In response to her post…
I have often thought of what it means to be a living sacrifice. I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers, so what I’m going to say is not opposed to what it meant to Sam, just in addition to. As a living sacrifice, I don’t die at the time of giving my life to God. Oh no, I am constantly – even painfully – giving up pieces of myself every time I stand in the presence of God. And though I sacrifice myself to God, I am still living – living to serve Him with my every breath, action, and word. Me giving myself to God is not the end. It’s in living that my sacrifice has meaning. So to be a living sacrifice, is to live my life in a constant state of sacrifice; always giving my body (not just my physical body, but my mind, will, desires, etc.) to God for his purpose and glorification. This is just one reason that I choose to dress as I do, because my body isn’t mine, but something I have given to God, and he tells me to keep it pure, so I’m not going to give it away to anyone who cares to look.
In these past few months, I have started preparing to lead a discipleship group for girls called BRIGHT (Being Radiant In Godliness, Holiness, and Testimony) Lights. As seen in the title, the three main “pillars” of the group are Godliness, Holiness, and Testimony (i.e. Ministry). So Sam’s definition of “holy” caught my eye. Very early on in the leaders training, Sarah Mally (founder of Bright Lights ministries and author) made a point of really helping us (those listening, or the potential leaders) understand holiness. And like Sam said, “holy” things are more than religious symbols, in fact, “holiness” is even more than being like God – that’s godliness. While holiness is very similar, it’s also very different. Some synonyms for “holy” are reserved, exclusive, set apart, separated, clean, designated, dedicated, consecrated, sanctified, and special. The opposite of holy, is common.
“Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence to God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1b
I absolutely love this verse! And the funny thing is, I just realized that this morning. Whenever I start to stray into the borderland of what’s right and wrong, I pray that I will remember this verse and apply it – purifying myself from EVERY contamination, whether big or small.
In the Amplified version, 2 Corinthians 7:1b says, “Let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.”
As defined in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, contaminate is to defile; to pollute; to tarnish; to taint.
Encarta World English Dictionary defines contaminate as “to make something impure, unclean, or polluted, especially by mixing harmful impurities into it or by putting it into contact with something harmful.”
So in 2 Corinthians, God is telling us to stay away from anything harmful, to purify ourselves from all the polluting influences in our lives. Why? So that we may be completely (wholly) set apart and dedicated to God. And that is exactly what I desire to be!
Sorry for that digression! But after writing about holiness, it only seemed fitting to include that verse and the meaning God impressed upon my heart this morning.
Waiting in my Father’s will,