For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
True joy that endures the test of time comes from audacious obedience. Obedience that defies logic, circumstance, and practicality is often a requirement to grow in intimacy with our Father. But, when you throw around the word “obey”, people begin to get a little squirmy in their seat. Our humanity doesn’t like to be told as an adult to obey God. We internalize thoughts such as, “I’m grown; I know what’s right for me,” or “I’m smart and that just doesn’t make sense.” Not obeying is normally justified by rebellion. However, not obeying what God has clearly asked of you always brings misery, frustration, and confusion.
For example, we live in a world today that WILL be quick to sacrifice. I see people giving money to amazing organizations or spending countless amounts of hours volunteering for churches and ministries. We see commercials on how to care for abandoned pets or feed children and we are very quick to do so. Our emotion muscle gets flexed and we sacrifice for things where we believe we can make a difference. However, we forget that in the middle of doing great things, the best thing for us to do is what God tells us to do. For instance, is God pleased if you sacrifice to go on a missions trip, but are sexually active with your boyfriend before you go and after you come back? OUCH, I know that hit a nerve. Some of us fight the call of ministering on our lives and justify it by saying God’s call is just for preachers, when the Bible clearly tells us in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples. I ask you — when was the last time you told someone about Jesus? God is pleased with our sacrifice ONLY when we are obedient. Sacrifice without obedience is self-serving and self-promoting.
I, myself, have been one of the biggest offenders on this very subject. Fourteen years ago, I was super sacrificial. I was at church in all the plays and living what looked like a life that was sold out for the Lord, but when God told me to break off the engagement to the man I was going to marry, I ignored it. God kept sending me ways and reasons to break off the engagement, but I didn’t do it. My rebellion justified my actions for moving forward with the wedding and it got me divorced not three years later. If I would have stopped busying myself with the “sacrificial” things I was doing for the Lord and solely focused on my relationship with Him, I would never have had to endure the corrupt things in my past.
When God speaks, it’s because He loves us. I get so mad at people thinking that God is sitting and waiting for you to screw up to bring judgment on you! God ADORES YOU!!!! He desperately wants the best for you. He is your biggest Cheerleader and your strongest Advocate! When He asks you to do something, know for sure He knows what is best. I challenge you to trust Him. His way is easy and burden so light. Trust Him, sweet reader.