Obedience is Better than Sacrifice

This is something I wrote on December 29, 2016, in response to God’s very clear call to me the morning before.

Sometimes obedience is following a known path. But sometimes it simply means going, when you have no idea where you are even going. I believe God can and does use both of these journeys in the life of the believer.

I am experiencing the “blessed” privilege of getting to walk the second path—the journey that simply begins with, “Go.” God has been graciously and faithfully revealing more and more of himself to me in his Word, in my classes at Bethlehem, through the words and wisdom of some precious people in my life, and in times of prayer with him.

This week, God met me in such a direct way that his imperative “go” was a non-negotiable. Though I cannot see where all this next road will take me, I am confident that I am being called to leave what has been my life for the past couple years and simply go with him.

I cannot refuse him. Nor can I refuse the longing in my heart that he put there in the first place. There are things I see that could be possibilities on this winding, new trail. There are also things that cradle the depths of my soul that I fully believe are God’s good gifts to me that are meant to be poured out as an offering to the One who gave them to me. Jesus has my heart and I cannot stay any longer when he has so clearly told me to go.

What I have come to see in my own life is the fact that sacrifice is often easier than obedience. But it is not better (1 Sam. 15:22). More often than not, I am willing to sacrifice various aspects of my life for God; but it is far harder to obey him in the unknowns, in the undesirables, or in the messy situations. But God does not want or need the sacrifices that come from a disobedient heart. As God works in my heart, I am aware that at times, I have sacrificed much but obeyed very little. I have given for him, but I have not gone with him. The Christian life is the chance to truly die to fully live. It is also the life of the greatest joy, the fullest purpose, and the deepest relationship.

So, to all the unknowns, uncertainties, losses, pains, and brokenness that will likely find me on this new road, I say, “Jesus is better and enough. I cannot refuse him. It would break my heart.” And to all the joy, hope, beauty, relationships, and life that will also be found on this path, I simply say, “Jesus is also better than any and all of that, as he is the greatest of all good gifts.”

Following Jesus brings a richness to life that is impossible to find anywhere else. With unspeakable joy and hope, I look forward to this next season.

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