“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” — Romans 12:1-2
In 2016, millions of people from all walks of life will focus on Brazil for the Summer Olympics. Thousands of athletes will descend on this South American nation and strive to win gold medals.
We are like spiritual Olympians, striving to dedicate our life to Christ, meditating on Him day and night.
At some point in our Christian walk, you told the Lord or implied that, “I dedicate my life to you.” But do we really dedicate our life? Are our actions lining up with our commitment? Are we doing what we said, or did it just sound good for the moment? I believe that God expects more than just lip service.
Dedication is defined as “the act of officially saying that something was created for a particular purpose or to remember or honor a particular person, self-sacrificing devotion, a devoting or setting aside for a particular purpose.”
Let’s look at the life of Olympians. They must stay focused when everything is on the line and the whole world is watching. They don’t simply physically practice; they visualize their goals. The perfect landing. The new record time. Standing on the podium with the gold medal, proudly representing their countries. And with those goals in sight, they dedicate their lives to achieving them.
For us to live a dedicated life, we should commit to several things.
First, we must visualize or write the vision. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “And the Lord answered me and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie, though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’”
Then, we need to change our behavior. Second Corinthians 13:5 Living Bible (TLB) reads, “Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all?”
The Bible encourages us to dedicate ourselves through worshipping together. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Much of an Olympic athlete’s training requires mental training and focus that may seem selfish to some. But keep your eyes on the prize.
Sometimes, you may feel guilty for saying “no.” But the reality is that our time is a limited commodity and “no” becomes a requirement to stay dedicated and focused. Sometimes, you’ve got to say it.
Stay focused on your prize, despite the fact that there will be many distractions. God has a plan for your life. If you dedicate it to Him, He will make you the head and not the tail.
His ways are not our ways, but His grace and love is everlasting.
Hayes is the pastor of New Day Community Church and president of the United Ministerial Alliance.