This past week at M-Fuge, one of the days we talked about sacrifice. It's something that has really stuck with me. I always seem to associate "giving up" or "death" with the term sacrifice. While I know this is common and mostly accurate - the Lord really spoke to me this week about how much more life we can have if we sacrifice. How it's not really as much about giving something up as it is what it can add to our lives. The camp focused on Hannah's sacrifice of her son Samuel. How she had wanted a son for so long and once she had him, she gave him back to the Lord and His service. It just made me start thinking that I wondered if she walked around after that talking about her sacrifice. Is that how she would tell her story? Or would she just talk about the blessing of doing what the Lord had called her to do?
I think so often when the Lord calls us to sacrifice something it becomes a worldly demonstration of our "dedication" to the Lord. We talk about it with our friends or post it on facebook - anyone who knows us will know what we've decided to "sacrifice" for the Lord. The Bible instructs us to not let our right hand know what our left hand is doing - I believe this is applicable in this scenario. If the Lord is asking you to "give up" something then He's asking you to do that. He's not asking you to talk about it with everyone you meet. A sacrifice is something personal, something sincere, and always from the heart.
The Lord also started revealing to me people that I've grown up thinking that they have made huge sacrifices in their lives. As I went through them in my mind, I realized that these people never talked about their sacrifices or ever looked for a crowd to pity them or exalt them. These people simply proclaimed the Lord's work in their life. The sacrifice was not the focus - the focus was on the Lord, totally and completely.
The challenge that I found myself faced with was my focus - is it on the Lord or on myself? Romans 12:1 says to present yourself as a living sacrifice - am I presenting myself in a worldly way or in a Godly way? Those are truly the only 2 options, so it has to be one or the other. My prayer is that I always point others to the Lord and that I never try to stand in the way of that. That my selfishness and pride never attempt to shadow who He is in all of His glory.