Sacrifice: Lighting the Fuse

dynamiteIn “The Dynamite of God and the Lie of Time,” I explained that the Holy Spirit is dynamite. We need this spiritual power in our lives and churches if we want to see lasting change – sinners saved and saints sanctified. Only the Holy Spirit can transform our world for Jesus.

We wonder why we don’t have real spiritual power in our lives. That’s assuming we experience the spiritual desert of its deficiency and acknowledge the source [since many don’t]. So we want God to change us overnight – power to make us better Christians and witnesses.

The Holy Spirit does bring instantaneous change. However, we don’t realize that God is waiting on us. Ever since the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago, He has made the dynamite of the Spirit available for us to use. Too many of us just don’t pick it up. If we do, we try to use the wrong lighter and wonder why nothing changes. The open secret to experiencing this divine power is sacrifice. Only sacrifice lights the fuse. Only sacrifice makes spiritual dynamite explode.

Sacrifice and renunciation are bad words in our secular societies, even more in our churches. We want instant gratification. We don’t want to give up anything. We continually say “yes” to our fleshly selves. In our hearts, we’re continually saying “no” to the Holy Spirit.

gluttony foodGluttony is a cardinal sin in Roman Catholicism. It symbolizes a life of taking more than one needs, more than one’s “daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3). Gluttony is the spiritual act of dishing up great amounts of worldly resources for oneself alone and shoveling it all in – food, clothes, houses, cars, money, and more. However, gluttons don’t know that they’re fattening themselves up for the “day of slaughter” (Jeremiah 12:3, 25:34; James 5:5) – the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21).

Too many Christians today have much more than they need. Too many own a dozen Bibles that they don’t read, while others want just a single Bible but have nothing. Too many have lots of expensive clothes, homes, and cars while others have just one of each of these things (if that much). Too many have fat bank accounts. Also, too many churches have lots of expensive music (like unused hymnals) and instruments, while others have nothing but worn, shared hymnals and an organ.  Instead of being like pipes – using what God gives them to bless others – all these people are like tubs. Some even use the church for material gain. The church today has no spiritual power because she’s spiritually fat. She needs to go on a diet. She needs to make sacrifices.

Jesus made great sacrifices to come into this world and die on a cross for us. He left heaven – the Father and home. He was born a Jew, in a world when Jews suffered great cruelties under a foreign power (Rome). Born to a poor carpenter and his wife, Jesus grew up very poor and he worked hard. He didn’t wear “soft raiment” and live in “kings’ houses” like the king he really was (Matthew 11:8, Luke 7:25). During his 3.5-year earthly ministry, Jesus had no place to “lay his head” (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58). He relied on the compassion of believing women to serve his and his disciples’ basic needs (Luke 8:2-3).

jesus-carries-the-cross christThe road to Calvary was the greatest sacrifice. Like Paul, “no man stood with” Jesus when he was tried and convicted of blasphemy (2 Timothy 4:16). He died on a cross, a punishment reserved for the worst offenders. Jesus suffered the penalty of death for our sins, even though he didn’t have to. He experienced spiritual separation from the Father as a result (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). Through the cross alone Jesus lit the fuse of the dynamite of the Holy Spirit. Only through the cross was the Spirit poured out in such abundance on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:8, 2:1-4).

Will we be like Jesus or like gluttons? Will we live a life of taking or giving, a life of serving ourselves or serving others? Will we constantly ask God to give us what we want, or will we use what he’s given us to help others without any thought for ourselves? If we want to experience more spiritual power in our lives, we don’t have a choice. We must say “no” to the flesh (us) and “yes” to the Spirit (God). We must light the fuse of God’s dynamite with real sacrifices.

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