Sacrifice

IMG_7533Five minute Friday: Sacrifice

“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:14-15

The word sacrifice makes us think of endurance and pain. It makes us think about giving up something we love.

A sacrifice costs me something. It requires a victim. It forces me to ask, “Am I willing to do this for my God? Am I willing to kill the victim?”

To continually offer up praise, to acknowledge His name all day long, is to put my fears on the altar. It is to look in the face of this bleating thing, demanding that I need it, that I want it, that it should have me, and to bind it with my praise, to offer it up by choosing to thank my God, choosing to lift up the name of my God above all desires, above all fears, above all hurts.

This sacrifice costs me myself. It asks me to claim God’s promises are true, even when I don’t see it or feel it. It asks me to trust that the cost is worth it. Can I thank Him when I don’t want to? Can I praise Him when I am weak with fear?

We have no lasting city here. All the desires we chase will disappear. All the things will crumble. But the city where He is? The city to come? It is sure and steadfast, eternal and true. And all our thanks rise up to fill that place with light, somehow bringing it near. The city is Him, our God. This is the place where He wants us to dwell. And when we speak His name, when we offer our thanks to Him and claim all his words, His kingdom comes. The sacrifice that seems to cost us so much becomes our joy as God comes near.

He inhabits our praises. He comes to us when we praise Him in the dark, when we thank Him from our pain and confusion and even our anger.

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If I wait till I feel like offering the sacrifice, I will miss the greatest joy. But when I walk up that mountain, trembling all the way, and bind up my greatest loves and lay them on that altar and call out the name of the Lord my God, He comes. He provides. And what begins as an act of obedience becomes the truest act of worship as I know Him as He is: The God Who Sees. The God Who Hears. The God Who Provides.

He is so much more than the thing we give up. You may not believe that today, but you can still act on it. You can look around you and list your praises. You can lift up the name of your God. Trust Him to take your sacrifice of praise and meet you with Himself.

Here is a great place to start:

You are
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are
You are
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God

That is who You are

That is who You are
That is who You are
That is who You are
That is who You are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJCV_2H9xD0

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2 thoughts on “Sacrifice

  1. I place my fears upon the altar,
    offered to the killing knife.
    I cannot quail, I cannot falter
    if I want the holy life.
    I give to death the life I had
    that I might receive the new
    and cannot look back, so sad
    that the joys of old are through
    for they were truly mark of sin,
    and they were the fun of fools
    who, not knowing what they might win
    made themselves the devil’s tools.
    Lord, kill what I was before,
    and from the ashes, make me more!

    Liked by 1 person

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