Sunday, 14 March 2010

Pleasing God

I've been challenged to think about pleasing God by Rachel Olsen, who wrote a devotional about Jonah. This, though, was the first verse I thought of:

Therefore, I urge you, sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1, NIV: check it out in The Message, too.)

To offer my body - my female, imperfectly made, sometimes poorly maintained body - as a living sacrifice: how?

My instinctive question would not be HOW, but WHY? Why would God want my body?

Silly question, really.
He made me just as I am – with a little help from me in the way of adding some extra fat cells.
He made me because He loves me – hard to understand sometimes, but one thing I do know is that He loves me enough to send Jesus my superhero to rescue me.
He made me perfect in every way – and nothing is more pleasing to him than to see me use that body perfectly for his glory.

That’s my view of God’s mercy, so the thought of offering my body as a living sacrifice is a huge incentive. Inspirational, even.

So I say to my hands: OK, hands, whatever you do today, you’re doing it for God, right? So think about all the good stuff you could do. Writing encouraging words; caring for someone in sorrow; serving someone in need.

I say to my feet: I’m glad you’re here and working well. Now, just be careful where you take me. Don’t just worry about taking me to the wrong places: I’d like you to take me to the right places, to the places God wants me to go.

I say to my mouth: smile, God loves you. That way others will know that God loves them, too. Jesus reminds us that “What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'” (Matthew 15:11) and even more scary is “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) I ask my mouth to speak only words which will bless my hearers.

I say to my eyes: choose carefully what you look at today. Psalm 101:3 says “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.” (New Living Translation) and Psalm 119:37 asks God to help me turn my eyes away from worthless things.
Psalm 123 (verses 1 and 2) says “I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God…” Don’t you just love the idea of being so devoted to the Lord that your eyes refuse to look anywhere else?

I say to my heart and mind: just do what Paul says in Philippians: fill up and meditate on “things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (Chapter 4 verse 8 – 9, The Message)

Now THAT is pleasing God.


  1. Such a unique way to present this... and in such a way I can completely relate!! Passing this on to my friends!! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you Mel! This carnival is so lovely, meeting others through it. I really enjoyed your blog entry: how interesting that we both thought of Philippians 4!

  3. I enjoyed reading your post today and love the way you addressed the topic! I too am enjoying this carnival as it allows me to discover new blogs.

  4. Thank you liv - this is such fun!

  5. As I read your post, I was reminded that God created us in His image. If we follow the words of your post, and truly consecrate our entire being to Him, others will see reflected in us, the Image of our Heavenly Father. Thank you for opening my eyes to see my body and my responsibility to others in a whole new way.