Day 25 – Romans 12:1

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

God hates abuse. It was not His idea. He did not make it up. He does not secretly applaud it. It is a stench in His nostrils. If He could throw up over it, I believe He would.

One of the offenses that must constantly pierce His heart is the fact that so many of the beautiful things He wrote in His Word have become despicable and disgusting to us as a result of the abuse. We of the church are the bride of Christ, yet we cringe at the very thought. God is our Father, but we spit on the word Father. Oh, the pain in God’s heart as He watches our hearts turn against Him because of our agony!

If you were abused, you were a sacrifice against your will. Perhaps it was on the altar of lust, perversion, or control. Maybe you were abandoned by someone who should have protected you, and your abuser sacrificed your needs and vulnerability to his avarice and selfishness. Maybe you were offered up as a peace offering—someone giving you up to another so she could have some “peace.” And as you were being sacrificed, you felt your soul die within you. You killed off portions of yourself to keep them from being mutilated by the man with the knife at the altar.

And then you read Romans 12:1 and hated it. You hated God. You hated being a sacrifice on anyone else’s behalf. You despised the way God set up His kingdom. His wags only filled you with sharp pain. Oh, what a tragedy! God is in agony over it!

Dear sister, Jesus our dear Savior became a sacrifice for us (“He is led as a lamb to the slaughter… and He bare the sin of many,” Isaiah 53). He knows what it feels like to be powerless, defenseless, sacrificed to someone else’s perverse need. When Jesus became sin for us as He hung on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21), all of our griefs and sorrows were laid on His bleeding, beaten up shoulders. All of our iniquities covered Him as He hung there without His clothes on. All of men’s wickedness and violations against the helpless, all the rapes and slavery and filth from dark rooms and renting out children for pornography to pay gambling debts and defiling runaways and mutilating people who believe in the blessed Savior—all this garbage, all this horror and putrefied rottenness was poured over Jesus and thrown at Him as He labored for each breath. He was the acceptable sacrifice as He bore our iniquities. Oh, what a Savior! What a Deliverer! I have to pause and think about His love.

God, you can be sure, is not killing us on His altar of spiritual worship. We are urged to be living sacrifices. This is so different, so new, so refreshing from the old painful, degrading, dead service we were required to give in the past. He is not killing us. We are alive! There is no altar for our bodies. He has no knife in His hand. We come before Him and present ourselves. We are not dragged. “Here I am,” says Moses. “Here I am,” says Samuel. “Here I am,” says Isaiah. And “Here I am,” you say to the God who stands with open hands—and this time, you have a choice.

Dear woman, ask God to make His ways delightful to you. He wants to show you that His ways are wise. He longs to walk with you in the heat of your betrayal and in the cool of the evening.

This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.