Recently, the Lord has been stretching me, asking me a question that I know He knows the answer to, but do I?
Have I really surrendered everything over to Him?
I started to ponder Old Testament times and how sins had to be atoned for by anim*l s*crifice. I've read over that part and don't spend a lot of time thinking about it because it was an issue of obedience. They HAD to do it.
Or, did they? Just like we disobey today, did anyone disobey back then? Free will certainly comes into play, doesn't it? And, most people who love the Lord, never intend to outright disobey Him, right?
I was thinking about what it would have been like to raise a perfect lamb, without a spot or blemish (enter pride). I would probably start to admire the beauty of this lamb and entertain thoughts of how sad it is that this poor innocent creature had to die. I may have eventually gotten attached to her and named her Sparky and put a pretty pink bow in her hair! But, when it came time to bring her to the temple as a burnt s*acrifice I may have conveniently "forgot" that was the day or flat out out refused (I'll find another lamb). Or, I may have tried to hide her. Because I lost my focus.
I forgot about the covenant and started to rationalize and defend my disobedience.
Let's put this another way. Let's put my pride on the alter. Oh, I don't know. I've had it for so long, I put a pink bow in it's hair and I don't want to put it on the alter. If I admit my weaknesses I'll be humiliated and I'm just not ready to make that kind of sacrifice. How about my "personal agenda"? I'm not ready to put that on the alter, I've worked so hard to make it beautiful. To make my life comfortable and the way I like things to be. The list goes on and on....my past, my resentment, my jealousy, my credit cards, my blog, my control. It doesn't have to be a negative stronghold, it can even be my home, finances or the ministry God has called me to. Would I be disobeying if I:
1. Keep any sin-issues hidden that God wants to deal with?
2. Or, to flat out refuse to lay down the things I love too much when God is asking me to?
Yes, it's disobedience. And, then the struggle begins to relinquish the control I enjoy so much having over my own life!
It sort of goes along with this post. Our sacrifices are not always financial, but are they pleasing to the Lord? He knows our hearts and knows every motive behind what we do. I struggle with knowing the difference between serving the Lord and people pleasing. For many years I served so people would like me and I'd get a "title" and I never even thought about my defensive, easily offended attitude much. It wasn't until God asked me to put a few of those "titles" on the alter (and, it was hard!) that the true transformation in my life took place. This journey really became about Him, and in that process I have a joy that can only be taken away if I allow it to be. He is so good!
God has begun to work on my heart again. He's asking me to put fear and unbelief on the alter so His Mighty Fire can consume it.
This time, I think I'll lay them down without a struggle.