Monday, August 25, 2014

The Temptation To Look Back

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We will never know the joy of self-sacrifice until we surrender in every detail of our lives. […] We make it conditional by saying, “I’ll surrender if . . . !” Or we approach it by saying, “I suppose I have to devote my life to God.” We will never find the joy of self-sacrifice in either of these ways. But as soon as we do totally surrender, abandoning ourselves to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us a taste of His joy. The ultimate goal of self-sacrifice is to lay down our lives for our Friend (see John 15:13-14). When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, our greatest desire is to lay down our lives for Jesus. […] Our Lord is our example of a life of self-sacrifice, and He perfectly exemplified Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God . . . .” […] Have I ever yielded myself in absolute submission to Jesus Christ? If He is not the One to whom I am looking for direction and guidance, then there is no benefit in my sacrifice. But when my sacrifice is made with my eyes focused on Him, slowly but surely His molding influence becomes evident in my life (see Hebrews 12:1-2). CHAMBERS
Do you remember Lot’s wife?  Genesis 19  She looked back at the city.  Did you ever wonder why?  What was it that was in that city that she longed for? Husbands for her daughters. Friends perhaps. Maybe her home and the comfort that it brought. The Bible doesn’t tell us, but whatever it was, it was enough to cause her to disobey the command to not look back.  To prefer what she had left behind over what she was given.  To sacrifice does not mean to let go of something that has no value to you.  Sacrifice requires the giving up of something with great value.
At the point of sacrifice, the loss may seem insignificant compared to what it is exchanged for, but there will be days ,, at least there have been for me .. when those things will creep into your thoughts .. trying to make their way to your heart.  It might be thoughts of your family that you cannot see. Perhaps friends that you enjoyed spending time with.  Or perhaps the lack of personal hardship that you endure for the sake of the Cross.  Whatever it is, the temptation is to look back and desire that thing.  Be strong my friend … God has called you to higher ground … a better place … a place of fulfillment …  a place that He created you for … to accomplish a purpose that He intended.  ELGIN
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“Once Again” Matt Redmon
“Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice  You became nothing  Poured out to death
Many times, I've wondered at your gift of life  I'm in that place once again
And once again I look upon the cross where You died  I'm humbled by Your mercy and I'm broken inside
Once again I thank You,  Once again I pour out my life
Now You are exalted to the highest place  King of the Heavens, where one day I'll bow
But for now, I'll marvel at Your saving grace  I'm full of praise once again”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

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