They are not super popular words. They aren’t in a lot of people’s conversation, not on their prayer request list, not even words to think about. But… God tells us they’re necessary.
As spouse, we are called to sacrifice. As a parent, we are called to sacrifice. As a friend, we are called to sacrifice. And these are all mostly for the well-being or happiness of another person. But as a Christian, we aren’t only called to sacrifice, but we are invited to and that is for the well-being of ourselves! Sounds awesome, right?! Lol
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1
When B preached about Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha, it reminded me of this subject of sacrifice. God told Elijah to throw his cloak on Elisha. Elisha then had to surrender to that calling (to God’s will for his life) and then he sacrificed to God. He burned all of his plows and offered a sacrifice for what was about to happen.
God called us to surrender, then sacrifice, and then we begin walking out our calling.
I recently listened to a podcast and the speaker made this statement, “Surrender to God always makes sense and sacrifice to God always makes sense.” Uh…I’m just going to be real. My flesh immediately fired back. “Well wait, has God asked you to make that sacrifice? Is this necessary or are you just putting yourself through something for no reason?” Here’s what James says about it:
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4
When I became a wife, I had to surrender my selfishness for our relationship to become successful, joyful and life-giving. Not because B was difficult… he might actually be a saint for marrying me when I was so young 🙂 But because anything that we learn or get better at, comes with surrender and sacrifice. When I became a mother, I had to sacrifice so many of the things that had become normal to me. But when your surrender your comfort zone it allows God to take you to deeper and more fruitful place.
So, looking back, surrender and sacrifice does make sense. It puts in perspective all the things I went through and might go through. How do we, though, surrender and sacrifice with joy as James tells us to?
Psalm 54:6 says, “With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.”
Psalm 116:17 says, “And I come, eager to offer a sacrifice of gratitude and call the name of the Eternal.”
What is God calling you to surrender today? What would the sacrifice to that surrender look like? What is holding me back from offering this sacrifice to God?