Most recently, I attended a Christian conference where thousands of women were gathered. There were women from all walks of life: some rich, middle class, some perhaps poor, corporate chief executive officers, stay at home mothers, ministry leaders and off course brand new babes to the faith. Yet, they all had one thing in common: they wanted more of Jesus.
As all the women worshiped the living and one true God, they each had brought their own burdens to the gathering: burdens for a spouse to walk with the Lord, loneliness, the heaviness of singleness at times, a future spouse no where in sight, a wayward child that had abandoned the Lord, or an illness that threatened to take their life at the very least it made their life more difficult.
Tears flowed from every corner of the room as each woman sought the Lord deeper in their pain, uncertainties, joy, needs, and sorrows. And each woman had a story to tell yet all were in need of the same God who alone can save, heal, redeem, restore forgive and make a way when there seems to be no way.
Many of us walked into the convention center in one state of mind and soul but I believe the majority left changed one way or another. What happens when a room full of people surrenders their heart to the Lord and trusts Him to continue to write their story? A complete transformation! At the very least, a new perspective is birthed. When I walked into the room, I thought “Lord, I cannot take this pain anymore and I have been waiting long on you for deliverance crying out in the name of Jesus my Savior”. However, the woman who left that room saw how even suffering is, as a godly woman Elisabeth Elliot once said, “suffering is never for nothing”. I no longer saw myself as a victim of chronic illness but as an instrument of God’s glory. My prayer became “even if you don’t heal me, though I know you can, I am yours. Let all of my life, all of me including my pain and suffering be all for your utmost glory. Let your will be done.”
As we come to God and surrender all of ourselves to Him, and I really mean all of it that is, hence our desires, dreams, bodies, mind, soul, personality, gifts, talents, pain and anything and everything that is part of who we are, what’s happened to us, what we’ve done and more, can be submitted to God as a beautiful sacrifice. It’s incredible how many of us desire to be refreshed by the Well yet are not willing to bring the most essential ingredient for such refreshing to take place: a sacrifice. Anything can be a beautiful sacrifice to the Lord including surrendering all of ourselves to Him and laying ourselves fully on the altar of sacrifice. How do we present ourselves as a sacrifice to God? The tenth verse of Psalm 51 gives us the answer. The most beautiful sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, and a broken and humbled heart.
“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.”
How wonderful and much different we’d be if we continually made this sacrifice before God. We should not wait for a conference, a circumstance, or even a situation to bring this sacrifice at His altar. One thing we can surely learn from the Old Testament is the need of constantly bringing a sacrifice before God? Praise the Lord that we no longer have to bring Him burnt offerings each day because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. He became the lamb slain for sinners such as you and I.
Still, the Old Testament as it foreshadows and reveals a better sacrifice that came through Christ, also reminds us of this constant need to bring ourselves before God. God does not desire empty sacrifices not even the sacrifice of our bank accounts if our hearts remain far away. Perhaps you cannot imagine what you possibly could offer to God as a sacrifice well again, the psalmist David reminds us that God’s preferred sacrifice, the one in which He delights is the sacrifice of a broken, humbled and contrite heart and a broken spirit.
My desire for you is that today you will offer God yourself as the sacrifice, your broken spirit and contrite heart. May you reach the place where you can say:
“Lord, my joy is for your glory!
My faith is for your glory!
My strength is for your glory and especially my weaknesses.
Even my pain is for your glory.
I exist and was made for your ultimate glory so be glorified in me and through me Almighty God. “
So as you take on your day or get ready to rest tonight, ask yourself, what would happen if you surrendered all to Jesus today? What would happened if you would only lay on the altar of sacrifice?
Will you let Him use you as an instrument for His glory come what may?