How would you like to live your life on earth? Would you say you want to live a prosperous life or a life without sufferings and troubles or a life without rules and regulations? Or, would you say, you like to live the best life God can offer? You see any life we would like to live other than the one God offers is only imaginary; there is no peaceful end in them. The life God offers to each one of us is the best there is. There can be nothing comparable to it. Even in our deepest imaginations we cannot reach up to the life He planned for us. It can only be received by receiving and living His will.
The life God offers is unique. It promises glory, honor and joy. Yet, it does not come without sacrifice. The will of God to you asks your sacrifice so that God can execute the best life He planned for you. Sacrifice endures suffering, pain, even loss, because by going through them the road to the things God desires to appear in our life is laid. Many times we do not realize the value of sacrifice and the things it endures. Therefore, we fear sacrificing and run away from it frightened by the negative outcomes it brings. Our wisdom is poor to see beyond those outcomes. But, God’s will is so unique it calls us to embrace and turn to it. God knows He can walk us through it. And if we consent to His will, though we do not see beyond the negative outcomes, we will believe there are better things, because God sees. It is for this reason that those who start out as one person without significance become great people.
Jesus consented to God’s will that called Him to embrace and turn to sacrifice. And we see the Scripture say, “And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him” (John 19:2). God called Him for it. Jesus the Son of God in the flesh lost everything as a person on this earth, even His life. Why did He do it? Because He trusted God to give the things that are beyond suffering, pain and loss. He did it by trusting the Father to give Him the best life. As it is God crowned Him the King of all things and gave Him all authority as well as a Kingdom. Christ’s life teaches that the prerequisite to glory, honor and joy is sacrifice. Though the above verse reveals the gory nature of His sacrifice, it had the hope of better things. Sacrifice always paves way for better things. And betters things of God always create the best life.
So, if God has called you to do His will and it appears that you must sacrifice, do not turn away. He does not call you for it unwittingly. There obviously exists certain fear, but He will walk you through it. The best thing about sacrificing according to His will is the knowledge of the appearance of better things. So, you know you won’t perpetually live with the negative outcomes. He fills your heart with great expectations so that you get a glimpse of glory, honor and joy. Everything in your life will have a peaceful ending.
As you are living in sacrifice for God’s will, do not let time slip away from you through regret and disappointment. Rather, use it wisely, because how you act during sacrificing times will impact how things pan out. If you regret and express disappointment, Satan will work in you to shift your focus. Practice the following:
- Enjoy the Christ in you. Paul said, “Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8). It is one of the best things to do while enduring sacrificing times. You benefit from everything Christ gives you, because in these times He greatly imparts heavenly riches. Hold on to everything He says and walk. Then you will not spoil your inner man.
- Focus on God. Another thing you can do during sacrificing times is focusing on God. Paul again said, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph. 5:1). Lift yourself to focus on God and He will energize you for fulfilling it. You are His dearly-loved child. He will not leave to weakness. In weakness He strengthens you to endure the things you must. If you know you are dearly-loved by Him, you know He will help you focus on Him. And in every behavior of yours He will let you become like Him.
- Trust God. Trust Him by the promises He gave you. Jesus did it and hence, received the highest glory, honor and joy. “But to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET’?” (Heb. 1:13). You do not sacrifice according to His will by chance. You do it, because He has promised you better things. His will contains and/or leads you to His promises. Now, you do not have to see to know what is beyond the negative outcomes of sacrifice; you only expect it.
- Sacrifice sin. Part of sacrificing also involves sacrificing sin. During sacrificing times your position compels you to fear your circumstances to do wrong. Enduring those times can be very difficult. It appears as if there is no choice, but to yield, especially when the your sacrificing does not fall during passive times. “and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:17). Inescapable situations may arise, but seek God and you can be victorious. Sacrificing sin for the will of God pleases God.
- Fear the tempter. Fear the devil’s cleverness, but not his tempting. God can do away with tempting. But if you do not fear the devil’s cleverness, you become his prey. He will mask you with confusion and catch you in unawares. Fearing his cleverness lets you see his cunningness. You can see the ways he has adopted to make you fall. Paul said, “For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain” (1 Thess. 3:5).
- Be devout. If you are devout in your relationship with God and Christ, you can witness His great works that makes you forget or even rejoice at your suffering, pain and loss that befell through sacrifice. God visits you astonishingly. “Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). These Jews were doing the things they should while expecting the reign of Messiah. So, they saw salvation come to them by the works of God. Their life changed. Better things appeared.