Sacrifice, Obedience, and Relationship
by JOSEPH CLARK
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Sacrifice, Obedience, and Relationship
At some point, we all will find ourselves asking God, “Am I doing what you want from me?” The problem is that we often do not get a direct answer from God. “Yes you are, just keep it up” or “No, this is what you need to do instead.” This one question has led to many Christians feeling like God is not with them or that they may just never be able to fully understand what God wants from them in this life.
Through studying God’s word and spending time with him I believe I have found the answer to this question. Now I would like to share it with you. I ask that you keep an open mind because I know this is a topic that has been taught many ways in the past so I am sure there are many preconceived ideas on where I am going. I know that some will read this and not get much from it, but I also know that there will be a few like me that hear this and a light comes on that changes the way you view life forever. Thank you in advance for your time and may God Bless You.
The first topic I will cover is sacrifice. There is no doubt that following God takes sacrifice. The Bible tells us that we must die daily to our flesh. This means that we are not to always do what feels good. In Moses’ tabernacle the sacrifices took place in the outer court. Therefore, we can look at the outer court for understanding on sacrifice.
The sacrifices were brought to the brazen altar where they were burnt before the Lord. Then the Priest had to go to the Brazen Laver where he would clean himself. This shows that our sacrifices will cost us something and that it should be evident to others. As Christians we should be seen as different. Not because we are so good, but because of how good the God we serve is. So a life of sacrifice is important to God, but is that it? No. We are only in the outer court.
Next, we will look at obedience. In the inner court the Priest had to obey God in everything they did to be acceptable to God, so we can use this to look more at obedience. As you enter the inner courts you would see a table to your right. On this table was twelve loafs of bread. Simple enough, this was called the Table of Shew Bread. Here, this represents the word of God. We are told to study God’s word. Directly across from the table of Shew Bread is the Menorah (candle stick). This represents the Spirit of God. As believers, we are told in God’s word to be led by the Holy Spirit. The last piece of furniture in the inner court is the Altar of Incense. The Altar of Incense was located directly in front of the entrance to the Holy of Holies. This Altar represents our prayers. God tells us to continually pray to him.
At this point you may be saying “Okay I’ve heard all of this before.” To that I would say I agree. For most people when they seek advice about the question of whether or not they are doing what God wants them to do, they are told to either make more sacrifices (live better), read the Bible more, follow God’s Spirit and you will be okay, or just pray about it. While all of these things are important, they stop at the inner court. God dwells in the Holy of Holies.
So what is the big secret of life that awaits us in the Holy of Holies? It sounds so simple people say it every day, but fail to understand what it really means. Put first the kingdom of God. I know you have heard this before, but can you honestly say you are living it. I mean before every decision do you take time to ask not just “What would Jesus do?” but also “How will this advance the Kingdom of God?” That does not mean that everyone has to become a preacher. It means that Christians have a higher calling and that everything we do should have a purpose, and that purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God. God gives everyone different tools we can use to do this with. Some have wealth, others have time, and still others have unique skills. The point is, we all have something to contribute, and some day we will have to give an account for what we had.
Take the time now to examine your life. Be honest with yourself. Are you living for yourself, your friends, or even you family, rather than God? If your answer is yes than you need to change your purpose in life. If you put God first and then do the obedience and sacrifice he will honor it. And give you the Abundant Life Jesus promised.
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Thank you so much for writing this article. This is a teaching article, teaching us how to utilize what God has blessed us with in order to advance the Kingdom. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you as you show us the outer court, the inner court and the Holy of Holies in order to show us how it relates to our lives. I write and my writing needs to be able to advance the Kingdom...I need to stop and ask before I do something...will this advance the Kingdom? Awesome annoited teaching...thank you....