the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.
the person, animal, or thing so offered.
the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
What is a sacrifice? It's something we do voluntarily, isn't it? It's us giving of ourselves - our time, our talent, and our treasure. It's good when it's done for the right reasons. It makes you feel good, doesn't it? We also make sacrifices in life so we can just get by or so we can have something else or do something else. Sometimes those sacrifices are truly difficult but necessary. They are sometimes painful. Sometimes we wind up feeling like it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, so it's not so bad. There are all kinds of sacrifices, good and bad.
When it comes to living on the path God wants for us, He desires for us to give us our all. Giving our all for God is most assuredly going to involve some form of sacrifice. I have heard it said, "A sacrifice isn't a sacrifice unless it hurts." For example, if you're a multi-millionaire, tithing $20 a week to your church isn't exactly a sacrifice, is it? But if you're living on the edge of poverty and $20 is all you have in your pocket and you tithe that to your church, trusting that God is going to meet you and provide for you, then that is an honorable sacrifice.
God wants us to give our best. Not just do a good thing. But to do the best thing. He desires that we seek wisdom and knowledge from Him and that we seek out what is best. Taking the time out of your life to do something for someone is good. Being involved in all types of ministry is good. Baking for your church bake sale is good. Tithing is good. Sacrifice which honors God is good. BUT...what is the spirit behind the sacrifice you are making?? Are you just adding to your resume of good deeds so that when you meet God face to face one day, He will look it over and be so very proud of you? Do you think that your list of worthy deeds makes you worthy to God? I think God loves us for who we are and for what we do, but I think it honors God far more if the spirit behind the deed is Spirit-filled. We must have the right attitude of service and sacrifice behind the deed.
When we do good things for God, we are giving sacrifices to Him honoring Him. When we do the best things for God, we do it in a spirit of obedience to Him. We come to Him broken and repentant. We do what is right and what is just. We acknowledge God in our actions.
We must seek wisdom from God to discern for ourselves if what we are doing is merely good or if it is the best. This really goes for any action or choice in life. God will lead us along the right path if we just stop and ask for guidance and wisdom from Him. When we ask for His guidance, we can stop and pray about specific choices we are faced with. When you have your answer from the Lord, you will know. If there is any doubt or hesitation in your decision making, perhaps that's an indicator of what the decision you need to make should be.
Situation presents itself. Stop. Meditate on it. Pray to God asking for his wisdom and guidance. Discern. Choose. Let Him use you for His glory.
Romans 12:1 (TNIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship.
reflections on chapter 9 of "becoming a woman of simplicity". more insights to come as i journey through this book...