Sacrifice can often feel like a four letter word.
It never really feels good to do, especially if you've already sacrificed so much.
But what you've sacrificed isn't cutting it, and more is required.
In thought, it feels like the most right, appropriate thing for the occasion.
But when it gets down to it, if avoidable, we will avoid it at all cost.
The dictionary definition of sacrifice reads as such:
1.) An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure:
"they offer sacrifices to the spirits" · "the ancient laws of animal sacrifice"
But in my opinion, this definition stops short of being thorough.
Sacrifice is the art of giving up something to produce a different outcome.
It is having a vision or idea in mind of a final result, and realizing that something that you obtain or possess must (or in some cases can) be released in order to achieve the final result.
(I will deal with the can in a minute.)
Sacrifice is not something done just to be done. In every instance that a sacrifice is given, it is ALWAYS with a result in mind.
As a matter of fact, a sacrifice is not a sacrifice if a result is not intended.
It is very possible or two people to give up the same thing for two different reasons, and one is viewed as a sacrifice, while the others is not.
Anything that we give that does not cost us something is not a sacrifice.
If it will not be missed, it's not a sacrifice.
If it does not create discomfort when given, it's not a sacrifice.
One person can give $20, and consider it a drop in the bucket.
While another person can give the same $20, and it was all that they had.
It's the same amount of money, but different circumstances, and given for different reasons.
We see this in Mark 12: 41-44
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Jesus used the widow's offering as an example of how he views sacrifice and faith.
It costs nothing to give from a very full pool.
But when you have two drops, and you give your two, you have given everything.
When God is calling us into sacrifice, he will ask for something that you wish that he wouldn't.
And its usually tied to areas of our heart that he longs to change, and that we've ASKED him to change. (the irony)
He never requires anything of us in vain.
He requires it to produce an end result that is better than what we long to hold on to.
When I spoke of giving something that we can, I spoke of it in reference to the power of our choice.
When God is calling us into sacrifice, it is always an invitation. It is never forced.
Your arm is not twisted.
You are not bullied.
You are not shamed into it.
But it will never be forced.
If it must be forced, it is not genuine.
And if it is not genuine, and freely given, it loses the power to produce in us the true reason for the invitation to release it!
True love will always include sacrifice.
God modeled this for us.
For God so LOVED, that he GAVE. (John 3:16)
True love will provoke us to give.
And God gave his one and only.
He did not have a backup.
He gave his only son to produce many more.
He showed us what sacrifice looks like....What it feels like.....What is IS.
I believe that many of the results that we seek are on the other side of sacrifice.
And I believe that it is not the sacrifice that we want to give, but the one that we don't.
In every season of transition, expansion, and growth of my life, I was provoked to sacrifice.
I was invited into a moment to release something to gain something else.
And sometimes, I did not even know what the "something else" was yet.
I just knew what I was to let go of.
It required trust.
It required grace.
It required GOD.
Today I speak to those that are frustrated, tired, angry, and especially the resentful.
I can feel that there are some who are tired of not seeing results.
I feel that there are some that are resentful for what they have lost, or have had to release.
I also feel that some are so close to breaking through. And they just don't realize that we grow weariest when we are closest.
I will not tell you not to give up.
I will not tell you not to let go.
I will tell you to ask yourself if you believe in the God that loves you.
Because we will always long for what we've let go if our eyes are fixed behind us, instead of on who stands beside us.
God is with us.
He counts up every cost.
He preserves reward for us.
But he spends an awful lot of time preparing us for the reward.
Whatever it is that he's called you to sacrifice, DO IT WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART.
In the end, it is not about obtaining something externally.
It's about becoming someone internally that will willingly give time and time again when he prompts you to.
God is with you.
He loves you.
Never doubt this.
It's everything to believe in.