Has God put a challenge before you that seems insurmountable?

14 02 2016

Practical counsel for the disciple at the place of sacrifice

Has God put a challenge before you that seems insurmountable? As difficult as it is and will be, there is a positive aspect to appreciate. At least you know where you are on the trail, and you know what to do. Not only that, but you know that the One who came to this place first is staying with you right now.

Maybe you are at a different expression of Golgotha. Has God asked you to surrender something you treasured? If you truly surrendered your will to His, then you now have the task of laying it down at the foot of the cross and leaving it there. To sacrifice is to fully place your life into God’s hands, commit yourself to whatever He demands.

If you surrendered a sinful habit, the call to sacrifice means that you must now stop that habit. If God’s will confronted an addiction in your life, now you are at your own Golgotha where you must put that addiction to death. Pour out the alcohol, smash the syringes, burn the magazines, give up your smart phone or video games. Jesus said that if your eye offends you, pluck it out. If your hand offends you, cut it off. Crucifixion does whatever it takes.

I love accountability and I wish it worked. But if you have not gone to the cross and let your heart be broken before God, you can have a hundred godly believers holding you accountable and you will still find a way to sneak back to your addiction. Your sacrifice must be honest and complete, otherwise call it a wound because it isn’t a crucifixion.

If God asked you to surrender an inappropriate relationship, Golgotha demands that you break it off, not temporarily, but a clean break. No strings attached. Soon you are going to have to bury the corpse of Golgotha. So you better completely kill what God has asked for, because you don’t want to be buried alive.

Am I being harsh? Jesus was harsh. She who loses her life for Christ ends up keeping it. But she who tries to keep life will end up losing it. That’s harsh, but its truth. Many believers today are trying to have a bit of sacrifice with a bit of self. They are either miserable or desensitized to the things of God’s Spirit.

Did you surrender something or someone you treasured as much or more than God? That was an idol. You did wonderfully to say “nevertheless, not as I will.” But don’t leave that idol to reappear. Your work, ministry, or dream project may be an idol. Your hobby, your art or music, your games. Your spouse or girl or guy friend could have become on par with God in your life. God is calling you to sacrifice anything that competes with Him. Should you quit your job? Maybe. Kill your girlfriend? No! But you must lay them down at the foot of the cross and give them to God, inviting Him to resume first place in your life.

Dealing with these issues cannot be accomplished in a sentence prayer. You need to search out your heart in all honesty before God. “Repentance” is a change of mind, a turning around to face a different direction. “Mortify” means to put to death. Addictions, idols, chronic attitudes of self-centeredness typically take a long process to root out and destroy. I suggest you find a mature Christian friend or two, or a counselor who knows the Word, to help you work through your call to sacrifice and put God in first place again.

As it was with surrender, sacrifice may be a threshold to greater days. You may be at the point of finally putting to death an attitude, a relationship, a job, a location that has held you back from living in free and fulfilling service for God. Sacrifice is always hard, but it is always the next step toward joy in Christ.

 


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