Therefore, I urge you, brothers, 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. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1,2 (NIV)
When Solomon prayed and dedicated the Temple of the Lord, "fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple." (2 Chronicles 7:1 NIV) The priests were given responsibility to keep the fire burning on the altar continuously. So, too, as believers in Jesus Christ, baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire, we are to keep the fire of God burning in our hearts and "not put out the Spirit's fire." (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NIV) The priests offered animals on the altar, day after day, watching to see that the offering was completely consumed. We are to present our bodies-our whole being-as living sacrifices to the Lord, continually. We must also watch to see that the offering is consumed. Certainly, I am not speaking of an offering for our salvation. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross paid the price for our redemption, and we can add nothing to that with works. But we are to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling." Our flesh, our will, our minds still need to be surrendered and consecrated to God. This is the sacrifice that Paul speaks of in Romans 12:1,2. We must turn from the pattern of the world and renew our minds-change our focus from what we want to what God wills. The only way to do this is by looking into the Scriptures as one would look into a mirror. When we see the areas of carnality in our lives as revealed by the Word, then we must submit that area to the Lord and allow Him to burn away the sin and purify us just as gold is purified by fire.