God Answers Prayers
By: Kristina Renee
God reveals himself in many ways. The way this particular situation made himself real to me was answering this very specific prayer. He made me know that in that moment, He was right there with me all along. His word says that He will never leave us or forsake us. He heard me and He hears you, too.
Sacrifice wasn't a word I heard a lot growing up. It wasn't the center topic at our dinner table or part of our car rides to school. I have learned that walking with Jesus comes with a lot of sacrifices and I mean a lot and to be honest, and no one ever told me that I was going to have to die to myself. I don't ever remember my parents telling me, "Kristina, because Jesus laid his life down, you're going to have to lie yours down too!" and if you're a little kid hearing that you would be scared out of our mind. Say again?
I have to leave and lay down the life in which I think is best for me and lay it down as a sacrifice but pick up a new life in Jesus? Yeah, growing up I don't think I ever heard the words life and sacrifice in the same sentence and I'm wondering why that is? Why isn’t the word sacrifice talked about as much when it comes to our walk with Christ? Without a biblical foundation to back the reasoning, why would anyone lay down their life?
The definition of sacrifice is the word “zeḇaḥ” in Hebrew and it means properly of slaughter (the flesh of an animal) or an offering sacrifice. Plus, the word has different sacrifices; sacrifice of righteousness, strife, dead things, covenant sacrifice, etc. It is so important to look up the definition of words to understand context and for an even deeper study, study the Bible in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek and Aramaic (New Testament). The Google definition of sacrifice (the noun) is defined as "an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure." But the verb definition is "offer or kill as a religious sacrifice." So it's a verb, when something is sacrificed, it's an action taking place and because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice; he offered his body. Romans 12:1 tells us that "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." We are to offer our bodies back to God as a living sacrifice because we are now alive in Christ. Our old spirit is gone and now we are new and that is why we are living sacrifices because of the light living in me.
I saw God move in a powerful way and He answered this prayer that I was waiting for and that I had forgotten about. But, I wonder why God decided last week to answer a prayer when He could have easily done it any other time before last week or when I pray it on that day? Because in this case a sacrifice was made between me and him. I had to lay down something in my heart that I knew He told me to let go for a minute (new destination He is calling me to go and I wanted to go to this conference) and focus on a specific area of my life; my family.
"Obedience is better than sacrifice" and it truly was in that moment. Actually looking up that verse, 1 Samuel 15:22, but the proceeding verse after that is a little scary. 1 Samuel 15:23 says, "For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Reference The Lord was rejecting Saul as King, by the way. For rebellion is like sin of divination (which is witchcraft) and evil idolatry, yeah I don't want to have any trace of rebellion cause after disobedience comes rebellion.
But, because I had obeyed sacrificially in what I felt my spirit was led to do and 2 days into focusing and prayer, God answered my prayer. Man, did I break out into a praise like no other, while I'm driving and tears are rolling down my face (kinda not safe!) but I couldn't wait until I got home to praise The Lord for this answered prayer!!! Isaiah 62:24, "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." He hears you and even in the smallest of prayers, God hears you. Say this with me, God hears me. Before they call, so before you even ask the prayer God knows that you're going to ask it, already has the answer ready and ready when He wants to release it in his divine power. I can never forget that moment. It is truly amazing that God answers us and that He hears us, so don't stop praying.
God is so faithful and if you're waiting on an answered prayer, wait on Him, I promise you. It is a sacrifice of your own desires to wait on God, but let me tell you; the answer prayer came unexpectedly, when I wasn't thinking about it, paying attention to it, wasn't asking God about it and it is so funny that I actually don't like surprises, so God knows me well. So, the fact that He surprised me with this answered prayer shows how He truly knows me more than anyone in the world does and He is so awesome as our Abba Father.
1.What sacrifices, if any, have you made to the Lord? Is He asking you to lay anything down so that His power can manifest in and through you.
2. Do you see sacrifice as a negative word? If so, why is that? Ask God to show your heart in this area and why it is hard to lay certain areas of your life down.
3. Praise Jesus that He laid his life down for you! That you have life and light in him and for the rest of eternity.