Oswald Chambers kept me from being a Jonah the other day. God asked us to stay and continue to help with the Greer kids even after Kevin returns from the Ukraine. In my heart, as we were talking to them on Skype, I knew the answer was yes, but of course we prayed first, because it is the 'spiritual' thing to do. The following morning, all three of my devotionals screamed: You will say "yes". Mr. Chambers spoke loudly in 'My Utmost for His Highest', "How can we talk of making a sacrifice for the Son of God! Our salvation is from hell and perdition, and then we talk about making sacrifices." Okay, Lord, I hear you. This is not a sacrifice.
Then I read in 'A Pillar By Day' this statement, "When we choose to take up the cross and say, "It's not about the what's easiest for me. It's about what's best for the most people I can possible reach and help. I'm going to go and do this, it's the way of the cross." (Jon Corson) Again, nailed between the eyes and the heart...I say "Yes Lord, I hear You."
Then, as if this was not enough, (Peter do you love me, feed my sheep!) I read Philippians 3: 7-11, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider the passing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Father, I hear you. There is no sacrifice in doing this, it is just what your Son would have done with joy in His heart and a smile on His lips. This is not the way of the cross, this is a walk in the park with the Lord.
I am so guilty of thinking that I am doing such a sacrificial work for the Lord when I step up and "do" for the Lord, but am I bleeding? I am not a martyr! Am I giving up my very life blood for another? Do I have scars in my hands to prove this sacrifice? We American Christians think we give up, 'sacrifice' so much....PLEASE! Name one thing that falls in the category of "The fellowship of sharing in His sufferings" that occurs in our lives in the United States. Quickly, the Jeopardy theme song is playing....name one sacrifice that we have made that is the way of the Cross. Times up. Nothing. Right?
I hope that this has speared your heart straight through, as it did mine. We look around and see what we are missing, the bad economy and the lack of vanity items we may be forced to give up, the time we lose by being a 'servant for God', in the nursery, babysitting, helping our neighbors, the list can go on, and yet the is no blood, sweat or tears. Tragic that we are soft, pampered and ill prepared for the fire that previous Saints have suffered through and even those in the persecuted church around the world today endure, they have shared in the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, I will not be a Jonah. Whales are beautiful on the outside only. I will go to Nineveh and not take a side trip inside this beast because I choose not to obey when I am called to serve.
How about you? Feeling sacrificial?
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