Romans 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
What God sees all the time is worship. We tend to see our lives through the lens of hobbies, shopping, voting, and relationships, but, to God, we’re always worshipping someone or something.
Many years ago, I was a young pastor. I know that’s hard to believe now, but I’ve been a senior pastor half my adult life and used to be young back when we rode dinosaurs to church.
Anyways, a young woman came up to me after service and, at the time, I pastored a lot of college students and young, urban singles. She told me she had given her heart to Jesus but was living with and sleeping with her boyfriend.
Her argument and justification were “We’re two consenting adults and no one’s getting hurt. What’s the big deal?”
I told her there are two men in your life – your boyfriend and Jesus. I asked her which one was most important, which one was in the glory position. You know what she said? Jesus.
“Does Jesus want you to live with your boyfriend?” “Does Jesus want you to sleep with your boyfriend?” “Is your boyfriend a Christian?” “Does Jesus want you to date your boyfriend?” Her answer to all of these questions was, of course, no.
I had to share with her a tough truth – God was not in the glory position in her life, her boyfriend was. In a choice between Jesus and the boyfriend, she had picked the boyfriend. I told her “Jesus sees the bed as an altar and you’re offering your body as a living sacrifice. What you’ve created is a cult and he’s the high priest and you’re the sacrifice and the apartment is the temple.” Even though she didn’t see it that way, God did.
We worship our way into trouble, and we worship our way out of trouble.
Take alcohol, for example. If you drink too often, what are you going to sacrifice? Your liver, your health, your job, your income, your family, your future. The alcoholic is a worshipper who passionately worships the bottle. The bottle always lies and says it’ll make things better, but it never does.
If you worship the Creator, can you enjoy a glass of wine? Yes. Jesus did. Some people will say that they can never have a drink because alcohol is undefeated in their life. They can either worship God or if they touch alcohol, it replaces God and takes over their life. Someone in that position needs to abstain out of worship to God. But for many people, it’s not a sin to have a glass of wine.
Our worship becomes skewed when we move what can be a good thing (or a bad thing) into God’s place. If we keep God in the glory position in our life, in the position of what gets the most glory and attention in our lives, then we have freedom in Christ to enjoy certain things this world provides us.
What’s in the glory position in your life?
To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.