The Principle of Dedication: Commit Your Body to God
By Rick Warren
— January 18, 2011
“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.” Romans 12:1 (NIV)
"The way you contaminate your body is by what you eat or drink, and the way you contaminate your spirit is by what your see or hear."
We all want to improve our lives. Every year Americans spend billions of dollars on products, books and seminars that we think will make our lives better. Sadly, most of them don’t work or they only produce short-term results.
The only thing that can guarantee true transformation in your life is found in God’s Word. Romans 12 teaches us six foundational principles for what it takes to change anything in your life. This week we’ll look at those principles.
The first principle is the Principle of Dedication: Commit your body to God. Any change in any area of your life begins with your physical body. Why? Because your body affects your behavior, and every change in your life requires energy. The reason most people never change is that they are too tired to change.
If you want to change, you have to make the choice. That is why the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 to “offer your bodies.” It has to be your choice. If you don’t choose to change, you are not going to change.
Paul then says we need to offer our bodies as a “spiritual act of worship.” Here are three practical ways to offer your body to God as an act of worship:
- Cleanse your body. I’m not talking about taking a bath. I’m talking about detoxing it. “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates the body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV).
The way you contaminate your body is by what you eat or drink, and the way you contaminate your spirit is by what your see or hear.
- Care for your body. “No one hates his own body, but lovingly cares for it just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church” (Ephesians 5:29 LB). God expects you to take care of your body by keeping it in good shape, getting enough rest, and eating the right foods for good nutrition.
- Control your body. “Each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 NIV). This means you tell your body what to do; it doesn’t tell you what to do. Controlling your body also means keeping it in good shape: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should do” (1 Corinthians 9:27).