Okay, now that we have the context of Romans 12 out of the way, let’s dive in!
Like many people out there my New Year’s Resolution is to be healthy. I think the majority of my time I ignore my body. I am always in my own head. My body’s usefulness includes walking, sitting, and sometimes bending over. My resolution this year is to, quite frankly, acknowledge my body. How? By exercising, stretching, and possibly giving it some high fives throughout the day.
I also need to acknowledge that my body can do a lot more than I think. I am capable of so much more. The question I really need to ask is quite simply, how can I serve God with my body this year?
In Romans 12, Paul answers the question, “What does the application of our received righteousness look like?” How as a Christian do I reflect the righteousness I have received from Christ? How do I give thanks to God for the mercy He gave me?
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice…”
As Christ gave his life as a sacrifice, we must do the same. How do we do this? By discerning and following the Will of God (the answer is in verse 2). Following the will of God can sometimes be incredibly difficult and frustrating, and definitely humbling. At times I want to ignore His Will. I want to do my own thing. I want my life to go this way and I want complete control over my body and what I do with it. But here’s the thing: My body is God’s. When you become a Christian you call Christ Lord and you give yourself up as a living sacrifice and that means doing the the Will of God.
Doing the Will of God can mean anything (fasting, talking to a certain person, giving to the poor, moving across the world, etc.) and at times, people have manipulated the Will of God to suit their own will, which is why Paul later tells us to test the Spirit of God.
For me personally, I see 2015 as a year of slowing down, paying attention to my body, to what God is doing and wants to do in my life, and how I can truly serve Him.
So in this dead of winter where it’s negative degrees outside (I live in Chicago!), I ask God to continue to renew me; to transform me into the woman He created me to be.