man with hands raised in front of a rainbow
Praise Foundations

5 Ways to Present Your Body as a Living Sacrifice to God

When God established the Laws of righteousness under the Old Covenant through Moses, God’s people were instructed to worship Him by presenting a living sacrifice to God and to offer thanksgiving by lifting up a “wave offering” to Him. The Lord said these ways of honoring Him would be “…a perpetual statute throughout your generations and in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:9-14) 

The Lord’s established principle of offering a physical sacrifice in worship is affirmed over and over in the Bible. Under the New Covenant, you present your body as a living sacrifice to God and that will never be easy! Why? Because, a true sacrifice is the death of something that doesn’t want to die!

  • Timothy wrote, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubt.” (1 Timothy 2:8) 
  • David wrote, “So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” (Psalm 63:4) 
  • The author of Hebrews wrote, “Through Him, then, let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15) 

Praise and worship should always feel like a personal sacrifice – otherwise what’s the point? When you present your body as a living sacrifice, it means you won’t always feel like worshipping the Lord, but a sacrifice of praise has tremendous value in God’s eyes.

…a true sacrifice is the death of something that doesn’t want to die!

~Alicia Purdy

When you push past your feelings to literally present your body as a living sacrifice to God by setting aside your flesh to focus on ministry to the Lord in praise and worship, you are showing that your view of God is higher than your view of yourself. 

campfire

Fight the Flesh to Present Your Body as a Living Sacrifice

The thing about sacrifice is that something that is living has an internal, inherent, instinctive desire to live and it will fight back in order to avoid death

This is true in the natural world, but it is also true in the spiritual realm. Your spirit and your flesh are in a constant battle. So when you determine to present your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord as an act of worship, expect your flesh to fight back.

Spiritual worship and praise to the Lord will always conflict with your natural responses, but the Apostle Paul wrote that it is the will of God that you, “always give thanks…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Paul also wrote:

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5:17) 

The enemy doesn’t want you to offer your body as a living sacrifice to God because he understands the true power of a believer who is willing to set aside their flesh in a sacrifice of praise. God speaks the language of sacrifice! That’s why your spiritual service of worship involves the “death” of your flesh!

Your enemy tries to keep you ensnared in the natural realm as much as possible because he can defeat you there! But the daily, holy sacrifice of your physical actions of praise to the Lord will keep your spirit, heart, and mind strong in faith.

sacrifice of worship quote

In the New Testament, in the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote one of the great texts of Scripture about how praise and worship look in the New Covenant:

“I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2, MEV)

Satan wants you trapped inside of your feelings and experiences so he can torment your thinking and speak his lies. However, when you “walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) 

Worship is the sacrifice the things within you that need to die, but those things will not go without a fight!

man with hands raised in front of a rainbow

5 Ways to Present Your Body as a Living Sacrifice to God

It is natural to struggle at times in worship and praise even when your heart and spirit cry out and desire to praise Him. The battle against your flesh may be difficult depending on the season of life you’re walking through, but it is a worthy and necessary fight!

However, the sacrifice of praise in the Christian life is just that – a sacrifice – the dragging and forceful, aggressive, demanding requirement that your flesh submit to the spirit.  

The battle against your flesh may be difficult depending on the season of life you’re walking through, but it is a worthy and necessary fight!

~Alicia Purdy

The sacrifice of thanksgiving in praise and worship can mean singing a new song, raising your hands, shouting blessing to Him, kneeling, bowing, clapping – it is through this sacrifice where the true power of praise is seen in your personal life.

Take authority over your flesh and learn how to be a living sacrifice to God. Here are five things you can sacrifice:

You’ll have to sacrifice your inhibitions about other people’s opinions if you want to offer yourself to the Lord in true worship according to God’s will. 

The author of Hebrews wrote, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” (Heb. 12:1) This applies to praise and worship as well.

Some people feel more free to express themselves in worship and some don’t, but feelings are a natural state of being that prevent the spirit’s freedom.

The Bible is filled with expressions of praise to God from His people using their physical bodies, as seen in the Seven Hebrew Words for ‘Praise’, proving that presenting your body as that physical sacrifice is a vital and important part of true praise. 

Learn more about the 7 Hebrew Words for Praise and how each one helps create strength, intimacy, and fresh revelation as you understand more about God’s plan for praise in your life!

The world can’t give you eternal life nor anything else of lasting value, so don’t worship their opinions!

Inhibitions and people’s opinions and self-consciousness block your spirit’s ability to remain God-conscious. The pattern of this world shows that those walking in darkness worship themselves. (Romans 1:28-32)

Who cares who is watching! Who cares what they think! Your worship and praise are to the glory of God, for an audience of One. It’s time for inhibitions to die as the sacrifice of praise!

To truly present your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord, you’ll have to sacrifice your emotions like frustration, sadness, anger, depression, or hardness of heart. For the people in the Kingdom of God, faith and feelings will always conflict. 

Paul wrote that believers must “…walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) 

  • The joy of the Lord will be your strongest weapon when you’re in a battle against depression, anxiety and fear. 
  • In God’s presence is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)
  • God dwells within the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3)

Many believers become stuck in thinking that good deeds are forms of praise and worship, such as giving money to the church, or serving others, but those are not Scriptural forms of praise, nor worship.

“Minister to Me…” the Lord says in Exodus 28, and throughout the establishment of the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, it is clear that proper worship and praise are God-centered. Ministry to the Lord is the purpose of sacrifice.

Feeling like praising the Lord is great, but when you don’t feel like it, even if you’re angry or disappointed with God – He already knows. Don’t turn your back on God – turn your face to Him and praise and worship the Lord in FAITH!

Praise and worship are spiritual weapons that will keep you mind off of how you feel in the natural realm. It is a strategy for victory!

Jesus is Lord sign

The peace that passes understanding will be the strongest weapon when you’re in a storm. God’s love that covers a multitude of sins will be the most powerful weapon when you’ve been betrayed, hurt or mistreated. Your emotions will block your connection with God in worship if you give them that permission. 

It’s time for your natural and carnal emotions to die as the sacrifice of praise!

You’ll have to deny yourself and take up your cross to follow Christ Jesus every, single day and sacrifice to Him your mindset from things like doubt, carnal thinking and expectations or assumptions to be a truly living sacrifice. God will not take your issues from you if you won’t willingly give them to Him, but the mercy of God will cover what you freely give!

Being transformed by the “renewal of your mind” is a daily process of sanctification that takes place over time, but the Lord promised that:

  • You will be like Him when you see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)
  • You’ll see Him in worship – He dwells there! (Psalm 22:3) 

That is why the enemy wants to keep you snared by things like:

  • Self righteousness (Mark 2:16-17)
  • Theological traditions (Matthew 15:6-9)
  • Following your heart (Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 17:9)
  • Carnal thinking (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

You have a new life in Christ Jesus, and nothing the world can offer will give you more than God’s mercy has given you.

God’s Word is the only source of truth in existence and everything you believe must line up with that. After all, “…how can two walk together unless they agree”? (Amos 3:3) 

  • Know your Heavenly Father through His Word where the Holy Spirit brings it alive through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:12). 
  • Pattern your life after the principles you see in the life of Jesus, the Son of God.
  • Put down your flesh daily by making time to lift your hands in praise to the Lord, lifting Him high above yourself.

If you want to go deeper in worship, it’s time present your body as a living sacrifice as your fleshly, natural mindset dies within the spiritual, supernatural sacrifice of praise!

God turns mourning into dancing verse

You’ll have to sacrifice your experiences like pain and anxiety, bad choices, victimization, injustice, racism and mistreatment. Every, single person on earth experiences difficult seasons in life.

  • Sometimes you invite problems through our your bad choices.
    • But God will work out even the worst parts of life for His glory for those who love Him and walk according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). 
  • Sometimes you are under a spiritual attack of the enemy who works through people to cause harm.
    • But you have the Holy Spirit of God, the presence of God, the power of God, and the Word of God as your weapons!
  • Sometimes “life happens” and people make mistakes or don’t intend to cause harm, although they hurt you nonetheless.
    • But God will turn your mourning into dancing. (Psalm 30:11-12)

Your experiences aren’t God’s fault. 

God doesn’t partner with darkness. (1 John 1:5) He is good, and is a misunderstanding of His Word to think that God causes bad things in order to produce good results. No! 

Romans 8:28 is clear: God uses bad things (which He did not cause) to work out good for His people, making a show of Satan openly! God is GOOD, and in reality, it is by His great mercy that things aren’t worse!

God is GOOD, and in reality, it is by His great mercy that things aren’t worse!

~ Alicia Purdy ~

You may have had bad experiences, but turn to a good God and He will help, guide, provide, heal and restore. If you want to experience a greater intimacy with God, it’s time for your past experiences to die as you present your body as a living sacrifice of praise!

What does it mean to present your body as a living sacrifice? In the most literal sense, your body itself must become part of your praise – your hands, your words, your knees, your voice, your instruments – shouting, singing, clapping, bowing, dancing. 

Nothing should be off the table as a sacrifice when the Lord prompts your spirit, because God sacrificed Himself for you, first.

In the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant of the Law, God’s people always offered a whole, burnt offering of animal sacrifices in praise to the Lord because the sacrifice and the blood foreshadowed what Christ would one day do. It’s the same in the New Covenant.

God honors the cost of your sacrifice because He sacrificed His own Son.

~Alicia Purdy ~

There is no longer a sacrifice of animals required, but flesh is still what the Lord desires. Why? God honors the cost of your sacrifice because He sacrificed His own Son. So, putting down your flesh creates an open invitation in the spirit for the Lord to come in.

This is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do if you’re not comfortable with physical expressions of worship. Many Christian traditions downplay the role of your body in worship and it’s unacceptable in some churches to clap or raise your hands. 

That is a misunderstanding and misuse of Scripture the enemy has used in the body of Christ to prevent you from sacrificing yourself to the Lord in worship.

Here’s a challenging thought: 

If you’re comfortable in how you express your praise, are you really offering a sacrifice of praise to Him?

Even Jesus danced in worship. (Luke 10:21) Jesus, Himself, sang praises to His Heavenly Father. (Matthew 26:30)

Remember what Paul wrote, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.” 

If you’ve been asking God for more, it’s time for your body to die as the sacrifice of praise!

A heart that is filled with worship and gratitude is a powerful place to start, but praise without sacrifice and physical expression is an incomplete act and is not what God, Himself, has asked for.

Asaph wrote, “Make your vows to the Lord your God, and fulfill them;  let all who surround Him bring tribute to Him who is to be feared.” (Psalm 76:11)

Psalm 89:15 says, “Blessed are the people who know the joyful shout…” 

Maybe these sacrifices and expressions of praise conflict with your experiences or the theology of your denomination or the culture or expectations of the church you attend – God is already aware of that! But that doesn’t change what His Word says.

Now you have a point of sacrifice and there will be days when even just singing is a sacrifice that day. Praise and worship are physical acts of surrender through your body because all sacrifices are physical in praise. 

Here’s what’s the most important: If you’re willing to be challenged in your worship, present your body as a living sacrifice and the Lord will speak a new thing in you and through you and to you!