I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
I remember my life before Christ having a constant theme. The child who sought freedom from an oppressive upbringing took his instant adult liberty to unhealthy limits. I had no desire to learn my lessons from others’ experiences, their failures and successes. My life was my life to mold and direct. It was me against the world, and I would do things my way. It was the great confusion of liberty with ownership. Freedom can do that to people, make them think that they must be the force behind their lives because they are no longer under the thumb of another and can be free to be themselves. But for those who have given themselves to Christ in exchange for his sacrifice, the title of these lives now belongs to him.
Our faithful Christian service to the Father is about giving him the reins of control not as some superficial act of submission but as recognition of the fact that we completely belong to him. Our sacrifice of the living body is a testament to our purpose here, which is the glorify him with the lives of which we are merely stewards. The truth is that nothing here is exclusively ours. This time is for us to use for him. Our personal relationships are for us to be Christ to others. The work we do is for us to bless him and his kingdom with the labor of our hands and minds. We must put to death the idea that any of this belongs to us. Even our bodies are his, which is clear from the fact that his Spirit resides within us. These are his temples for his glorification.
Our obedience to God rests on several foundations. It is difficult to submit certain areas of life to him if we refuse to recognize that they belong to him. Some think they can put one foot in the kingdom and still retain their false sense of ownership over some things. This only leads to compromise and disobedience. Submitting the heart, mind and soul to God is incomplete when we still direct the body. If the body is not led by the Spirit it will be left to follow the flesh, and that is when we take what belongs to God and defile it as if that were our decision to make. Father, bring us to complete submission to You and the recognition that everything about us is truly yours.