Leviticus 22:20: You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable for you.
What we offer to God should be the best, because that is what he wants. In the book of Malachi, God was against the people who show disrespect to him by the inferior kind of offering they present to him. He asked them: “if you present a blind animal to your governor, will he accept it? But you present to me (a deficient animal) a without any ado.” And God expressed his displeasure (Malachi 1:6-14).
When Paul said that we should offer our bodies to God, he said that it should be holy and acceptable to God, being the only logical thing we can offer. It will not be acceptable, if it is not holy (deficient in any way) then it is not acceptable (Romans 12:1-2).
Paul said that his goal is to present an offering of the gentiles to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16). That means he wants the gentile Church to burn with holy passion, expresses the Holiness of God. A sacrificial offering to God is usually accomplished by fire, being one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. Of Jesus it was said that He is the one who baptises with the Holy Spirit, by His fire (Luke 3:16). That is as a means of divine purification and dedication, making our lives acceptable to God.
Therefore what Paul was saying, declaring that he wants to offer God the sacrifice of the gentiles sanctified by the Holy Spirit, was to have them fully experience the purification of the Holy Spirit, exhibiting purity of devotion to God, as the fire of the Holy Spirit burns away any other passion/desire apart from the desire for God and his glory. He wants the Holy Ghost fire to burn away the works of the flesh.
He wrote to a group of people that they need to walk in the spirit to not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). They need to have the passion and desire of the Holy Spirit fill them so that there is no space for anything else.
He wants the church in Ephesians to be filled with all the fullness of God when they together with the other saints comprehend the length, breath height and depth of the love of God (Ephesians 3:14-21). When they experience and express the full love of God then the defects of the flesh is dealt with. Love is the cure-all of God. And the bible says: love never fails.
The defects of the flesh are not just about sinful habits or actions; it is also the weaknesses of the human condition. Paul wrote to the Romans that the Holy Spirit helps our infirmities because we don’t know how to pray as we ought (Romans 8:26). The operation of the Holy Spirit within us, energizing us therefore nullifies the weakness of the flesh when it comes to prayer. And we can effectively pray always and not faint.
To that he said that they ought to watch and pray so that they will not enter into temptation because the spirit is willing by the flesh is weak. The flesh by itself is weak when it comes to prayer, but when we burn with the fire/passion of the Holy Spirit, that in cancelled out.
It does not only cure us of the lack of what to say through giving us the utterance called tongues (1Corinthians 14:18), unknown languages, that make meaning in the realm of the spirit and not to the human mind, we are also able to love God enough to want to invest a lot of time in prayer.
James gave the example of Elijah whom he said is also human like us, but expresses an effectual fervency in prayer, marked by a passion God, enabled by the Spirit (James 5:17-18).
There are three offerings that God wants to collect from you: time, money and energy.
A man who would not give his time to God cannot start a walk with God. Spending time with God is not just from other people, it is also for you.
On this side of eternity, the currency of life is time. The most effective use of time is getting the best return for its investment.
When God said who shall we send, who will go for us? Isaiah answered: here I am send me. He made himself available to be used by God (Isaiah 6:1-8). There can be no commitment to God without commitment of time; it is the foundation for of all others.
If you cannot spend hours praying and/or reading the bible, then we should rate you low on devotion to God. It doesn’t matter what you profess. When you offer God your time, it is called availability.
Your devotion to God is tested in the area of your finances. David, when preparing for the construction of the temple in Jerusalem gave abundantly of his own resources so much that it provoked other leaders to bring from their own resources to make sure that the building of the temple was amply provided for (1 Chronicles 29:1-14). That was David’s way of expressing his devotion to God.
You should use your resources to buy books and go to conferences that you know that benefit you spiritually. You should give your resources to the needy. The bible says that the one who gives to the poor lends to the lord (Proverbs 19:17). Giving to the poor is like giving to God and He promises to repay. When you offer God your money it is called sowing (2Corinthians 9:5-9).
When Jesus was asked: what is the greatest commandment of all? He said: it is to love the lord our God with all our might, etc (Mark 12:33). Service to God at any level will require the expenditure of energy, either mental or physical.
It takes a lot of energy to fast. The energy cost of a fast is the energy you could have gotten in the food you refuse to eat. That was the price you paid to take on the spiritual energy of God. And God notes such sacrifice.
The energy we use in serving God also has its opportunity cost. It costs us in the possible alternative use of the energy for our own benefit or pleasure. When you offer God your energy it is called service.
The reward for offering God your time is that he makes use of you, maximizing the possible results of the use of your time; the reward of offering God your money is that he multiplies it back to you; the reward of offering God your energy is his energy/presence.
- The Holy Spirit as a person (jmdansville.wordpress.com)
- Who Is The Holy Spirit? (salruv7.com)
- Romans 15:13 NIV – Quiet and Confident (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
- Daily Devotion | Pleasure In Weaknesses (washingtontemplecme.org)
- Holy Spirit is a person. Discuss. (asaphchoe.wordpress.com)
- Come Holy Spirit (revgalblogpals.org)
- Christian Agnosticism vs Holy Spirit (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com)
- Pray Like You Mean It! (nubcbookclub.wordpress.com)
- Theology of the Trinity (colewayant.wordpress.com)