I died today… again. Just when I thought I was done dying…thought I was faithful….thought I was a disciple.
Maybe I should say, part of my personality died today. It wasn’t murder. I put it on the altar. Sacrificed it. Who can profess to understand what Abraham felt in offering up his promised son? Probably no one in our modern day, but today I know what it is to sacrifice something you think you need to realize dreams and achievements God has placed on your heart.
Today I sacrificed something I can’t even really explain in words. (She said right before she explained…)
What was it?
It wasn’t my pride because I still have that. Still have my tenacity. Ambition still intact.
It was… me. I sacrificed me for the population God has called me to serve. I sacrificed the right to do what is best for me if it isn’t best for them.
Somewhere along the lines, I became humble, lowly, and meek. But that’s not me. Something had to be sacrificed to bring me to this place where I would not advocate for myself if it meant leaving the ones He loves vulnerable.
After my sacrifice, I know I cannot assert myself. I cannot be loud and jump about as I have before, can’t seek my own. I must advocate for those I serve over my own desires because I am here to serve my King.
Don’t miss that. I didn’t say, I will let myself go, treat myself poorly, or sacrifice my health for ministry. I said, I will sacrifice my desires for the ones God sent me to serve. “As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Eph. 6:6&7
Then why do I feel so crappy?
When humans take more than they give, advocate for themselves no matter what that means for someone else, or place themselves in a position to be more important than others, it can make you feel jaded about serving.
You think to yourself, “Well if they’re doing that, I gotta’ watch my own back.” This happens in our marriages, with our children, our friends, our parents. When we feel others are all about self, we get sucked into serving ourselves as a survival mechanism.
But the next verse lets you know that you don’t have to watch your own back. “Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do…” (v.8)
The Lord is watching your back. He is watching my back. This text is a controversial one because it is written to slaves. If you are African American, you might have some trouble with this text because it might cause you to wonder if God was okay with the slavery of your people. Was God advocating for slavery system, you might ask.
Well, it’s easy to get caught up in the controversy of it, but when we do, we miss the true meaning of this text, which is…
Whatever situation you find yourself in, serve as if it is for God and He will handle the outcomes, rewards, and punishments alike.
That’s very hard to do or tell someone to do when they are being taken advantage of, but isn’t it what Joseph did? Wasn’t he a good slave and then a good prisoner, though he did absolutely nothing to deserve such treatment?
The part that floors me the most about Joseph’s story was what he replied to his wicked brothers who had sold him. Joseph said…
“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
Joseph basically said, “You ruined my life and stole years I will never get back, but no worries. It was all apart of God’s plan to save you and others. It’s all good.”
He went through years of slavery and imprisonment and wrote it off. Why? Because Joseph knew something most of us don’t.
It isn’t about you! It isn’t about me! It’s up to God what and who He uses to save people.
The other thing that blows my mind and led me to willingly sacrifice my desires is that God, He who flung the stars and kissed the Sun, wants to use me. Me?!
So I may not like all the circumstances attached to service, but it is what I signed up for. I guess I could opt out, but what if Joseph had opted out?
- It isn’t about me.
- God will take care of me, so that frees me up to be all about Him and the ones He loves.
- That’s what I signed up for when I decided to follow Christ.
- God wants to use me to save others!
Check out this Hillsong original. If it all reveals Your nature, So Will I