“Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” -Psalm 51 (NLT)
We have been on this journey of Lent. Some of us have given up things, food, or habits. Some of us may have slipped up and eaten that chocolate, drank that caffeinated beverage, checked on to Facebook even though we may have given all of these up for Lent. It’s hard to give up things that are so routine and habitual in our daily lives. Sacrifice and surrender are not a daily choice for us as Americans. We are the microwave culture. If we want it, by golly we can get it.
Lent is a time that flies in the face of our culture and ideals, but it is just the beginning of the journey. It can be hard to say no and have self-control in the small things like chocolate and caffeine, but what about the big stuff in life? The chocolate and caffeine are trivial when it comes to living a life a worship, a life surrendered to Jesus.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Are you offering Jesus sacrifices of “chocolate” and “caffeine”, or are you surrendered and offering everything you are to Jesus today? Are you living a life or worship, or are there just certain moments or days you throw up a “sacrifice”? This Lent journey is coming to an end. We are rounding the final turn, and there is something glorious, redemptive, amazing, and life altering. Jesus, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, has given everything he has for you with freedom on the cross and hope in the resurrection. Let us experience true freedom by living a life of worship and surrender.
James Ballard has served as speaker at camp before and lives in Kentucky. Image credit: Elideth Ceniceros, via CreationSwap.