Can we really attract God to our personal world?
God is drawn to the dynamic of sacrifice in our lives – when the sacrificial offering is found acceptable and pleasing, He endorses it with his presence and blessing.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable (or, well-pleasing) to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12.1 NASB).
It’s a clear precedent we see in the Old Covenant that finds its complete potential in the New Covenant – the dynamic of sacrifice. It’s a heart issue.
Here are several ways we are called to activate this dynamic:
The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving
We may not feel like it initially. But the sacrifice of thanksgiving primes our heart and positions it for abundance.
In Psalm 50, Asaph wrote, “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High; Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me” (Ps. 50.14-15 NASB).
Hosea wrote, “Receive us graciously that we may present the fruit of our lips” (Hosea 14.2 NASB). Think of it. We actually present the fruit of our lips to the Creator as a sacrifice.
Thanksgiving is a big deal that provides entry into new things.
The Sacrifice of Praise
Praise is taking the spotlight off of ourselves, others, and circumstances … and putting it on God. As a matter of lifestyle, what if we were to continually offer a sacrifice of praise? It would change everything.
“Therefore by Him (Christ) let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving (lit., confessing) thanks to His name” (Heb. 13.15 NKJV).
Do you know it is God who creates the fruit of our lips? See Isaiah 57.19. But we have to let it flow through us, offering it to Him.
Praise is freeing. Because we’re delivered from ourselves. And from everything else.
The Sacrifice of Our Thoughts and Speech
This is a big one because it is always before us as an issue. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (David in Ps. 19.14 NKJV).
All of these sacrifices are equally vital. The sacrifice of thoughts and speech has way more impact upon our lives than we realize. Over time, it will shape and determine the outcome of many things.
If we can progressively bring our heart issues (meditation, thinking, feelings) and the words we speak to a place that pleases the Creator, it will draw His endorsement to our lives. This means blessing and goodness. It’s stunning how much value the Scriptures place upon thought and speech.
We undervalue it to our detriment.
The Sacrifice of Obedience
We don’t always want to do what is right.
The Apostle Paul spoke of this tension within the believer. The old nature wants to express itself. The new nature wants to do the same. These two natures within the believer oppose one another (see Galatians chapter 5 in the New Testament).
It will take the sacrifice of obedience to consistently choose the good. And it’s worth it. David wrote, “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord” (Ps. 4.5 NASB). As we do what is right, the Creator finds our sacrifice acceptable and pleasing. He is drawn to it. And this means that more of His goodness is on the way!
We have to stay with it. Be faithful and the payoff will be huge.