What Will You Give Up For God?
From Jonah: A 7-Day Devotional
The notion of sacrifice in the Old Testament can be uncomfortable for us. It conjures images of blood and death. We are more comfortable with contemporary Christianity and the lack of a sacrificial system. The problem is that modern Christianity retains a very clear expectation of sacrifice. Instead of sacrificing a dove on an altar, God expects us to offer Him our idols. His desire is for us to turn over anything that draws our attention away from Him.
We may think of sinful habits as insignificant aspects of our lives. We may perceive that our habit is only a momentary indulgence in an otherwise Godly life. Unfortunately, this notion is a fairytale. It is not consistent with Scripture. In order to turn toward something, even for a moment, we are forced to turn away from something else. When we choose to spend time with our pet sin, we choose to spend time away from God. A true understanding of this is a great benefit to us, for when we understand the results of giving in to sin in these terms, resisting temptation becomes less daunting because we are more unwilling to do such great damage to the fellowship we have with God.
Modern sacrifice is giving up time spent with our pet sins. God wants better for us than the fleeting escape offered when we turn to anything other than Him. Idols steal time God has given us to spend in fellowship with Him.
- Is there an idol in your life causing you to turn your focus away from God? What is it?
- What practical step can you take to give that idol over to God? Are you willing to take that next step?
- What is one thing you can do to prevent yourself from having idols in your life?