…you say, Sit down, it’s just a talk.
Great song (“How to Save a Life” by the Fray, check it out here). But really, that was the point I reached last night with God. After I posted yesterday’s blog, I spent several hours scouring the internet for different charities and organizations to sacrifice my money for. And though I found some great causes, nothing truly stirred my heart like only God can (Word Made Flesh got close though, check it out here). So I remained at a loss as I closed my computer. Letting out a sigh, I pulled out my prayer journal and began to write. I just wrote out what this thing was, the Radical Experiment and how He’s already opened so many doors through Pinelake and even classes. Then I just began writing out that I’m seeking His will on the money issue. And I stopped writing for a second. Then He prompted Romans 12:1-2 into my mind.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies (denotes compassion) of God place your bodies as a living sacrifice set apart to God, acceptable (pleasing) to God, your rational service; And do not be conformed to, be shaped by, or live after the pattern of this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, (with the result and purpose being…) that you may be able to interpret what is the good and perfect and complete will of God.”
…I may or may not have just spent a good 30 minutes with my Greek NT in hand looking through those two verses. Oh my. Big G has created a monster, even if that final was awful!
Anyway, before my Greek escapade… Jesus brought that verse to me last night and I just wrote down that I am a living sacrifice. Not a one-time deal. But my life, devoted to living how He would have me to live. So I wrote a bullet point and asked God to show me what it is He wanted me to do.
And His answer… to sacrifice eating out. Even when others offer to pay. And every time I’m asked or even desire to eat out, which will be many, I’m to take what I would’ve spent and place it in a savings account. Although I don’t have a definitive answer on how that savings account will be used, I have a feeling I’ll be buying from the world vision catalogue. I would love to get a water buffalo for someone! I grew quite fond of them this summer. But we’ll see.
I know this sounds crazy. And it is! As I tossed and turned last night (it was very hard to go to sleep after this prayer experience), I kept thinking about peoples reactions. But God kept reminding me that this whole Christ-following life is CRAZY and foolishness to the world! Yeah, many aren’t going to understand why I would do this. Tomorrow’s assignment for me is to print off my bank account statement and see just how much money I’ve spent on eating out. Food is my idol. It’s what I run to when I’m happy, sad, whatever. Not good. And this is but one step to correct that. It is not going to be easy? But Jesus promised the exact opposite of easy when He asked us to live for Him. But He is with me. Immanuel! God with us! How can we sit down with THAT and choose to do nothing for Him but go to church, attend small group? All of that is useless, utterly useless, unless we are living what we sing about and what we claim to believe. So, I’m choosing the narrow way. No one wants to give up eating out, least of all me. But that is why this isn’t me “giving up” something…as silly as it sounds, this is a sacrifice for me. I love, repeat, love, to eat out. I have dates with my friends and we go out. Now it is gonna be lots and lots of caf dates. But I think I can survive. There are so, so very many people surviving with so much less. May this be apart of me becoming less and Him becoming more, so that the world may know Immanuel. God with us!