By Stephen Luffy
"Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord." - Psalm 4:5 ESV
The grace of God is dynamic, and often takes shape in several different ways. In the obvious sense, his grace covers our sin and permits us relationship with him, but it can also manifest in his patience with our everyday dealings that may not be so sinful. Among his many graces offered to us is an absolute clarity on his will for our lives, should we only seek to understand it. I have heard from many with more experience and found in my own life that God is very clear about what he wants from us, where he would like us to go, what he would like us to do, and so on.
However, with the understanding of his will, we often find ourselves facing a newfound internal conflict. Are we willing to do what the Lord asks?
The very word "sacrifice" brings with it a sense of loss, and never in scripture will we see the Lord guide a Christian without some level of sacrifice required. Sacrifice can be incredibly difficult, but it is not enough to simply offer just any sacrifice; we must offer the right sacrifice. This is where things get tough.
We see this challenge demonstrated in the life of Cain (Genesis 4), the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10), and many more. When we diligently seek the Lord, we will inevitably reach a time where he requires something of us that hurts. It was not enough for Abraham to offer another animal sacrifice. God asked for his only son, the promise of Abraham's life and future. We can offer God anything, but what action will we take when he asks of us something truly difficult?
When looking at the sacrifice, we must remember that God is good all the time. Often we will find that the the pain of sacrifice does not last long in the light of the grace God gives us as a result. He always has our best interest at heart.