“You can sacrifice and not love. But you cannot love and not sacrifice.”
It was a struggle this morning to get myself up a bit earlier and to rearrange my schedule to spend thirty minutes alone with God while my daughter led worship at her church’s prayer ministry. Afterwards I told her it wasn’t long enough and I wished I had arrived earlier. Once you taste God’s Presence, you want to set up a tent and stay a while.
Why is it so difficult to do whatever it takes to get into God’s Presence? Why is it so costly? Why do we need to sacrifice to experience Him? These questions were rolling around in my mind when I first sat down to worship Him.
Cost has a direct correlation to the value of something. The greater the value, the greater the cost. If there was no sacrifice involved, the value wouldn’t be much. Love sacrifices. Love costs us something. Love gives up things for its Lover.
The parables of the lost coin, sheep, and son in Luke chapter 15 speak of the high value of each. They were worth the great effort involved in searching for them and when found, there was great celebration. We must be of great value to God; it cost Him His Son Jesus, so that we wouldn’t perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Rarely is anything of great value just handed to you. Typically you need to go after it, set your mind on it, pursue it with all your heart, and be disciplined in order to attain it. Usually there’s a hefty price tag on it. If you want it bad enough, if you’re desperate to receive it, it will always be worth the sacrifice. In fact, it will be worth more than the cost you spent in seeking it. The kingdom of heaven is just like that. In Matthew 13:45-46 it says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Priorities cost us something. If you want to attain a doctorate degree, it will take time, focus, determination, discipline, and money. To become an Olympic athlete, one must spend hours training, adopt a special diet, and give up time socializing with their friends. In the same manner, you can’t just walk onto the Boston Philharmonic stage and take the first chair violinist spot. You first need to log in thousands of hours of practice, say no to other things you may want to do, and then jump through numerous hoops of auditions. Anything worthwhile costs us something-somehow and in some way. Things of great value are worth the cost.
“You get what you pay for,” is one of my husband’s common sayings. Typically, the more expensive the clothes, cars, or quality of remodeling materials, the longer they will last. You would think since you pay more for a Porsche, it should run smoother and longer than a Pontiac. How much is your relationship with Christ costing you? How much time do you invest in it?
What is it you truly value? What do you really want? What desire must you have, so much so that you’re not afraid to sacrifice in order to get it? Do you want Jesus, the Lover of your soul, more than anything or anyone else? Do you desire to step into His Presence any time, day or night? If so, then go after Him. Pursue Him with your whole heart. The value of an intimate relationship with God is well worth the cost.
“One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.”
1. How much is a more intimate relationship with God worth to you?
2. What do you need to do to get into the Presence of God more often?
3. How much is your intimacy with God costing you?