Don't you love to offer a sacrifice to The Lord? I do...
A sacrifice of praise, or our time, money, serving...Just to give to The Lord!
But I have some words of The Lord in mind today and that is, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”. You can find this statement in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 15:22.
As I sit here today, thinking back over the past four years, I think The Lord has been healing my heart, by continuing to gently bring me to a place of humility and obedience.
You see, my heart got broken, really broken. The bottom fell out of my life. My life changed over night. I lost my husband and identity all at once...I have learned that rebuilding from scratch, which is what The Lord has needed to do with me, is only possible with my participation of continual surrender. Continually surrendering one's will to The Lord's...and this is a long process.
I can be a person who likes to do things to distract myself from pain. Who isn't really? I mean who likes suffering? Now I'm not saying this is totally a bad thing, but I know The Lord has kept bringing me back, to a place of being still and obedient. Doing less-and-less things for Him that I choose to do, and more-and-more walking in obedience to what He wants, or allows me to do. Waiting when He says to wait, and stopping when He says stop...Sometimes easier said than done, especially when we're hurting or lonely...
Obedience is a strong theme through out the whole Bible. We can also read of God's displeasure with some sacrifices in scripture. For a more in-depth look at the theme of obedience in scripture go here.
Obedience to The Lord is not legalistic Christianity. Perhaps for some it could seem this way, but The Lord's Word is always right, and Jesus commands us to obedience. I have experienced the most freedom and closeness to The Lord in my life, when I am living as obediently as I can be, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Believe me, I know what impatience is like and how to ignore my conscience, but this only serves to stunt my own development.
Obedience is truly genuine heart-first Christianity.
Obedience brings about healing, victory, wellness and growth.
When we choose to obey His sometimes small voice, and gentle promptings, rather than our own impulses, we heal by being united with Him and His will. When we choose to obey His commandments over our flesh, our relationship with Him is strengthened.
What are you willing to give up to be obedient...or more accurately, what do you know you need to give up to be obedient? Giving something up is not easy, I REALLY do know this, but obedience truly is better than sacrifice and bears so much more fruit, as The Holy Spirit is leading.
My strength is in The Lord, and I CAN DO all things through Christ who gives me strength...But do I really want to do what He wants? Being obedient to live a life in submission for faithful proclamation is not easy, but Jesus NEVER promised us an easy ride...rather He said, "Take up your cross and follow me".
A sacrificial life is a truly beautiful one, until it becomes self-directed, that's why obedience is truly better than sacrifice.
God bless, Melanie.