Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On the Altar...Again



(This comes from Oswald Chambers' February 6 Devotional)

"I am already being poured out as a drink offering . . ."


—2 Timothy 4:6
 
Are you ready to be poured out as an offering? It is an act of your will, not your emotions.

(Oh, how many times do I let my emotions get wrapped up in things? I resolve in my "will" what I know to be and then those darn feelings start creeping in. They bring doubt, fear, frustration. And for me, they come with an incessant need to hold tightly to what little bit of control I may think I have on my situation.)

Tell God you are ready to be offered as a sacrifice for Him. Then accept the consequences as they come, without any complaints, in spite of what God may send your way. God sends you through a crisis in private, where no other person can help you. From the outside your life may appear to be the same, but the difference is taking place in your will.

(This can be said of me. As much as anyone close to me may have wanted to help me, I had to "walk through this" - me and God - and He had to deal with me until it broke my will and brought me to this point. What point is that? Well, it's the point where my will is in line with His and my emotions no longer take over and steer me off course.)

Once you have experienced the crisis in your will, you will take no thought of the cost when it begins to affect you externally.

(I have experienced that crisis in my will. It took a long time. Too long, probably. But I can honestly say I no longer have any thought of the cost. I know what "may" happen but I also know what life would be like if I don't follow His will and I'm willing to sacrifice everything else so that His will won't be sacrificed.)

If you don’t deal with God on the level of your will first, the result will be only to arouse sympathy for yourself.

(Ah yes. Self-pity. I've pitched my tent here. But no longer is this where I live. God has dealt with me on that one.)

"Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar" ( Psalm 118:27 ). You must be willing to be placed on the altar and go through the fire; willing to experience what the altar represents-burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose-the elimination of every desire and affection not grounded in or directed toward God.

(I admit. I've struggled with this the entire time. Being bogged down with what everyone else wants or thinks or says or believes. And even my own false assumptions or desires that weren't grounded in truth and faith and God's will. I've had to fully surrender this to allow HIS desires to become my own. And even now I am binding desires of my heart to the altar so that when he burns away the chaff, they can be replaced with what He wills for me.)

But you don’t eliminate it, God does.

(And here again, we see my flaw. I've tried to do it on my own. That's why it didn't work. I had to get to the point where He could move and work and have His way.)

You "bind the sacrifice . . . to the horns of the altar" and see to it that you don’t wallow in self-pity once the fire begins. After you have gone through the fire, there will be nothing that will be able to trouble or depress you. When another crisis arises, you will realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do.

(This is the hope and assurance I have for the future. That having walked through the fire and sacrificed whatever wasn't grounded in Him has now purified the process for what's to come...helping to also overcome whatever crisis might arise. Nothing will now  be able to trouble, depress or deter!)

What fire lies ahead in your life?

(Lord knows I've been through the fire before...but there are still blazes to come. This time, I'm praying I'm prepared to withstand the flames.)

Tell God you are ready to be poured out as an offering, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.

(This is my prayer!)

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