My day off! That one glorious day to do exactly what I want to do…
I had decided the day would not include the reading of emails, replying to overdue requests, paying of bills, or anything admin related. I even thought to myself that I don’t want to visit or see people. It was my day for doing exactly what I wanted to do.
We had been running hard. A big move from Johannesburg to Somerset West, visitors throughout December, a church plant in January 2022 - new faces and new relationships, balanced with all the lists, processes, procedures and heaps of eating and talking in between. But I felt I would feel a 100 times better once I’ve had my day off.
A few days prior I was chatting to Craig about 2 Samuel 24, and King David’s sin against the Lord when he instructs his army commanders to count the fighting men present in the tribes of Israel. I encourage you to read the account and the outcome.
So David sins against the Lord, God’s punishment comes, David repents, and he proceeds to worship God by building an altar to the Lord. The location David finds for the altar belongs to someone else – Araunah.
Araunah is so in awe with the king of Israel arriving at his farm he offers his land, his threshing sledges and ox yokes, even the oxen to David for his offering – in other words Araunah offered all that he had and all that he was.
David could have said thank you and be on his way. But here in 2 Samuel 24:24 the Lord pierced my heart with David’s words:
But the king (David) replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offering that cost me nothing.”
David knew that it would not be a gift or a sacrifice to the Lord if it didn’t cost him something. He didn’t look for the cheapest or easiest possible way to please God.
Sacrifice is defined as: “…to give up something of value for the sake of others or other considerations.”
As I look back on the much anticipated, glorious day off, I realise that God was preparing me for ongoing sacrifice with this portion of scripture.
It turned out to be a different kind of day to that which I had planned – it was filled with tasks and visits and admin and phone call, and there has been many similar instances since. But in this yielding to what God wants, I have seen His grace overflowing to me.
In Luke 14:26-33 Jesus uses a few simple, but tough, illustrations to explain to His followers what it would mean to follow Him. He sets out the terms of becoming His disciples: the gift of eternal life is free to anyone who asks (John3:16), but in receiving this free gift an exchange needs to take place: what I want for what Jesus wants (Luke 9:23).
In following Jesus, we cannot follow Him and have our backpacks filled with our own set of rules, desires and plans - ummm, that day off comes to mind.
Following Jesus for what we can get from Him sets us up for great disappointment. When God’s way conflicts with our ways or desires, we will feel betrayed by the “me-first-faith” we have created in following Jesus.
“He who has a religion that costs him nothing,
has a religion that is worth nothing:
nor will any man esteem the ordinances of God,
if those ordinances cost him nothing”
– Adam Clarke
Following Jesus and walking in His ways will cost me, and so it should.
In giving up, releasing and letting go of my own wants and desires I gain heaven’s perspective on earthly living.
And as we know, where there is a true, strong love - we will always be willing to sacrifice – think of you children, grandchildren, a favourite hobby or even that holiday you are sacrificing for by diligently saving and avoiding the Woolies Sale.
F B Meyer said: “Love is the costliest of all undertakings”
Where there is a true and strong love for Jesus, it will cost us something. But why should it be so difficult, when we know our sacrifice for Jesus results in eternal gain?
It will cost me.
It is worth it.
Women Of Reverence welcomes Thora Haefliger as a guest blogger.
Thora is married to Craig and they lead the One Life Somerset West Site.
After spending more than 18 years in Corporate Business, she felt led by God to come alongside her husband in their family business in 2010. After relocating to Somerset West in July 2021 God moved in miraculous ways and a church was planted in the gorgeous Helderberg Area.
Thora’s joy includes being a wife, mother and granny. She loves teaching and equipping women, especially enjoying the diversity that exists in God's girls. She is an avid crafter and DIY'er, using her creativity to upcycle, paint and decorate.