When the Music Fades- Part 2 (Presenting Your Life)
Rom 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you brethren by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Last week we talked about where a life of worship begins. This week we will start the conversation about where a life of worship ends. Meaning, what should a life of worship actually look like in the life of a believer? Paul starts out this 12th chapter of Romans by giving us very specific characteristics of a life of worship that is acceptable to God. He calls it our spiritual service of worship, also translated our “reasonable” worship. You see, in the previous chapter, Paul has just explained the amazing grace of God extended to us through salvation. He paints this detailed picture about a lack and depravity that existed in us and yet was totally eradicated through the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It’s in light of that grace, that he then urges us in this verse to live life in a very specific way. In fact, he tells us that this is actually the only reasonable way to live in response to what Christ has done. This week we will look at the first characteristic of that life of reasonable worship. A life presented.
The first thing Paul does in this verse is urge us to present our bodies/lives. The word present means to “place at someone’s disposal to do with how they see fit.” It means to relinquish all control and allow the one to whom you are presenting, the ability to make all decisions with no questions asked. It’s a life lived at the mercy of another. A life that gives access and permission. Paul is saying that the first step in a life of reasonable worship is presenting ourselves to God. Presenting ourselves to Him to do with as He sees fit. It sounds simple and yet, at times, is one of the hardest things to do. There is something about letting someone else steer the ship that makes most of us completely uncomfortable and deathly afraid. At least, that is what we tell ourselves. But the real truth is that we allow ourselves to be controlled by things all the time whether we realize it or not.
“Do not go on presenting your bodies to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead…”Rom 6:13
One reason why we aren’t presenting ourselves to the Lord is because we are spending our lives presenting ourselves to everything else instead. We are constantly presenting ourselves to people, places and things while inadvertently placing our lives, hearts and minds at their disposal. Some of these things are sins and some of them are not sins, yet they slyly lend themselves to the work of sin in our life. You see, we can work insane hours presenting ourselves to our careers, falsely believing that the places they take us will determine our worth. We can develop unhealthy habits presenting ourselves to our significant others, hoping that they will fulfill that gaping void in our hearts that was meant for Christ alone. We can even expend unfruitful efforts presenting ourselves to social media, searching for an identity that can never be found with the scroll of our fingers. We are consistently giving people and things access to our lives. We regularly hand over our emotions and allow life to do with them how it sees fit. You see, presentation is not our issue. Our issue is simply who or what we are always presenting to.
“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death or of obedience resulting in righteousness.” Rom 6:20
Friends, we cannot be deceived. What we continuously present ourselves to is, in the end, what will ultimately control us. You see, a lot of us have unintentionally and maybe even subconsciously become puppets in our quest for love, peace, success, and happiness. We allow these things to determine what we wear, how we think, or even our goals in life. They start out innocent and somehow snowball into that thing with which we filter everything else in life through. We present ourselves in front of them and allow them to call the shots about who we are and who we aren’t. They master us. You see, somewhere along the way that career ambition that we were so proud of turned us into a slave. Somewhere along the way that addicting love of that significant other turned us into a slave. And somewhere along the way that innocent fun on social media turned us into a slave. Friends, we cannot live genuine lives of worship, if we are simultaneously living shackled lives of slavery.
Our lives must be lived at the disposal of our King. He is the only one who has earned it and actually knows what to do with it. A life of worship is a life that gives Him total access to every part of our lives, allowing him to do with it whatever He chooses. It’s understanding the grace and mercy that has been lavished on us and in response saying, “God, here I am. Have your way!” You know, the beautiful thing about presenting our lives to God, is being able to trust that the plans He has for them are perfect. It’s the peace that comes with knowing that a life presented may not always be predictable, but will always be prepared. Prepared in the hands of a good, good Father who loves us to our core and promises to work everything out for our good. Friends, let’s stop slaving and start presenting. If that’s a part of reasonable worship, then anything less than that must be unreasonable.
Questions to Journal Through:
1. What are you constantly presenting yourself to? Who or what in your life has access to make you a slave? Make a list of your potential “slavemasters” and ask God to show you what to do in order to begin to take back that control.
2. Presenting ourselves to God feels risky. Be honest and ask yourself What is it that scares you about putting yourself in a position where Jesus can do anything he wants with you at anytime? Now invite Him into that.