What Do You Make Sacrifices For?

“Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not worship other gods. You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.” 1 Kings 17:28-29 (NLT) 

Yesterday, we talked about identity. That comes from your Heavenly Father. What flows next from your identity is what you worship. Men worship their way into trouble and worship their way out of trouble. For the alcoholic, he worships alcohol. The way out is to worship God because you can’t worship God and alcohol. The sex addict worships sex and pleasure. You cannot be a pervert while worshiping God. Theologian Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) wrote about “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.” His big idea was that, if you get into trouble because you enjoy a pleasure, the way to defeat that sin is to replace it with a deeper, richer, fuller affection – namely the worship of God our Father.  

Oftentimes for men, sex, gambling, anger, rage, alcohol, and drugs are just a dopamine hit on the front of the brain. In that moment, like Esau, we trade our birthright for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25:29-34). We forget the long range and just think of the short term. We trade our legacy for what is temporary. Satan will give you pleasure today to cause you pain tomorrow. 

Examine your schedule, budget, social media scrolling and posting, text threads, conversations, emotions, and what makes you happy or angry. The word heavy or weighty indicates priority, and the biblical word is “glory.” When the Bible uses the word glory and it says to “glorify your Father” (Matthew 5:14-16, NIV) or “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” (1 Corinthians 10:31) that’s a weightiness or heaviness. Simply stated, this is saying to yourself, “Well yeah, I like sex, but I enjoy God more, so He is heavier. I like comfort, but I enjoy God more, so I’m willing to be uncomfortable. I like money, but I enjoy God more, so I’m not going to steal to get money.” God should be heavier than the temptations because the temptations are for idolatry, which is to allow someone or something to become heavier than God.  

In Hebrews 13:15-16, the Bible talks about making sacrifices. One of the worship words in the Bible is “glory” and another is “sacrifice.” We make sacrifices for the person or thing we hold in the position of glory. You only have so much time, energy, or money, so you spend these things on what you find important.  

Some guys stop smoking but then they start eating and trade bad lungs for a big gut. Another guy used to be angry, upset, and in control but now he has isolated himself in an attempt not to get angry at others, trading bad relationships for no relationships. If you worship anything other than God, you get yourself into trouble. If you start worshiping God, you’ll stop worshiping people and things that are not God and get yourself out of trouble. 

When my kids were little, we’d go to a fair or we’d be traveling internationally in a big airport somewhere with crowds. I didn’t tell them all the places they shouldn’t go; I just told them to stick close to dad. I told them, “I love you. You’re my child. You don’t need to worry about everything. You don’t need to be afraid of anything. You don’t need to understand everything. You don’t need to remember everything. You just need to stick close to dad and you’ll be ok.” Worship is sticking close to your Heavenly Father.  

Let’s look at one more Scripture. How do Christians worship? We worship by the Spirit through the Son to the Father. It’s profoundly Trinitarian, which means it’s emotional, spiritual, and relational. Here’s what Jesus says in John 4:23: “…true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” The Father has more sons than He does worshipers. Not all His sons are also His worshipers. He’s seeking sons who will worship Him. Come back tomorrow where we discuss the cultural sickness that is tolerance.  

When it comes to worship, ask yourself these questions.  

  1. Who or what weighs most heavily in your life?  
  2. Who or what do you make sacrifices for? 
  3. What is your greatest hope or dream? 
  4. What is your greatest fear?  
  5. Who or what motivates you to get up every day and live your life? 

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