If you desire to be a follower of Christ, then go ahead and expect it: you will be put to the test of sacrifice. You will be forced to choose between your will and God’s will, between your idea of what’s right and what God says is necessary. In those moments, hear Him ask, “Do you trust me to provide for your needs? Do you really believe that I want is what is best for you? Am I really your heart’s only desire?”
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?'”
Today we have a skewed vision of what it means to be “blessed” or “fortunate,” so when times of sacrifice come, we don’t always see them as steps in the purification of our desires and discipline of our faith. Because of God’s word though, I just have to believe that true faith is shown through trusting God no matter what the cost. We must trust Him so much that we are willing to give up even the most precious or promised thing that we believe He’s given to us even for the sake of furthering His kingdom. For Abraham, it was his son. For Job, it was all of his possessions and family. For Jonah, it was going to Ninevah, even after trying to escape that call of God.
In my lifetime I’ve never been faced with imprisonment for the sake of Christ like Paul. I’ve never been thrown into a lion’s den like Daniel. I’ve never walked willingly into a fiery furnace like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, saying, “God is able to deliver us from the flames, but even if he doesn’t and we die today, to Him be the glory!” (Daniel 3:16-18).
If God is calling you to make a sacrifice, don’t try to escape Him. True love of God is shown through obedience to Him and to His Word. If we truly trust in His goodness, then remember that it’s for our benefit to lay down our lives and all of our earthly desires in order to follow Him.
And in making such a sacrifice of what we call “good”, we will actually preserve what is better: our relationship with God, the creator of every good and perfect thing (James 1:17).
Praying your days is filled with SONshine,