Read Romans 12:1
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (NLT)
This is a very scary verse. When we offer ourselves to God we are giving him permission to do as he pleases with us. We give up ownership and control of our lives. Little wonder we tend to reserve our right to withhold ourselves from God. We are not entirely sure we want to trust him. We want to keep our hands on the controls even as we tentatively invite him to take the wheel.
It is here we need to take seriously the reason why Paul invites us to offer ourselves wholeheartedly to him. It is because of all he has done for us, summarised in the first eight chapters of this letter. We are not commanded to let some stranger take the helm. We are not commanded to surrender ourselves to a fierce tyrant who is a power-hungry bully.
We offer ourselves to someone who has offered himself to us. Someone who has proven how much he loves us and values us. We don’t just feel grateful for all he has done for us; we give our lives to the one who gave his life for us. Self-offering is a sort of thanksgiving in action. We entrust ourselves to one who has shown himself to be trustworthy.
Our worship of God is a daily assembling of all our life, our fears and hopes, our dreams and disappointments, and offering it all to him. A big risk and yet no risk at all.