Altar Ego: My longing for approval

Kay Roberts —  June 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

…by Brian Walker

Throughout this whole series we have been embracing the idea that our perception of ourselves is wrong on some level. We’ve explored letting go of our need for approval, our right to be offended, our need for control and our feelings of inadequacy. God is inviting us to let go of our ego (our false view of ourselves), placing it upon the altar as an offering. In return, we realize who we really are in Christ. We are children of the King! That is amazing!!

One idea that has been recurrent for me throughout this series is our call to become living sacrifices. Paul uses this term in Romans 12:1. “In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.” As we offer our lives to God we are slowly become a living sacrifice. Eventually, every action we take, every breath we breathe becomes an act of worship, bringing glory and honor to the Father.

Paul borrowed this imagery from the temple worship that was prevalent in his day. In temple worship, people would come to the temple to offer a sacrifice as an act of worship. Sacrifices were offered for many different reasons from paying the penalty for a sin committed to praising God. Whatever the sacrifice, there was always a cost to the person offering it. (Go checkout 2 Samuel 24:24. You’ll see that King David would not offer a sacrifice without it costing him something). In the same way, as we become living sacrifices it is costing us our very lives. But as we lose our lives for Christ sake we will find our true life in Christ (Matthew 16:25).

If you’re wondering, I’m far from becoming a complete living sacrifice. It is not something that happens overnight or even within a few years. Instead, becoming a living sacrifice is a life long journey. It is a daily surrender of our plans, our time, our relationships, our whole lives.

So how do we face each day offering our lives to God? The answer to this daily challenge can be found back in Romans 12:1- “In view of God’s mercy.” It is in view of God’s mercy, what He has done for us, giving His Son to save us that we come to a place that we have no other response but to offer our lives back to Him. The Scriptures tell us that we are not our own for we have been bought with a high price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). That price was Christ’s blood. It is in response to this that we offer our lives as living sacrifices to God.

I would challenge you to take a moment now and think of the most expensive thing you own. Now think of doubling or tripling its cost. That cost is marginal compared to what God has given you through His Son, but it should give you a starting place toward realizing how much mercy and love God has given you, and it can give you perspective and motivation to become a living sacrifice.

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