I’m a number nine on the Enneagram. If that’s your thing, then you’ll know what I’m referring to. I’m all about the safe spaces, comfort corners and peaceful presence. I avoid all things harmful, hurtful and hate fuelled. I’m at ease when things don’t threaten my thoughts. I’m anxious when my serenity is sabotaged.
Maybe you can relate?
We live in a generation that has become unfamiliar with the uncomfortable. If it costs us our energy, money and time – it costs too much. Our concerns are saturated with things that satisfy us, so much so that pleasure has become something we idolise. And comfort has become the thing we worship.
And as I’ve heard many times:
comfort cancels calling
And if the enemy can convince us that comfort is key, he’s already gained a grip into our lives.
I’m slowly learning that comfort will keep me complacent. And complacency is not a Kingdom value.
Proverbs 1:32 – “For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;”
There’s a difference between being complacent and being content. And contentment in Christ is a Kingdom value.
Is there an area in your life where comfort has become king and The King has become cornered?
I was freshly reminded of the access granted to us, to the Father, through the sacrifice of Christ. Through His blood shed on the cross; a veil was torn, a doorway opened, a pathway made clear to the Father in Heaven. And without it, we would still be bound by the law. We can now approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence, and in this position of submission and surrender, we receive grace and mercy for our times of need.
Hebrews 4:16 NIV – “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Complacency and sacrifice cannot coexist.
The sacrificial system in the Old Testament was part of Gods instructions for worship under the old covenant. Exodus 30:10 – “It is most holy to the Lord.” Under this covenant, blood was required for the sanctification of nearly everything.
When Jesus came to fulfil the law, He offered Himself as the sacrifice which became the atonement for all our sins. His blood became the purification for us all. He was the perfect, spotless sacrifice which was slain so that we would be considered righteous.
The sacrifices of the OT was a shadow of what was to come through Jesus. Now, we live under the better new covenant through our faith in Christ.
This clarifies for us that, God still takes pleasure in sacrifice.
Romans 12: 1 – “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.”
Sin keeps us complacent, but sacrifice keeps us surrendered. Oh, the sweet spot of surrender.
What is most holy and pleasing to the Lord, is that we live a life of sacrifice unto Him. This requires a life-style of surrender. A ‘not-my-will-but-yours-be-done’ kind of lifestyle. It’s the life that Jesus modelled for us, and then called us to follow Him.
A heart submitted to God produces a life surrendered to God.
This involves sacrifice.
We offer up our all because He gave His all for us.
Christ followers are called to sacrificial living; therefore instead of counting the cost, let us consider the cross.
So, what do we sacrifice?
In Romans 12:1, Paul urges us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices in view of Gods mercies – this would be the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And how through His sacrifice, we do not receive the penalty for our sin, but instead righteousness is our reward when we choose to follow Christ.
So, in view of Gods abundant grace, we are able to surrender our hearts to Him. I think it’s important to remember Who we surrender to, this is our act of worship.
Psalm 95:6 – “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”
If our sacrifice is to live a life of worship, then our worship requires whole hearted adoration and devotion. Our sacrifice, is to surrender and submit to the will of the Father over and above our own desires. We are to consider Jesus, above all else.
Hebrews 3:1 – “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus.”
We are called to a higher heavenly calling, which requires our obedience. We are to consider Jesus, fix our thoughts on Him and seek Him continually, in all things.
I believe that we are in a Romans 12:1-2 season. A season of sacrifice, submission and surrender. A season of turning back to our First Love and following Him in whole hearted devotion, without counting the cost.
We are called to be a people who are differentiated by our commitment to Christ. Those who refuse to conform, will be transformed. Those who choose to comply, will be corrupted.
We have the precious Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk with fortitude as we faithfully serve our King Jesus in our fields of influence. This may be the mission of motherhood, the market place or ministry. Wherever you find yourselves, whatever you’re doing, do it faithfully and obediently.
Walk in diligence.
Walk in obedience.
Stay close to Jesus!
Micah 6:8 CSB – “Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”