Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sin, Selfishness & Sacrifice

God has really put some things on my heart and mind this week, about living sacrificially for him, even though we struggle day to day with countless sins, being that we are such sinful creatures, who are utterly selfish to the core. Our sin and selfishness often get in the way of our serving God wholly, and living lives that are sacrificial to Him. I think all to often, we get overwhelmed about living every area of our lives in a way that is God honouring, the reason being of course, that it's challenging! Our sin gets in the way of that.

In the past few months, God has really been pointing out areas of my character that are, might I say...'not quite' what they should be. God knows it. Others around me know it. I now know it.

 I want to live for Christ, as He’s called me to live, but I can’t do it without working on these areas of weakness in my character.

I am grateful for my circle of accountability, my christian family. I am grateful for their honesty, their challenge, their belief that God has something more for me. It’s through their careful rebuke and correction, that I have been walking through this process of building a stronger character that is pleasing to the Lord.
I want to live a life of sacrifice, a life that is “sacrificial” for God, but there have been flaws in my character that have prevented me from being the “sacrifice” I desire. But with my focus on God, the support of my family, the guidance of truth/the word, I know that God is 100% behind me in my quest to be more like Christ every day, my quest to be living every second of every day for Him.

When I was a little girl, I had this habit (which I am sure many of you did) - when I had been naughty, or caused my parents grief, or had been mean.. I would feel awful, and I would go to bed promising myself that I would do everything perfect the next day, I prayed that I would do nothing wrong and everything right...and the next day, I would put a huge effort into being a perfect child...now of course, that resolution would wear off by lunch time, and I would forget about that promise I made because of all the excitements of the day...but that never stopped me from making the same promises the next night and trying again the next day.

Now, my theory was wrong, but my attitude was right.... I could never be perfect, because we are just not perfect... but focussing on perfection every morning, and being determined to achieve it was right, but at that stage, I was relying on myself, when really, I needed to rely on God. And you all understand... that what I was aiming for in childhood (perfection), I now see as holiness. We are called to be holy, 'But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:13-16)

Now, who are we kidding right? its impossible to achieve perfect holiness (Thats what Jesus has achieved for us already) .... But the point is, we need to aim for holiness in all that we do. Every morning we need to focus ourselves on living for God, in every possible way...and asking him to give us the strength. The sacrifice that was made on our behalf, is what has made it possible for us to live daily lives of sacrifice...and in light of that sacrifice, we should be giving every area of our lives over to God.

One of the most challenging books I have read is 'True Discipleship' By William McDonald, and he puts it like this... 'Nothing less than unconditional surrender could ever be a fitting response to His sacrifice at Calvary. Love so amazing, so divine, could never be satisfied with less than our souls, our lives our all.' 

Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." God is calling you to a life of sacrifice and a willingness to go wherever He takes you, to minister to whomever He brings you, and to go whenever He asks you. Are you sold out to Jesus or are you still straddling the fence between serving God and following the world?

What sinful & selfish behaviour is keeping you from living each day for God? What idols are you putting before him?