Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sacrifice



How can I look upon the sacrifice of Jesus' life, and say that it is not enough for me to lay down and sacrifice the world for? 

Lord, I repent for the lack of #faithfulness in my heart. I repent that I looked at what you did, accepted it, let it move my heart (I cry every time I think about it), but still say "That's too hard.", "I can't do that.", "I don't think it's fair that *I* have to give up something like that.", "Why am *I* always being asked to sacrifice?" Lord, please forgive the haughtiness of my heart. 

Until I have given up a throne in heaven, become a human, endured & won every temptation known to man the first time I was tempted, walked on water, performed endless miracles, fasted 40 days and nights and still resisted the devil, walked a perfect walk of perfect love on the earth, allowed myself to be tortured, beaten, and murdered....hung on a cross bleeding out, and still forgave the people that murdered me...then defeated death and the grave rising 3 days later....I know nothing of sacrifice. Nothing.

The piddly things that God has asked me to give up, and I have balked and refused to give up, are embarrassing compared to Jesus' sacrifice. It actually brings tears of shame to my eyes as I write this. I just want to lay face down on the floor blubbering like a baby. What a snotty little brat I've been. 

Somehow I got it in my head that I understood what it meant to sacrifice something, because I've lost loved ones, and I've lost jobs, and I've lost relationships, and I've had innocence ripped from me, and I've lost hope, and I've lost time, and I've had to struggle and work hard.....It still doesn't stack up. On any level. 

I heard it said once, somewhere, that the collective knowledge of all people on earth equals a dog turd on somebodies lawn compared to the knowledge of God. Man has never created anything with the words of their mouths. Certainly not entire universes. Think of how intricately made everything is. The human body? Right there...mind blown! I think I've done something amazing when I can design a crochet pattern on the first try. It's not even my idea! All inspiration and ideas are given by the Holy Spirit. (Job32:8 KJV "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.") 

I've heard other people say that it is ridiculous for people to say they are nothing without Jesus. That somehow that person is denigrating themselves, and putting too much power in the hands of a deity. Except that to a person who has received the forgiveness of a Holy God, they don't see it as denigration. They accept that there is a God that is greater than they. They accept that He loved us so much that he allowed His only begotten son to die on a cross just for them. Do you have it in you to sacrifice your child for a world that hates you? I know that I can say a hearty "NO" to that question. 

So, if we aren't smarter than God, it stands to reason that He knows something about the "sacrifice" He's asking of us that we don't. He sees our end from our beginning. He knew us when we were in our mother's womb. He knows every hair on our head by number. I read in the book "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young that God knows exactly how many times He has to present something to us before we will accept it, do it, etc. He knows exactly how many times we will fail Him. He knows exactly how many times we will deny Him. Yet, He never quits on us and tells us we are too much work, or too high maintenance. Never. 

Every time we fall He walks over to us, picks us up, loves us, kisses our boo-boo's, puts a band-aid on it, pats us on the butt, and sends us back out on the playground telling us "You can do it, I know you can!" 

If you are #faithful to something, you make sacrifices for it, don't you? Children, marriage, job, school, friends, etc? We all make sacrifices for things that mean enough to us to be #faithful to it. God is #faithful. He sacrificed the thing/person He loved the most. His greatest prize, if you will. He knows that some of the things He is asking us to sacrifice are hindrances in our life. They are things that hold us back from accomplishing more. Sometimes he asks us to sacrifice our dreams. Because if we will remove ourselves and our abilities from the "success" equation, He will take that dream and make it exponentially bigger and better than anything we could ever hope for. But, He wants the glory for it, which is rightfully His. If we can accomplish what He can accomplish, then why would we need Him, right? The Bible says in Ephesians 2:9 that the gift of salvation comes straight from the grace of God "Not of works, lest any man should boast." He doesn't want us boasting about what WE can do....He wants us boasting about what HE can do!!

If I want to be truly #faithful, then I need to have a willing heart when it comes to sacrifice. And trust that my God really does know what's best for me. He's not just being the school yard bully and trying to ruin my fun. 

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