Hi Friends! Welcome to Episode 13 of the Reaching Hurting Women Podcast: A Contemplative Path of Recovery. Here we are learning new ways of coping with our daily struggles. My name is Tamara and I will be your host. Today we are talking about: Freewill Sacrifice
There are many places in scripture that talk about sacrifice. In the Old Testament when sacrifices were a part of the worship culture, Psalm 51:17 tells us that God wants a broken and contrite spirit rather than a burnt offering as a sacrifice. Later the Psalmist says:
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name O LORD, for it is good. ~ Psalm 54:6
In our culture and busy life today how can we offer God a free-will sacrifice? What does our freewill have to do with sacrifice anyway? What is it that I can sacrifice to God?
For me it’s not just about giving up the negative dependencies: substances or addictions that I crave. What about our lifestyle, our creature comforts: social media, TV, magazines, activities, people, places… I’m asking myself lately: What am I benefiting spiritually from the things I am spending my time on?
I ran across a quote during one my devotions the other day that sparked this podcast. Jean-Pierre de Caussade writes in his classic book The Sacrament of the Present Moment:
Faith is strengthened, increased and enriched by those things that escape the senses; the less there is to see, the more there is to believe.
In other words, the five-sensory-over-load, that most of us live with on a regular basis, impairs our spiritual growth! The more we are using our physical senses: smelling, touching, hearing, tasting, seeing; the weaker our spiritual senses will be.
Do you ever find yourself looking at someone wishing you could have what they have? Not in a jealous way, but just wanting to be able to maybe have that kind of job? Who are the spiritual giants that you look up to? Teachers? Authors? We have ask ourselves if we are willing to do what they did to get what they got.
Friends, life is short and getting shorter by the day. I am getting serious about the input that I am allowing into my brain and body. There are things I want to accomplish before I die and they aren’t going to happen if I continue to waste precious minutes, hours and days.
In his letter to the Romans Saint Paul urges us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God as an act of worship. Again in his first letter to the Corinthian church Paul says:
All things are lawful but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. ~ 1 Cor 10:23
At one time there were so many rules that the Jewish people had to follow, what to eat, things they could and couldn’t do on certain days and times. Saint Paul is telling us that yes, now those things that once were against the religious law are no longer against God’s law. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good for us to do.
I have the freedom to watch television all day on Sunday if I choose. But is that beneficial? I have the freedom to eat or drink anything I want to. But is that good for my body?
Is what I am seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, tasting… beneficial in the long run, not only for my physical well being, but for my spiritual health as well?
Free will is serious business, and a huge responsibility. Our free will allows us the ability to own, even change our fate in some cases, though we have no possible way of knowing the potential outcome.
It’s not about whether something is good or bad, moral or immoral, a sin or not. It’s about getting God’s blessing. It’s about what’s best for my life in the eternal scheme of things.