A few years ago, I was getting very frustrated when Avery was waking up every morning one week and interrupting my quiet time. She seemed to be waking up unusually early from her normal routine and I was getting hardly anything accomplished with my study. I felt agitated, annoyed, almost angry at times.
The final day of the week, I decided to stay in the bed with her and do my study, so she would feel me next to her and would sleep longer. As soon as I opened my laptop, she woke up. Ugghh! How annoyed I was. I closed my computer and talked to God about my frustration that I was continually being interrupted during my time with him. I heard him respond, “I am not a God of convenience”. Ok God….tell me more. What does this mean? If you’re not a God of convenience, the opposite is “inconvenient”. That’s not who you are either. He said, “I am a God of sacrifice”. Here’s what I felt him telling me….
“Paige, I don’t want to be a God that just “fits” into your life when it’s convenient for you. I didn’t just “fit” you into mine when time was available. I gave my one and only son to DIE for you on the cross. I sacrificed my son so you could be with me in heaven. What are you sacrificing for me?”
– JOHN 3:16 “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.”
Ouch…Ok God. I get it. I’m going to have to WORK at studying your word. I’m going to have to WORK at following your commands. I can’t be a follower of Christ in just the convenient times in my life when it’s beneficial and easy. I have to be a follower of Christ in the hard times, too…when it will require sacrifice on my part….even if that means getting up at 6:00 a.m. every morning to have quiet time.
– 1 Chronicles 28:20 “David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and DO THE WORK. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
– LUKE 9:23 ” THEN HE SAID TO THEM ALL: “WHOEVER WANTS TO BE MY DISCIPLE MUST DENY THEMSELVES AND TAKE UP THEIR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME”.
I looked up the definition of the two words and here’s what I found:
Adjective: Fitting in well with a person’s needs, activities, and plans. Involving little trouble or effort.
Wow…I can totally see how my quiet time in the morning was only out of convenience. I got out of bed when I woke up and was ready…it involved little trouble or effort… and if I just happened to sleep later one morning…I missed my quiet time. If Avery woke up and interrupted me, I missed my quiet time. How “convenient” was my quiet time for me? Very. I wasn’t sacrificing much…maybe 20 more minutes of sleep.
noun: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
verb: to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to,for the sake of something else.
God said he is a God of Sacrifice…he surrendered and destroyed HIS SON (something prized or desirable) for LIFE WITH US (the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim).
Wow….he considered fellowship and life with us more important and of more value than allowing his son Jesus to continue living life on earth.
I should be able to sacrifice SLEEP to spend time with my Lord, my God every morning. If I want adequate time to spend with him in the morning, I need to make some sacrifices and stop doing it just when it’s convenient. What other areas of my life am I compromising my walk with God just because it’s convenient to do something else? Every decision and choice I make should be a conscious effort to line it up with God’s word and live by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Some sacrifices will have to be made for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. The result…LIFE AND LIFE MORE ABUNDANT. BLESSINGS….LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL:)
– GALATIANS 6:7-9
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”