In January of each year, instead of making resolutions that I will surely break, I choose to fast and pray about something specific. Sometimes I feel led to fast for certain days or even weeks at a time. This year, I felt impressed to fast something I love for the entire year. I know that may seem extreme, but I am reminded DAILY of what I have given up and WHY I felt impressed to give it up every single day for a whole year. It reminds me to pray and seek God even more. A fast is not about making a deal with God, it’s about making a sacrifice TO Him and drawing near to Him.
So What is a Sacrifice?
When you think about the word “sacrifice”, do you think of stories from the Old Testament? One that stands out to me is when Abraham was commanded to take his only son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice. This is his only son and they waited a really long time to have him in their lives. But, Abraham obeyed and God stepped in and provided a lamb for the sacrifice when Abraham was obedient.
Definition of sacrifice from Merriam-webster
1: an act of offering to a deity something precious especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
2: something offered in sacrifice
3a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
b: something given up or lost the sacrifices made by parents
What are you willing to sacrifice?
God has really been dealing with me about false gods lately. We all have them. Just look around your home and think of something there that you can’t do without. Where does your “treasure” lie? Is it your family? Your time? Your money? Maybe it’s that car you always wanted. Or that big investment. I recently re-read a book “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman (you can find it here https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/gods-at-war-defeating-the-idols-that-battle-for-your-heart_kyle-idleman/366404/item/9782961/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-daUBhCIARIsALbkjSaXZngpyikNN_l6_ADP9KGKwc-8hvvd6L4lFFEnwzU_C0ZRcmjFav0aAoHjEALw_wcB#idiq=9782961&edition=7331449) and it has me thinking a lot about what I have placed the most importance on in my life.
I’m not saying that if you shouldn’t care about anything except God, I’m just asking you to ponder on this question:
Are you willing to do ANYTHING for God? What are you willing to sacrifice?
Giving it all
In Matthew 19 we read…
The Rich Young Ruler
16Just then someone came up and asked him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” he said to him. “There is only one who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18“Which ones?” he asked him.
Jesus answered: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; 19honor your father and your mother; and love your neighbor as yourself.
20“I have kept all these,” the young man told him. “What do I still lack?”
21 “If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard that, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
See, the Rich Young Ruler was willing to follow all the “Rules” but he still felt there was something missing, something that was keeping him from eternal life. The truth is, anything we put before or above God is holding us back from our full potential. It keeps us from a closer walk with Him.
My prayer for you is that you will surrender fully to God. I’ve been guilty of placing my kids, my husband, my family, even my own selfish desires above the one and only true God. The truth is, it is a daily sacrifice to lay down the need to control situations, the desires of my own heart and surrender it all to God. But see, no one loves us like He does. So no one can love my kids better than He can. He is so, so good. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.