Sacrificial Living – Part 1
Happy New Year Everybody! Today I started reading 100 Days of Believing Bigger Devotional Journal by Marshawn Evans Daniels, and Day One is ‘Trust Made Simple’. If you know me then you know I trust no one, so when I read the title, I rolled my inward eyes, but I didn’t even finish reading the first sentence before God gave me my first lesson for 2022. The first sentence read,
“God is more concerned with our trust than our talent…more committed to our character than our career…and more interested in OBEDIENCE THAN SACRIFICE.”
This hit hard because not even an hour before I read that, I was praying…well not really praying, I was complaining. #dontjudgeme But in my complaining prayer, I was reminding the Lord that I knew I’d been giving/sowing on a level that I really couldn’t afford. Yet I gave anyway. At the time, I didn’t truly understand why I shouldn’t give because the Word says, ‘God loves a cheerful giver.’ But I knew, both in my heart and spirit, I wasn’t supposed to. But again, me being the grown child of God that I am, I did what I wanted to do, and more importantly, what I thought God wanted me to do and gave sacrificially. In fact, I’ve given sacrificially all my Christian life. That’s the way I was taught, so I’ve given until it hurts. Rent money, bill money, shoes…you name it. Ya girl done gave.
But can I keep it a buck? Most of the time, I knew it wasn’t God and it wasn’t until I read that statement, which comes straight from 1 Samuel 15:22, that this was one of the main reasons I’ve been stuck. You see, to me, to not give or to not sacrifice seems disobedient. To not want to sow, to not want to be the bigger person, or to not be the one to do what nobody else is willing to do, seems both selfish and disobedient to me. But I had to remember that God prefers obedience rather than sacrifice. And I know, all of that seems noble and the Christian thing to do but I’ve been reading in the Word and the Christian thing, that most non-Christians require us to do, isn’t exactly what Jesus did.
Yes, I know the Lord was betrayed by a staff member and that He was wrongfully convicted and was put to death for our sins but if you read about His interactions with the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers, and elders, you’ll discover that many times Jesus checked on sight. And for my ebonically challenged readers, that means the Lord corrected those who came for Him or who made Him feel that He should be doing more or something other than what He was doing. There were only a few times when the Lord let folks make it. Yet today, we’ll turn the left cheek, stand still and give them instructions on how they can sock us out; all because we feel as if we need to sacrifice a part of our dignity in order to keep the peace. But chile please! The only thing God requires of us is that we obey what He tells us to do in those moments which might just be to give you a few kind words to refresh your memory and understanding of what God has unapologetically led us to do.