Big vision requires big sacrifice. God sized vision can’t be and won’t be walked into by half-hearted people. There will never be a time in your walk with Jesus, where the Lord will be after just half of your heart. Being a Christian requires radical devotion. The Kingdom of God always has been and always will be, all or nothing for those who pursue it. That can be daunting to read, buts it’s the truth. Our God is an all-consuming fire.
While its true God is after all we have to offer. We have to understand that what we have to offer isn’t that impressive, and God is ok with that. He simply wants our yes. We don’t yield our yes to him because he is a taskmaster and we fear divine punishment. We say yes because we know Jesus is worthy of all we have to offer. We as believers are slowly learning the Joy of sacrificing our life to exchange it for our saviors life. The fact still remains the same that the Jesus life is, devoted, purposed and radical. It requires everything.
Right now we are cruising through the book of Esther in our life Journal reading. Esther is the story of a young Jewish woman, who through a series of God ordained circumstances finds herself unwillingly placed in a situation where she must sacrifice her life and safety to save her people. In the story Esther has found great favor with the king who has been tricked into destroying the Jewish people. Esther’s uncle petitions Esther to try to change the Kings mind. Esther is fearful for her own life and does not want to approach the king without permission (An act which could possibly be punishable by death). If she doesn’t advocate to the king her people, they will certainly be destroyed. A difficult choice for anyone, especially for a young woman who didn’t ask for the burden in the first place. So Ether has a decision, sacrifice for the kingdom of God, or self-preserve…
Most of us know the end of the story. Esther sacrifices her life and will, and chooses to confront the king. Eventually this gives salvation, victory and authority over the enemy to God’s people. A perfect picture of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross that saves, gives victory and authority over the enemy to his people. Beautiful, but what I want us to see is the sacrifice required to receive freedom. Self-preservation always leads to defeat. It’s a kingdom principle that far to few ever grasp. We cannot think that we can receive more of God, without learning to let go of our own lives and will. Scary? Hard, and uncomfortable? Yes! Is it worth it? YES!
The great lie the enemy teaches us, is that if we just play it safe and focus on avoiding conflict we will be ok. NO! In fact until you learn to confront and sacrifice, you never will learn how to live. Self-preservation feels right for a moment, but the reality is it’s a slow cooker of defeat, where we gradually forget what we are made for. Little by little, compromising the kingdom of God for the kingdom of self.
13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther’s uncle calls it like it is. Sacrifice and you may or may not survive, but self-preservation will certainly lead to death.
We all are called to sacrifice for the kingdom, and a vision bigger then ourselves. A vision that requires everything we have to offer to the one who is worthy of it all.