Articles Tagged with: discipline
The Necessity of Sacrifice in Fulfilling Your Destiny – Part 1

Recently we spoke about the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally both when He was alive and in His death.

I believe that God is looking for people who will be willing to press through the pressure and become living sacrifices, just like His Son.

However, making sacrifices can be done well or it can be totally futile (ask Cain) so today we are going to unpack the how, why and what of living your life as a sacrifice to God. Motives, how to make sure your sacrifice counts and finally, the necessity of sacrifice in fulfilling your destiny and purpose!

necessity of sacrifice in fulfilling destiny

THE MOTIVE OF YOUR SACRIFICE

When we speak of making sacrifices for the sake of God’s glory there are some distinctions that need to be made.

First of all, making sacrifices doesn’t earn you salvation. It doesn’t even earn you God’s love.

Why?

Salvation can only come through faith in the sacrifice and work of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice is and was enough.
Also, God loved you completely before you did ever anything for Him. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more.

So what is the motive for making sacrifices?

Sacrifice is meant to come out of a heart of love. An overwhelming response to all that God did for you through Jesus Christ. A recognition that nothing you do will ever equal His level of sacrificial giving. Just like He so loved the world that He GAVE, you so love Him and others that you GIVE what He asks when He asks it.

I heard this on the radio this week –

necessity of sacrifice

Be sure of this, your obedience matters to Him.

Sacrifice begins with surrender.

Some people think that just because they are working hard and giving things up, they are making a sacrifice that is worthy of great reward. And while they may have temporary success from these sacrifices, they miss out on receiving eternal, lasting and the most fulfilling rewards you can get from making sacrifices.

Why? Because if that sacrifice isn’t being done because of the call or leadership of God in your life, it is essentially done for your own glory.

And guess what?

Hustling for self glory is simply self-promotion. It may produce temporary success but will not have lasting fruit.Click To Tweet

Sure it’s hard work and you’re giving things up, but if it is not in the will of God for your life, all that work will be burned away when you die (1 Cor 3:11-15). The only thing that will matter in eternity are the things you did, according to His will and for His glory.

Necessity of sacrifice, we are God's workmanship

This means there is a work that God has prepared for you to do.

Obedience Looks Like Something

If obedience to God’s directives is what matters it means that making a sacrifice can look different in different seasons.

For example, at one point, He may ask you to sit down to spend time with Him primarily focused on prayer, fasting and worship – I mean investing hours each day. And that can be difficult to do while it seems like everyone else is busy “making moves” in life.

Then there will be other seasons where He desires that you take action. Where He wants to use YOU as the answer to the prayers you’ve been praying. Seasons where He asks you to run with one or a few things that will further His kingdom on the earth.

It could be business, family, ministry, service, career, schooling or any other thing. It is never meant to take the place of seeking God in private prayer, but it is work.

Are there things that you are holding on to for comfort and security. Are there assignments that God has been calling you to do? Or are you currently working in your purpose and ministry but feeling tired and weighed down? You have to remember…

Sacrifice Means Work.

If God has given you something to do and you pray into it, and REALLy want it to happen with all your heart but do not make the sacrifice required, it will not happen!

necessity of sacrifice, jesus took action

Prayer and intercession are crucial to fulfilling your destiny. But if Jesus only prayed at Gethsemane – “Father, let Your will be done” and didn’t take action – carried his physical cross and got killed on it, we would not be saved today.

Remember He had the option to opt-out.

“Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”…
Jesus.

He had the power to stop everything. With each lash, with each step, He could have said, I’m done. It’s over. But He waited until He had fully drunk from the cup of God’s wrath. Until He was about to die and then He said –

“It is finished”.

Like He said,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work.”

If Jesus did not go through until the end it would have been a God plan, a perfect and good idea that died unfulfilled.

We must be willing to partner with Jesus in the prayer, surrender and finally in the follow through – work.

 

Others Can, You Cannot.

Other people may want to just cruise through life. Take the easy road.
Get saved.
Take care of their family only.
Work a good career.
Die and go to heaven.

But you need to be willing to seek God’s fullness for your life, then figure out how to actually live it out. Take the time to ask questions, sit back, pray hard, listen, then move.

Have you been waiting on a series of miracles to inform you of the work you are called to do?
Sometimes you simply have to sit down , use the amazingly creative brain God has given you and just THINK!

Think about where you have been called to. Who you have been called to impact.
Set short, mid and long term goals for how you want to do it.
Plan the actions you must take to hit the goals you have set.
Don’t just wait for the supernatural to push you where you need to go.

God will do His part. He will direct you, show you what He has put inside of you and confirm that you are on the right track or adjust your sails… while you go.

But He will not do your part.

He will not take control of your calendar and help you schedule your activities.
He will not force your brain to think of the inventions that He has placed inside of you.
He will not write your book for you and drop it on your lap while you sleep.

You need to allow God to challenge you. Ask Him what He expects of you.

Then push! Plan! Get help where you need it, and GET IT DONE!

 

Sacrifice Means Completion.

What work has God asked you to do? Are you completing it or do you just start and stop? When you get started, do you actually finish?

Can you imagine if Jesus dropped the cross as they climbed the hill in Calvary and said,
“Sorry guys, I’ve changed my mind. This is actually way too hard for me. God, please find someone else.”

Can you really imagine that?!!

Yet we do it all the time. We start doing what He says, then when it feels unbearably hard, we give in to our flesh and call it quits. Reread that hypothetical sentence and ask yourself whether you’ve been saying a variation of that in an area of your calling.

Yes, these seasons of work can cause you to feel tired. Overwhelmed. Or like it’s impossible for you to do what He’s saying but guess what?

Remember, if you could do it in your own strength, you wouldn’t NEED God.

Within The Process

The heart behind the action is as important as the action itself.
It’s not enough to simply say “ I did it”.

During that pressing season I spoke of in my last blog, I was thinking to myself ‘God, do you see how hard I’m working?”.

And His response was “Do you think doing the action and checking it off the list is what I’m looking for? I see the heart behind it. Jesus did not go to the cross complaining. He went joyfully. He wasn’t laughing, but he was at peace in the sacrifice. I care about the process not just the result.”

The breakthrough will come but God will ask you how you carried yourself in the process. Were you afraid or did you believe? What did you look like during the pressure? Did you give up or push with the Lord?

Did you take matters into your own hands? Were you consistently stressed or did you choose to have faith and acknowledge your tired state but trust Him to bring you through?

Jesus was willing to endure the cross “for the joy set before Him”. Because He knew what it would do for those He loved.
What is the joy that is set before you?
Why are you doing all you are doing?
What is the bigger picture your life is pushing for?
Why are you making the sacrifices you are making?

When you have a clear picture of your WHY, it will enable you to stay joyful during the pressure moments. It will help keep the bitterness and complaint out. After all, being a living sacrifice is only a reasonable service.

Sacrifice – A Reasonable Service

You may have been feeling as though you are sacrificing so much for the sake of your ________ (church, family, friends etc). Like you are the only one bringing something to the table and wondering where everyone else is and why they aren’t giving as much. Thinking you are the only prophet of God left in the land like Elijah did. Or that you invented sacrifice.

However, when you agree with this perspective, that is when your sacrifice becomes a double burden. The hard work it requires of you as well as the heavy weight of offense and bitterness that builds inside.

necessity of sacrifice reasonable service romans 12:1

Being a sacrifice is a reasonable service. It’s not even something to boast about. It is the only reasonable thing to do when you receive a gift as encompassing as salvation.

It doesn't matter how many others are not pulling their weight. YOU give it 100! It is for God not for men.Click To Tweet

If you’ve ever sung the song “I am a friend of God” by Israel Houghton, you need to live it. And guess what? Jesus said He does call you a friend and that specifically if you do what He commands you to do.

“You are my friends if you do what I command.”
John 15:14

If you are a friend of God, then there is no better way to show Him that you love him than to lay your life down for Him. Yes, it is a sacrifice. Yes it is hard. He understands and He did it too. For you. While you still hated him.

Click here for 3 reasons sacrifice is necessary to fulfill your destiny.

 let’s talk

What are you going to change either about your thought life or actions because you read this blog?
What is the bigger picture your life is pushing for?
Why are you making the sacrifices you are making?


Love. Life. Truth.

relative_calm_1024

 

On a day which celebrates love, I am crying out. Broken in the place of prayer and pleading with God to see a culture that lives out TRUE, PURE love. A generation that would stand for righteousness and would celebrate holiness.

A culture that would love and honor women. That would no longer objectify them in the name of “love” – What love? This skewed view of love which manifests itself as a selfish desire for self gratification that has overtaken our society with symptoms of the normalization and promotion of pornography, sex trafficking, abortion and the glorifying of “self”.

A culture that would love and honor children, no longer celebrating the right to end their lives as “justice”. I am praying for truth to be seen about this “justice” – A false justice that denies an entire human race the right to life.

I am praying for North America that we would not be so consumed in ourselves and our comfort that we sit silently as generations are obliterated before our eyes. Urging those who oppose this atrocity to be quiet, remain silent so that we can continue to live indifferently. Live in this bubble of blissful ignorance.

I pray for the body of Jesus Christ to wake up. That we would speak up. That we would be a voice for the voiceless. That we would see once again that God is love. Jesus lived love. That love in words alone is empty, fruitless and vain. We must couple our declarations of love for God and mankind with a genuine labor to see the oppressed liberated. For this reason Jesus came:
To preach the gospel to the poor;
To heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

OH that we would cry out for the children that are being killed, the women whose lives are being ripped to shreds by the atrocity that is abortion. Those who don’t even know the options that are available to them when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and are thereby lured into the abortion mill. I pray that we would speak life, and hope to those that are hurting from past abortions. That we would show them the forgiveness and freedom that is only available in Christ. I pray for a true love revolution to overtake our society in God’s name and for the glorifying of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sin and the sins of my nation. God, please end abortion and send revival to North America.


Today I gave Him my mouth.

Surrender

Today I gave Him my mouth.

 

I will not say anything He is not saying
· I will speak life over all situations and people I encounter. He IS abundant life
I will not gossip about a bro/sis.
· I will encourage and edify His body and if I have nothing good to say I will remain quiet.
I will not tell a lie (grey, black, white) or half truth
· I will speak the truth in love even if it kills me.
I will not boast about my relationship with Him.
· If anything, will boast in my weakness for therein is His strength displayed
I will not show off about what I give for His kingdom’s sake.
· I will not allow my left hand to hear about what my right hand is doing.

Today I gave Him my mouth
I will make jokes that strengthen others and do not tear them down.
I will honor my authority in my words as well as my actions
I will pray without ceasing
I will speak His words with boldness
I will be a peacemaker – I will speak up to resolve situations rather than remain quiet and watch as the enemy brings disunity in the body.
I will be slow to speak and quick to listen

Today I gave Him my mouth
I will speak only as I hear Him speaking
I will sing only as I hear Him singing
I will pray only what I hear Him praying.

It’s a high goal, but I’d rather actually try to live out His word than say I am fully surrendered to God when my body/mind/soul are still mine by my fruit. I know that He will give the grace to live this commitment out.

I shared this to challenge us to examine our lives and the use of our mouths specifically and see how well it reflects what we say, pray and sing to God every Sunday (at least). Am I ACTUALLY given to Him?

For scriptural references for any point, holla @ me.