1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Here Paul is instructing us that true worship involves our total humanity. A living sacrifice that continually presents itself, not merely in song, but in its physical entirety. Our thoughts, emotions, actions, and lifestyle are included in our worship, not merely words.
In worshipping God in this way we are honoring Him according to His proper worth; we are giving Him something. We are also, however, giving God access to us; He is giving us something in return. By acknowledging God for who He truly is, and by doing so whole-heartedly, we are receiving a renewed self. A self that begins to look more and more like Him. Our whole being is being conformed to His as we worship Him.
We are made in His image, designed to reflect His glory into the world around us. Like a mirror turning towards the source of light, in order to reflect it; we turn towards God in worship to do the same. In proclaiming the majesty, beauty, and power of the Creator through worship, our reflection of Him becomes cleaner, clearer, and brighter. It is then that we are able to truly understand, discern, and perform His will.
In my own life this has been true. Decisions I had made for evil, destructive patterns of thought I had settled into, bitterness I had held onto, lies I had believed; all melted away in moments of worship. Almost without notice these things came to pass; there was no conscious renouncing of these evils but only an embracing of God. After such an embrace, I discovered that those evils had been let go of almost against my will, they had been crowded out of my soul. As if there was not room for bitterness or envy within a soul filled with thoughts of God.
In idolatry our humanity is perverted and our godliness polluted. In worship of our Creator, we become more fully human and more godly as well...