In Romans 12:1, Paul instructed us to sacrifice our bodies while we are still living: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (niv).
If you offer your body as a living sacrifice to God, you no longer claim ownership of your body. You no longer decide where your body will go. You no longer decide what your body will do. You no longer decide what your body will eat or what it will wear. You have given up the right to make those decisions. From now on, your body no longer belongs to you—it belongs to God. You have sacrificed it, living, to Him on His altar.
Whatever is placed on the altar of God belongs to God from that point on. It no longer belongs to the person who gave it. That is what God requires: that we sacrifice our bodies, just as Jesus sacrificed His body. The difference is that Jesus sacrificed His body through death, while we are asked to sacrifice our bodies when still alive—to hand them over to God, to give up our rights and our claims to them.
Now, that concept may sound very frightening. But I want to tell you that it is very exciting. God has all sorts of ideas about what He will do with you and your body. But He is not going to tell you until your body belongs to Him. You must first commit your body to Him, and then you will understand what to do with it.