The idea of a “sacrificed life” is, in itself, an odd paring of words to define a very specific point. So, what is meant by a sacrificed life? Paul writes in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” For the Christian, to sacrifice one’s life is the beginning of the process of living for Jesus. (John 14:24) The idea seems burdened with contradictions. Death vs Life? Freedom vs Service and Confinement to the will of another? If a life is literally sacrificed, it is dead, so how can that possibly achieve life of any benefit to the one in question, namely You or Me? If one will give scripture a chance, it can clear up so much of man’s confusion about life and living.
Man can only know of God what God reveals in Scripture. While Romans chapter 1 testifies to the idea that man is without excuse to know of God’s existence, man must still find an avenue to have the “relationship” God ultimately requires of His creation. To know God exists is one thing, to have a relationship with God is another. If I am to know that precious process of salvation it must be the result of knowing what is given to us through God’s Holy Word. To attempt to access God outside of the Biblical pattern is create our own terms of relationship with God. This is the highest blasphemy, and an insult to the graceful and loving path God has laid out for us.
My point this week is that man must seek God according to the dictates of God via the Bible. There can be no Christian experience outside of the Book. Some might question the early church prior to the assemblage of the Bible and postulate that those Christians had extra Biblical experiences since the Bible didn’t exist yet. I would remind them that they also had spiritually gifted ministers. Those who were so because of the laying on the of the Apostle’s hands.
I only share this point because our world is feeling the absence of God due to man’s own rejection of Him. As a result, many are trying to create “spirituality” without Biblical faith. At the risk of sounding like a fundamentalist, I would recommend that any worship of the Biblical God outside of the Bible should be rejected outright. If one chooses to worship something else then do so without tarnishing or disrespecting the One who gave His life for us. I can coexist with people who choose different belief systems who are not simultaneously trying remove the God I know from me or the Bible. Make your own God, or worship the one in the Bible, but don’t try to redefine the Bible’s Deity to your parameters.
Joshua 24:14-15, “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Because of the world’s emptiness, it seeks to fill the void with what it “knows” it needs, but it chooses to do so in a very self-interested way. It fails to successfully identify its own cure because it mostly, if not completely, rejects the Lordship of Jesus. The world often seeks spirituality (a feeling of relationship) without the requirements of righteousness. Man wants the rewards of holiness without the constrictions of purity. Man wants to win the war of spiritual purity without fighting the battles of submission. Having cake and also eating it come to mind. Some things in life are a binary decision. There really are “either/or” moments in life. There are times when a decision one way or another will dictate our future. Joshua proposed that his people make a decision. They did for the moment, but history would show they would vacillate many times in the future. If we want the reward of the sacrificed life, we must be willing to make the right decision. The right decision can only be made by obeying the requisites given in the Word of God.
As we consider the sacrificed life, I hope we will, first of all, define the sacrificed life according to the one who defines what the sacrifice should be. Please read the Old Testament book of Malachi. God has some strong feelings about what He will accept from His people. Godspeed on your journey!