I turned the radio on today just in time to hear the words, we still have to sacrifice to enter the presence of God. I had to chew on that a little while. Didn’t Christ, the perfect sacrifice, eliminate the need for a blood offering?
But after pondering this idea a while, I started to understand the concept of “sacrifice” in today’s Christian world. Even though Jesus’ perfect sacrifice eliminated the need for us to offer up a lamb to be slaughtered for our sins, I realized following Christ still involves sacrifice.
When we are “sold out” believers and abandon ourselves to God, the journey may shuttle us out of our comfort zone. It may require a pulling away from certain people; it might call for us to give up a nasty habit; it could divide us from family members. Isn’t that what Jesus meant in Matthew 10:34 when he said, For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
I will confess, over the last few years, I was not willing to make that sacrifice, even though I’ve known since 2003 that the Lord wanted me to be a Christian motivational speaker. Sure, I sacrificed some time by attending seminary. When we moved from San Antonio to north of Dallas, I got involved in a church and ended up leading women’s ministry, but still held back on fully answering the call to speak, although I spoke regularly to the women at our church. I knew a speaking career might involve travel and I did not want to leave my husband and sons. I was worried that if God called me to speak state-wide or nationally, I would miss out on so much at home. I just couldn’t make that commitment yet.
God knew my heart. I didn’t pray for blessings on this calling, and I half-heartedly pursued it until two months ago, when I finally decided I was ready to deny myself and sacrifice my life to do anything and go anywhere the Lord wanted me to go. I took my husband and children off the pedestal and placed God back on. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that since I laid my life on the altar, people are seeking me out now and asking me to speak, more than they ever have since my move to North Texas. God was just waiting for my sacrifice.
How about you? Are you still having trouble sacrificing for God? Is there something in your life, you have not surrendered to him? He wants all of us. A partial sacrifice is no sacrifice at all.