I purchased my first Beth Moore study a few weeks ago. I know - she's the be-all and end-all of Bible Study writers for women, but I've always preferred to study directly from my Bible...and ask Tom endless questions.
It is rather helpful having your own seminary student in the house.
Lately, though, I've been wanting a bit more and feeling like I need to go even deeper. I'm hoping to join a class at church soon, but I didn't want to wait that long and ordered Breaking Free.
Four days in, I'm so glad I did.
I think, perhaps, I've been most struck by a new way of looking at sacrifice. I confess, there have always been things I haven't been willing to sacrifice in order to live fully in Christ, and others that have been part of me for so long that I've feared giving them up.
And yet, I know that to truly live the life God wants for me - one of freedom and purpose - they have to go.
I've always believed that we either intentionally live for God, or we unintentionally live for the Enemy... but it just occurred to me that sacrifice works the same way.
We fear making sacrifices. But the irony is that we make a lot of sacrifices when are not living the will of God. How many things have we placed on the altar to Satan's kingdom? We live sacrificially when we're outside the will of God, giving up all sorts of things that were meant to be ours in Christ.
I'm either intentionally sacrificing what the Lord asks so that I can live the life He wants for me, or I'm unintentially placing things on Satan's altar.
I know, with certainty, that I would much rather sacrifice and live for the Lord than do my own thing and live for the myself and world.
It's just not always easy.
How do I do it?
I'm not sure, to be quite honest. Bible study, prayer, focusing on God's will, listening for the Holy Spirit, daily sacrificing those things He asks me to...they all seem like a good place to start. I trust the Lord will continue to show me the way from there.
Lord, I confess that I've sacrificed at altars other than yours. I ask today that You would begin in me a healing and a new intention to live the life You have planned for me, and that you would bring to light those sacrifices that will have to be made in order for that to happen. Father, I want to live the life You've ordained, not the one I keep bumbling my way into.
Continue to teach and lead me, Lord. Be my light and my compass, my center and my purpose, and in all things may I bring You glory.