A WHAT? … LIFE VERSE????
How did I end up having a “life verse”? What is that even? How did I pick this particular verse? And how can you go about finding your own? Should you even have one?
Think of it as almost a LIFE MOTTO. Basically, that’s what it is for me. Except it runs way deeper, because it’s very PERSONAL, INDIVIDUAL and SPECIFIC. And I think that if you’re looking for one, that’s what it should be. THIS is the verse that challenges me to serve and increased my compassion for others, and at the same time- improved my self-esteem!
Honestly, I never had one and in fact I had never heard of this concept of a life verse until I first had a verse that I really resonated with and that I now live by. And then, without even looking up the definition, the day I came across this term ‘life verse’, I just knew what it meant. You know? BUT HOW?
“God today I offer myself to you, as a living sacrifice.” (Inspired by Romans 12:1)This was my prayer one day after it had been revealed to me the beauty and yet the weight of this scripture. What did this mean to me? It took some time to get to the bottom of it. DELIBERATE, INTENTIONAL time. And this is what taught me the most important thing about all our relationships including the one we have with God; they need deliberate, intentional time.
You see at this point in my life, I was at what I think of as a dead-end; the dead-end of MY WAY of Christianity, or at least romantic relationships in christianity. At this point I began asking so many questions. Questions about why God commanded us to NOT to do certain things, what the correct way of doing relationships in Christ was.
I no longer wanted to just KNOW the word, I wanted to be internally convicted, at this point especially – about celibacy and chastity in particular. You thought right yes- of course there was a boy in the picture…isn’t there always 🙂 !! I’m not going to go into the details, but I had just been out of a relationship that tested what I thought I believed about sexual purity. In the breaking , the relationship crushed me even in the aftermath of the break-up, and I was found introspecting…what on earth am I doing?? I was now lost, lost by my own ways, my own sin. Thoughts to myself at this point- “Sisi…you are a mess!!”
I needed help. So I sought it. He provided.
I was sitting in a room one day with my mentor at the time- Leslie was her name. Beautiful old lady who was an elder of the church I went to at the time-Jubilee community church in Cape Town Observatory. We had been through a series of sessions with her and after working through questions together and God helping her to help me find answers through the word, I was now at the point where I realised God’s mercy, grace and favour upon my life.
I remember thinking about how I’ve sometimes been the most hypocritical Christian, still falling in my walk at times even now. Yet I could see all the great things God kept gifting me with. Silly example; The previous year had been my 21st birthday and when my parents gifted me with a car, I remember thinking ‘GOD are you for real? You think I’m deserving of such big things even regardless of all the faults I’ve made and AAAALLL the sins I’ve committed and how I still continue to fall short?’ I started to understand GRACE.
I started to understand that Grace was NOT about how “good” I had been , or how perfect I could be. Grace is the gift of unconditional, unearned love that finds me as I am and says- ‘Yes, you’re worthy’. Worthy of all the great things planned for you!
Leslie used to give me homework- didn’t really like that part of our sessions but now I’m forever grateful. It was during one of those homework sessions that I came across this scripture. And after wondering to myself, well Lord, what I know is that I can never repay you, but what can I atleast do to show you how grateful I am? There surely has to be something?
And that part where it says – “In light of God’s mercies” just broke me. Indeed how merciful He had been in so many ways I couldn’t even fathom, how merciful He had been to still find me in one of my darkest places and bring me into the light. And so in light of this, how could I not want to offer Him something, worship Him? And then it goes on to say “ This is your reasonable service” or in other versions “your spiritual act of worship”, “This is truly the way to worship Him”. And right there, was my answer.
The LEAST I could do- is offer myself as a living sacrifice. He just wanted me, my heart and my mind. While I’m alive, that’s what He wants. That all of me, may serve, honour and glorify Him.
And so for me, this is the verse that changed EVERYTHING , yet it brought everything together. If God wanted to use my body to serve Him, then my body would need to be ready for this in ALL aspects-mind, body and soul. I began to realise the importance of this- of eating what would nourish my body and keep it in good health, the importance of my thoughts in my mind, the importance of pressing in- into the Word, into meditation, so that my soul would be in good health and the importance of keeping my body physically fit through exercise. All of this so that I would be ready to use my body as a living sacrifice, for His Glory.
And shortly after this was where the idea stemmed from- of foodFAITH(andallmy)favourites. A platform to serve.
I’m still learning. Day by day I’m still asking God to grant me wisdom to apply the next verse- to be transformed from the inside out and renewed in thought, attitude, behaviour and to not conform to the patterns of this world. Im seeking what it means to be acceptable to God, holy and pleasing. Im trying to figure out what this means in my day-to day life at work, at home, with my friends, family, out on the streets.
What Im also learning is that it is not through the appearance of my body in curvature or muscle that I become a sacrifice, but through my embodying the behaviour, attitude and heart of mercy. ( Adapted from John Piper’s article https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/present-your-bodies-as-a-living-sacrifice-to-god ).
And so this verse for me is the one verse that resonates with me on a very personal level as you can see. And even as I get caught up in the physical things at times and how I may look, what I can achieve and how I can fit in, It really helps me remember what really matters. It helps me in my Christian walk when the going gets tough- as it will. I lean on it. It reminds me that my salvation will NEVER be about my works or what I’ve done, but forever about the goodness of God! And the ONLY thing I can ever do that as at least a “reasonable” act of gratitude, is OFFER my entire being to HIM. As A LIVING SACRIFICE.
And so there you are – “life verse” personified. I don’t think we all ought to have one, but this certainly round up my life thus far for me. And yes, its subject to change! What does this verse mean to you?
Also, do you have a verse that you feel is or could be your life verse? Do share! What is the first verse that pops in mind when reflect on your life?
Please share your thoughts, comments and views or disagreements.
Much love and light 🙂
P.S : Im pretty sure you’ve seen snippets of this verse somewhere on the homepage of my blog or my instagram page, OR my intro video. If you haven’t, Im supposing you’re a new reader. WELCOME !! Please do visit my page on instagram @gifted2_give. Click on the icon on my page to link to my instagram.