We operate according to the opposite of sacrifice today. We give to God and to others on our terms. According to the worlds standards, we give in order to keep, to hoard, to hold, to acquire, to grasp, even to deny. But at some point in your life what you’re willing to lay down will be tested. Somehow we’ve arrived at a place where we value our relationship with God based on what we have and what we have accumulated. The more stuff we have the more secure we feel and the more we think God loves us. It’s so bad now that there are people who we have convinced that God must not like you because you don’t have what I have and you don’t drive what I drive and you don’t live where I live. But God is not a man in a red suite, living at the North Pole riding around on a reindeer led sled with some animals named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. God isn’t in the business of just giving us what we want, when we want it and how we want it. God is in the business of getting what he wants. He wants our worship!!!!
There’s nothing wrong with prosperity. But when we base the blessings of God on bank accounts and houses and property and 401k’s and annuities and rental properties we tend to use the gospel to intimidate people who don’t have those things as if we’ve always been blessed.
But let me tell you, something! Give me someone who is broke, busted, and disgusted but who has a mustard seed of faith and I’ll show you someone who can move mountains! Slay giants! Get healed! And that’s why your faith must be put to the test! The bible says in Genesis 22 verse 1: “After these things God tested Abraham.”
And truth be told, when we are tested and tried we often clock out on God. We shut down. We walk away. We give up. We become immobile and apathetic. For us God isn’t holding up his end of the bargain. We’re out. But I stopped by to tell somebody that faith is not measured by what you pick up on this side of heaven. Faith is measured by what you lay down. It’s what you sacrifice. It’s about what you give up, what you surrender. And the truth of the truth is that faith doesn’t come without a fight. And the enemy doesn’t fight fair. But that’s why you need Jesus. Because when the going gets tough and the faith walk gets rough you can say like Job, though he slay me yet will I trust in him. Job 13:15 Somebody say, “lay it down!” Your faith must be tested!!!
The word Sacrifice in Greek: thusia (thoo-see'-ah) Short Definition: a sacrifice, hence says, “17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: ‘If any of you—whether an Israelite or a foreigner residing in Israel—presents a gift for a burnt offering to the Lord, either to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, 19 you must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf. 20 Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf. 21 When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the Lord to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable. 22 Do not offer to the Lord the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores. Do not place any of these on the altar as a food offering presented to the Lord. 23 You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox[a] or a sheep that is deformed or stunted, but it will not be accepted in fulfillment of a vow. 24 You must not offer to the Lord an animal whose testicles are bruised, crushed, torn or cut. You must not do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a foreigner and offer them as the food of your God. They will not be accepted on your behalf, because they are deformed and have defects.’”
So, it doesn’t matter who you are, what race you are, what you have, you will be tested.
He’s looking for someone who he can work through. Someone not afraid of the journey. Not afraid of the isolation. Not afraid of the commitment. Not afraid of the sacrifice.