The law of sacrifice.

Salvation is a free gift, but but if we want to go far with GOD there is a price tag. We who are redeemed by Christ’s blood are all children of GOD, but not everybody can say they are a ‘friend of GOD’ like Abraham, or a “man after GOD’s own heart” like David. If we want to become like the Biblical patriarchs who tugged at the very heart-strings of GOD then we need to learn to speak the language of sacrifice. When we offer something to GOD, He wants it be something in which we place value in to show how much we care for Him, our Creator. Think of Abraham. He walked perfectly with the LORD all his life and when he received the precious gift of a son, that he had waited for for so long into his old age, he was asked to give him up! Imagine how Abraham must have felt to be climbing up Mount Moriah with his only son tied to a sacrificial pyre, ready to be offered as burnt offering to the LORD.

Abraham understood the law of sacrifice. Just like he did with Abraham. GOD still calls upon us to make sacrifices today. Prayers that take a few minutes and are uttered in haste while we are getting dressed in the morning are not sacrifices to GOD, neither is fasting only from 6 am to 6 pm when this is something we have gotten used to. If it is a sacrifice that GOD is going to accept we have to push it farther than we have done before. Sometimes our willingness to do it is enough and GOD will say ‘Stop, don’t harm the boy!’ like he did with Abraham. Our heart posture of sacrifice is the most important part. When we are willing give up something that is important to us, nay, even what is most important to us; we through our willingness to sacrifice show that GOD is more important to us than any of our attachments in the world. Jesus tells us in the gospels that “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,”. Jesus wants to be first on our priority list, and one of the ways we show Him that he is is through sacrifice.

Another example of this is in King David. When he and his men neared the town of Bethlehem where he was born he said, ‘Oh, what I would give to drink of the water of the well at Bethlehem!” Well his mighty men that were with him took this as an order, stormed the Philistine camp and came back with a bucket of the water. David, when he saw this, poured out the water on the ground as a libation to GOD. This water was precious in the sight of David, but GOD was more precious to him and he understood the power of sacrifice.

This is why our offerings mean nothing when we only give the last bit of money we can afford after we have paid all our bills, made allowances for our spending and perhaps even bought ourselves a luxury item or two. This is not sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving what we cannot even afford to give, not only in our money but in our time. Sacrifice is about giving up what our carnal self wants to grasp on to and not let go of. Sacrifice is a way of killing the flesh. This is why fasting is such a powerful tool of sacrifice and why it is one that GOD honours so often with blessings, answered prayers and breakthroughs. In fasting we forgo the very nutrients we need to survive as an offering of sacrifice to the LORD. We decide in that moment that we want to pay homage to GOD more than we want our daily bread and GOD sees this and honours our sacrifice. Maybe GOD will say to you, “Give $300 to that widow right now,” while you only have $350 left. He wants to see that you understand the language of sacrifice. Are you wiling to make an offering even when it hurts? Or are you only able to make token donations when it is convenient for you? How about if a young brother or young sister calls upon your time when you are otherwise engaged. Would you drop everything to minister to said individual, or would you only do this if it is convenient for you? We can speak the language of sacrifice in all areas of our life not just in giving money. Praise be to GOD.

Today, we all have one sacrifice by which we are redeemed, justified and made holy in the sight of GOD: This is the precious blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, this sacrifice is what gives us justification, it does not give us an anointing, or blessings or favour with GOD. These things come by obedience and then sacrifice. Jesus says in His word that obedience is better than sacrifice, well that is because without obedience sacrifices will not even be accepted. Remember the story of the strange fire, when the two Hebrew men were killed by the LORD because they offered strange fire on the altar? This is because they were not sufficiently sanctified to offer sacrifice on the altar of GOD. They had been disobedient to GOD in numerous ways therefore their offering, their sacrifice was not acceptable to GOD. Before we pay sacrifice it is essential that we must be obedient to the LORD. Do not even bother trying to lay sacrifices such as tithes, offerings and fasting before the LORD unless you are first living an obedient life before Him. Obedience is better than sacrifice. So first repent of all our sins and consecrate yourself to the LORD showing Him with your heart posture that you are willing to serve Him wholeheartedly and not have one half of your body on the altar and one half in the world as you did before. The greatest sacrifice we can give to the LORD is to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. But in order to do that we have to live a holy lifestyle. What type of offering or sacrifice would it be to the LORD if our body was engaged in all types of wanton disobedience and then we say ‘”LORD, I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.” This would be an insult to the LORD, just like He considered it an insult in Old Testament times when the children of Israel offered animal sacrifices that had physical defects. GOD wants us to be spotless and unblemished from the world before we offer our bodies up as a living sacrifice.

Think of Peter, he had to sacrifice living at home with his wife to follow Jesus. This is not easy to leave your wife and potentially your children (The Bible does not tell us if he had children) behind. There is a passage in the Bible where a man asks if he can bury his father before following Jesus and Jesus says ‘Let the dead bury their dead.” Following Jesus costs something. He says Himself, “If anyone is to follow me, they must first deny themselves and take up their cross.” The cross was the implement by which Jesus offered Himself up as a living sacrifice to the LORD as payment for all of the sins of the world so what Jesus is exhorting us to do is to use our crosses, our daily struggles as a way of offering sacrifice to Christ. GOD gives each and every one of us crosses to bear in this world, some grievous, and some less so. Christ know what each and every one of us can handle. Perhaps you have been given a chronic and life-limiting illness and part of your sacrifice to GOD is to bear your condition with patience and fortitude day-by-day offering your sufferings up to the LORD with grace and thanksgiving. Or in other cases you may in good health but you have a wife or a husband who is the bane of your existence. The non-believer constantly tests your patience, is an alcoholic and does not care for your children but you endure it, praying for him everyday that he would repent and come to the same knowledge of Christ that you have in your heart. These are sacrifices that GOD has given you with the express purpose of sanctifying you and making you holy. When He sees you struggle with your cross, denying what the flesh wants and asking yourself, ‘What would Jesus do?” this gives Jesus a great delight. Your sacrifice to him now is so sweet. It is like fragrant perfume in the nostrils of the Father. Therefore if you have a cross in your life that is incredibly difficult to bear then rejoice. GOD has given you the ready-made means of offering a sacrifice that is acceptable to Him and He will bless you and your children’s children. Sacrifice sets up an altar of praise and thanksgiving towards the LORD which affects not only us but also our descendants. Yes, what we do on earth does not only affect us. The LORD says He is a jealous GOD, “Passing on the iniquity of the fathers to the fourth generation.” (Deuteronomy 5:9) Therefore, if we spend our lives in evil we can expect to pass down negative situations to our descendants. At the same time of this, if we offer the sacrifices that are good in our life and we create an altar of praise to the LORD He will bless both us and our subsequent generations. Look at the covenant that GOD made with Abraham. The first thing that Abraham did when he reached a location was to create an altar of sacrifice to the LORD; and he offered, as was customary in those times, the first-born and choicest of his livestock, even when asked to, offering up his own son without hesitation. Because of this GOD made him a father of nations, creating an everlasting covenant with Abraham. Abraham, through sacrifice, set up an altar to GOD that gave his descendants benefits forever. The same thing happened with David. He offered sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to the LORD at all times. He was a man of war but he was also a man of worship. He writes in the Psalms that the sacrifices that GOD loves are “A broken heart and a contrite spirit.” He knew the language of sacrifice and he worked out a way to tug at the heart strings of GOD. Because his sacrifices were so pleasing to GOD, He even called David a man after His own heart. Because of the altar of sacrifice that David had set up, GOD promised that a descendant of his would always be on the throne in Israel and He did exactly what He said. Fourteen generations later, Jesus the King of all Kings Himself even was born from the lineage of David.

King David in prayer.

So for this reason let us live holy lives which are a credit to the Father, and once we are accepted offer sacrifices to Him of the best we have to offer. Sacrifice can move the very heart of GOD and can set up altars that will speak on our behalf long after our death. At the same time let us not engage in evil practices which act as sacrifices to the devil. Occultists that engage in these types of practices are making a dark altar that will not stop speaking after they die, even leading to generational curses such as sickness and premature death in their families. Since we do not necessarily know what sacrifices our ancestors raised on our behalf, let us repent of all the sins of our forefathers, breaking any negative bloodline curses in the name of the Lord Jesus, offering up the one perfect sacrifice that Jesus made to wipe away any ordinances against us: His precious blood that took away the sins of the world and which also moved out of the way every evil handwriting against us. This includes judgements that may have been made against us because of evil altars that still stand in our family. Let us crush those evil altars by the blood of Jesus which has set us free from such evil dedications and then offer our own sacrifices to the LORD, raising up altars of praise and worship through sacrifice to the LORD of Hosts which will offer as protection and blessing to both us and the generations that come after us.

By Joshua Khan

Blogging about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

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