I was walking through the neighborhood, it was unseasonably warm for the middle of December and I decided to pray about my word for 2016. As I began my prayer, the word SACRIFICE immediately came to mind. I brushed aside and prayed again. Certainly, that wasn’t the word for me. I would rather have a word like abundance, hope, love, joy or how about a saying, ‘trouble-free year’. I know a trouble free year or even day doesn’t exist, yet hope springs eternal. I am told to consider it all joy when I encounter trials of any sort, but SACRIFICE? Are you sure, Lord?
All the meanings of sacrifice traipsed through my mind:
- We bring the sacrifice of praise unto the house of the Lord.
- Lord, accept the sacrifice our our hands for your good and the good of all the church.
- “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”- Romans 12:1
So, the word for the year is SACRIFICE. I cannot chase it out of my head or hide it under a rug. It is there like a neon sign. Blinking. Reminding me that I can bring the sacrifice of praise unto the house of the Lord, the fruit of my lips giving thanks. I can choose obedience rather than the sort of sacrifice that is not God’s will. (tweet this) You know the kind when you try to convince God that you are doing something good when He wants you to do something else? I’m good at trying to negotiate my sacrifice of good works into His will, when I know deep down they’re not. I’m good at sacrificing my God-sized dream on the altar of someone else’s and then going home and crashing because I can’t take another step in the direction God calls me in. Sacrifice always means killing flesh. It doesn’t mean the flesh that is put to death (figuratively) isn’t doing something good. Obedience is better than sacrifice, but it does require sacrifice. I feel the straps already tying me down to the altar of self. I need to die. My desire to do good and please others must come under the knife of the word and motives sorted out.
It is a good word, this SACRIFICE. A good solid word. A word we don’t whip out at social gatherings or not often in the church assembly. I am excited and terrified at the same time. I will keep you posted on how God is working out this word, SACRIFICE in me this year. This short post is certainly an epiphany. It has not been lived hard and long after dusty road to Damascus. I am, like Saul renamed Paul, am still blind, but soon I will see. God will send laborers across my path (like you) to minister truth to me and I will grow this year in ways that are over, abundantly above all that I could ask or think.
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday! Join us!
Join me tomorrow for “A Year in Review” and I have a gift for you on New Year’s Day! Check in tomorrow for more details! Blessings!