holy. It’s sanctified. It is set apart to God. But that is an act that you have to make. It must be your decision to make your body totally available to God.
What does that mean in practical terms? It means that you will go anywhere that God sends you, you will do anything. It may be a desert, it may be a city, it may be a mountain. You may be washing dishes, you may be preaching, you may have a salary, you may have no salary. You have renounced all those decisions to God. You have simply handed over your body to Him and said, “Here it is, God. I trust You to do what You desire and please with my body.” That’s presenting your body to God. Then there’s a result that follows in the mind. In the next verse of Romans 12, verse 2, Paul says this:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [find out and experience] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
When you present your body, strange though it may seem, a change takes place in your mind. You begin to think in a different way. God says your mind is renewed. And then, when your mind is renewed, you prove (you find out for yourself) what the will of God is. And Paul uses three words to describe the will of God, all of which are beautiful and exciting. He says it is good, it is acceptable, and it is perfect.
You will notice there is a progression. As you begin to discover God’s will, you discover it’s good. God always wants what is good for His children, never what’s evil. The further you go, you discover it is acceptable. It is what you really want, too. And then you come into full understanding—it is perfect, it covers every area of your life. It meets every need. There is nothing that isn’t provided for your good in the perfect will of God. But bear in mind, it’s only as your mind is renewed that you can find out the will of God.
You see, typically, religion works from without. It starts trying to change man from the outside. But God works from within. He says, “When I can begin to change your mind, then you’ll change. Your whole way of life will change, and I’ll be able to reveal to you My will which is good, acceptable and perfect.”
Thank You, Father, that I’m sanctified, set apart for You, now that I’ve put my body on Your altar. Thank You that, through Your Holy Spirit, You will renew my mind, so I may discover Your good, acceptable and perfect will for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!