Daily Discipleship

Sacrifice and Obedience

Submitted by Joan Morrone of Freeport

About 4 years ago, I had given some sermons I wrote in 1986 to a woman who lived in the same high rise that I did.  She was moving to Colorado in a few weeks and wanted to give the writings to her daughter to put on the Web.  I wasn’t on the Internet because I thought it was a completely evil thing.  I never thought I could publish for God’s glory.   Although the woman died after a short time in Colorado, God had planted a seed in my heart about publishing on the Web.

The first obstacle I had to overcome was that I did not have the money for a computer let alone the Internet.  From experience I knew that God would supply the means if He really wanted me to do it.  I waited three years, never doubting.  With the waiting, I learned patience.   A month before I got the computer, the Holy Spirit began to impress on me that God demanded a sacrifice from me before I could have a computer.

I had retired and spent most of my time watching TV and making plastic canvas items.  I watched mostly videos, including four different Jane Austen movies.  I knew Pride and Prejudice almost by heart and had become addicted to it, watching it every day.  It became more real than reality and was becoming my idol.  It had to go before God would do anything for me.  I gave the whole works away to my family and other people I knew.  Amazingly, it wasn’t as hard to give up as I thought it would be.  I also had two guitars and two music keyboards.  I wasn’t very good, but I spent a lot of time playing “oldies but goodies” instead of gospel songs and the few songs I had written.  Again, I was nudged to give (not sell) them away, including all the songbooks I had accumulated over the years.  Although it seemed a little harder to obey this time, I finally got rid of it all. 

In June 2001, I was blessed with an unexpected way to get a computer.  At that time I discovered I had $1200 in paid-up insurance, and I could take the cash. It was exactly what I needed for the computer. God hid that information from me until the right time. If I would have known sooner, I might have spent the money foolishly and never been able to get the computer.  A very frustrating month later, I finally became comfortable using the new computer.

Then, I was told it was expensive to have a Web site--another obstacle.  I explored the Web just to see what I could find.  It was a whole new world to me, a great adventure.  God began opening doors for me as different sites were offered to me for free, and I became more and more excited.  Yet, it began to go to my head.  I was going to set the world on fire, but I wasn’t giving God the glory.  I was bragging about all the sites publishing my writings.  I guess I thought I was accomplishing all of it under my own power.  God proved me wrong. He could open doors, but He could also shut them.

One by one, most of the sites began to close down. I didn’t understand what was happening until the Spirit drew me to Luke 14:11, “For whosoever exalts himself  shall be abased; and he that humbles himself  shall be exalted.”  What a revelation!  God began to deal with me about my attitudes and the intents of my heart.  It has been a dry time but necessary.

I see now that I had to sacrifice before God would let me have the computer.  I had to give up what I liked best in obedience to God that I should "Love the Lord [my] God with all [my] heart, and with all [my] soul and with all [my] mind" (Mark 12:30).  I know He wants me to continue in Web ministry, but I had to get my priorities straight.  Sacrifice is sometimes necessary but obedience is always required.

Last month, I got the TV and movies back; but I do not enjoy them as much.  In fact, when I turn them on I mostly ignore them.  “God will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

What are the desires of your heart?  Are they the desires of your Lord?  Where is God calling you to obediently sacrifice?  Take time this week to meditate on what the Lord is asking of you.

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