Monday, January 30, 2012
Sacrifice is Never Easy
Lately I've been working through the emotion of the next steps of my healing journey, and all that it means. God has revealed to me that I have placed my house as an idol above Him. And before I can truly move on in my healing as a widow, I need to deal with the idol. It is very hard for me to downsize all that I have. My possessions have become my personal "arrival" in life, or a sign of all I have accomplished. I know God is calling me on to something greater, and when I get there it is going to be wonderful. But today, as I prepare to start cleaning stuff up, giving stuff away, and downsizing, its hard. And it hurts! Sacrifice is never easy.
Look at Jesus. He had a glorious and wonderful life in Heaven. Yet he sacrificed it all, leaving behind everything. He was God, and He laid it all down to come to earth as a man. There was nothing easy about that. Now fast forward 33 years to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew He was going to be arrested, beaten beyond recognition, whipped within a breathe of His life, then mocked and hung naked on a cross until death. He cried as He sought God for strength to face it. He cried so hard he bled. Jesus was sacrificing it all so that we could enjoy eternity with Him in Heaven. Sacrifice is hard.
Finally I think of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all of his things. Why? Because those things owned him. They were idols in His life. His things had replaced God as his source, and he found his identity and measure of success in them. God knew. He is a jealous God. He says, "have nothing before me!" I believe Jesus asked Him to sell his belongs for this reason: they were above God. Unwilling, the rich young ruler walked away sad, because he had many possessions (Mark 10:17-22). Sacrifice is hard.
Sacrifice is hard... but it is always worth it!