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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Doing the Will of God in our Body by Zac Poonen

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 Doing the Will of God in our Body by Zac Poonen

In Hebrews 10:5, we read that “God doesn’t want our offerings.” I quote this verse to people who have suffered under preachers who have kept on telling them that God wants their offerings. What does it say here that God desires from us? Our bodies. Under the old covenant, the emphasis was, “Pay your tithes to the Levites.” In the New Testament, the emphasis is, “Give your bodies to God” (Romans 12:1). A church that is constantly asking its people to pay their tithes, is an old-covenant church. A new-covenant church will emphasise presenting our bodies – our eyes, our hands, our tongues, etc., – as a living sacrifice to God. It is not material offerings that God desires from us today, but our bodies. Giving our bodies to God is the new-covenant equivalent of the old-covenant tithe – just like Christ dying on the cross is the equivalent of the old-covenant lamb sacrificed on the Passover day. Does this mean that we don’t have to give any money now for the work of God on earth? You may certainly give, but God wants only what you give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). In any case, He wants your body first of all. Those who give Him their bodies usually give Him everything else as well. But everything must be given cheerfully and joyfully.

When Jesus came into the world, He did not come to give tithes and material offerings to His Father (Heb. 10:5). He came to give His body as a sacrifice. And He is the Mediator of the new covenant and taught us that what God wants from us, primarily, is our body.
Jesus never had a body when He was in heaven. When He came into this world the Father gave Him a body. What was He to do with that body? Was He to show His love for His Father by going to some difficult place like Africa as a missionary? Or was He to pray for 4 hours every day and fast twice a week? None of these. He says, “I have come (to earth), to do Your will O God – and not to make sacrifices” (Heb.10:7). This is what Jesus used His body for – and this is what we have to use our bodies for, as well. When we present our bodies to God, it is to do His will thereafter with every part of them – with our eyes, hands, tongues, passions, desires, etc. Our only passion in life thereafter will be to do the will of God every day.

What is the will of God for us, first of all? “This is the will of God – even your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). That is the first part of God’s will for every one of us. And when it comes to our ministry, we are not to rush here and there trying to do something for God. We must again do the will of God in our ministry. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” The angels in heaven do not run around trying to be busy for God in some way or the other. Jesus also did not run around trying to do something or the other for His Father. He sought the Father’s will and did just that. When the Father told Him to work as a carpenter from age 18 to 30, He did that. After He had been faithful in His earthly work for all those years, the Father told Him to go out and preach for 3½ years. Jesus was equally pleasing to the Father when He was making stools and tables for 12 years as He was when preaching the gospel and healing the sick.

Jesus did not come to earth to be a missionary or to do full-time work. He came only to do His Father’s will, whatever that was. When His Father’s will was carpentry, He did that. When His Father’s will was fulltime work, He did that. We must dedicate ourselves also to do the will of the Father, and not this job or that. God may call you to be a carpenter and not a missionary. Are you willing?

Jesus said, “Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.” Thus, He took away the first covenant and established the second covenant (Heb. 10:8, 9). In the first covenant there was a lot of religious activity – especially inside the tabernacle and the temple. But Jesus did not do any religious work for 90% of His earthly life. He helped His mother at home and supported the family as a carpenter – for 30 years. Then He preached for the next 3½ years. Thus, He finished the work His Father gave Him to do and glorified Him (See John 17:4). We learn there that to help your mother at home is as important in God’s eyes as healing the sick. In the new covenant, whatever God wants you to do at a particular time, that is God’s will – and that is the holiest thing you can do at that particular time.


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