By Pastor G Ngulube
Therefore, I urge you, 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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. `Romans 12:1-2`
We are still in the process of positioning ourselves to manifest God’s Glory. We have seen that we need to be transformed, i.e. go through metamorphosis in order to be in a position to manifest God’s glory. This process however, is preceded by presenting our bodies as living and holy sacrifices to God. Let us explore that process in detail.
The topic scripture says to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service of worship.
Worship is not about singing songs to God. It is about surrendering our lives as a sacrifice to Him. That is true worship. The word translated to worship in Hebrew means to bow down in the presence of God and surrender to Him. And when we do that then He will start to transform us and remove our conformity to the world by the renewing of our minds.
Where are sacrifices made? On an altar
What happens on an altar? Something gets killed and fire comes.
So when we talk of presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, there is an altar where that needs to be done. There is death that takes place and fire comes as part of that process.
Where is refining and purifying done? In a crucible or furnace
How is it done? By Fire.
Our God is a consuming fire. Yes, He is a wonderful lamb but he is also a powerful lion. So there is grace and mercy on one side of His character, to prepare us for His fire to transform us into the image of Jesus.
Matthew 3:11 says, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
- There is a fire that comes with God’s presence that is supposed to change and transform us.
Zechariah 2:5, ‘For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’
- So God is here as a wall of fire and to enter glory you must go through the fire of transformation. That fire transforms us so that we can enter deeper and higher into the presence of God and into the realms of heaven.
Hebrews 12:28-29, Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
We offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe, it is not something that you can take lightly. You can’t present yourself on an altar and take it lightly. It is a really serious thing because God takes hold of us there and if we surrender, He will start doing things in our lives for our God is a consuming fire. Fire transforms the molecular structure of something. For example, when wood burns, the outer structure gets really hot and begins to emit gas and eventually it turns to charcoal.
You see you can’t destroy anything; you can just change its form. So when God’s fire comes, it does not destroy it just changes the form. Transformation takes place as the substance is changed to another e.g. wood into charcoal.
So those are the steps we will find in our lives.
The heat will start to get turned up, things will start to happen in our lives which will put us in a place where we will have to consider change, where we can’t stay the same. We get to that stage when we say there has got to be more than this. Once we get to that stage, we will start pursuing what there is more than where we are.
If you are happy where you are, you will not be very comfortable when the heat gets turned up. But if you are in a place of I want more, you can embrace the heat because what it does is that it puts us in a place of transition, where things that were rigid in our lives start to get loosened up, and those bonds start to break and the things which are hidden suddenly start to come out. There is a release of things that causes change to start to take place. Those things we want changed in our lives start to burn and get changed from one thing to another.
Revelation 8:5, Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
- The fire is heavenly and we can access heaven.
So where is the altar that we need to come to now? It is in the tabernacle.
And Where is the tabernacle? In the heavenly realms, that’s where it is because there is no longer an earthly tabernacle.
My life is the tabernacle of God’s presence. We enter the tabernacle in the heavenly realms where the altar is and we can go and present ourselves. We step into the heavenly realms by faith through Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Exodus 29:16-17, And you shall kill the ram and you shall cut the ram in pieces and wash its entrails and legs and put them with its pieces and its head, (on the altar)
The lamb was killed, so the living sacrifice cannot come without the flesh dying in surrender. They drained the blood, they skinned it, split it open and washed the inner organs and split open the back bone to reveal the marrow. They chopped off its head and cut its legs. That is what they did to a sacrifice and that is the process that was followed in preparing it.
Who prepares the sacrifice? It was the High Priest.
The sacrifice was presented to the High Priest who then prepared it. So we present ourselves to Jesus who is our High Priest who then prepares the sacrifice.
Jesus said we have to do this daily, deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
We engage heaven through the cross of Christ where we have our sins washed away by His blood and have the divine exchange as we get what Christ accomplished for us at the cross. We enter the heavens through the veil of Christ where we present ourselves as living sacrifices, and God transforms us into the image of His son.
Prayer to present yourself as a living sacrifice to our God.
Father, I thank you that through your mercy you have made a way for me to access your heavenly presence. I choose to deny myself, take up the cross and follow your way. I choose to lose my life to gain your life. I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross. I step into the realm of your government. I come to trade on the brazen altar of covenant exchange. I exchange my sin for your righteousness. I exchange my rejection for your acceptance. I exchange my guilt for your forgiveness. I exchange my sickness for your health. I exchange my old life for your new life. I exchange my old identity for your new identity. I exchange my old name for your new name. I exchange my old nature for your new nature. I exchange my old bondage for your new freedom. I exchange my old records for your new records. I exchange my past for your future. I exchange my darkness for your light. I exchange my weakness for your strength. I exchange my thoughts for your thoughts. I exchange my character for your character. I exchange my ways for your ways. I step back into this realm forgiven cleansed and clothed with righteousness. I am empowered for transformation to manifest your glory, bringing heaven to earth through my life.
Make this a way of life, daily denying yourself, taking up the cross, and following Him – into the realms of heaven.