“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. …
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
- Luke 22:9, 33
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
- Romans 12:1
“This event is a picture of the mistake we make in thinking that the ultimate God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, that is, sacrifice our lives. Not— ‘Lord, I am ready to go with You…to death’ (Luke 22:33). But— ‘I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God.’
“We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this error, and the same process is at work in our lives. God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. It is a matter of loosening the bands that hold back our lives. Those bands are loosened immediately by identification with the death of Jesus. Then we enter into a relationship with God whereby we may sacrifice our lives to Him.
“It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants you to be a ‘living sacrifice’— to let Him have all your strengths that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus (Romans 12:1). This is what is acceptable to God.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Rev. Chambers says that we need to die to be a living sacrifice, but we should not die. We need to die to sin. We need to be purified, cleansed, so that we can be the living sacrifice that God needs, someone who can be a shining beacon of God’s Love to all those around us.
I fail at that. I am sure we all do at one point or another.
I have failed when the foundation beneath my feet shifted, or what I thought was my foundation. I have failed by being legalistic at times. I have failed when God gives me a test and I respond in a way Jesus would not have responded.
I am learning. My sanctification is still under construction, as Ruth Graham had placed on her tombstone, for in death the construction is complete.
But we must strive toward that end. We will not get it all right, but we can still show God’s Love. We still desire more of God in our lives.
But the key is that as we live, we sacrifice of ourselves, so that we will show that love. It is not our will, but God’s will that matters.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.