I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. — Psalm 40:1-3
Are you dealing with a tough situation? In Psalm 40, David showed a remarkable example of obedience through troubled and difficult times.
His troubles brought him to continual dependence on the Lord, trusting the Lord’s plan and strength over his own. David’s focus was on presenting his life to the Lord (verses 6-8). He stated, “Here I am, I have come — it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” Christ spoke these same words to express his obedient submission to the Father in coming to earth (Hebrews 10:5 – 7). Both Christ and David showed delight in doing God’s will over their own.
In David’s time, sacrifices were a ritual delivering temporary atonement for sin. Although important, the sacrifices themselves were not pleasing to God. Instead, He desired obedience. “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11). But through Jesus’ obedience to his Father’s plan of death and resurrection, God provided a sacrifice made perfect forever (Philippians 2:8). “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).
In the same way that Jesus offered himself in obedience to God’s will, those who believe in Him are called to do the same. “Offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (Romans 6:13).
God’s Word presents the human body as a sacred place, the place the Holy Spirit dwells. God paid a high price, the sacrifice of Jesus’ body, and in doing so asks his people to honor him through total obedience to God’s will. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20).
Doing God’s will is a practical act of discipleship, a reflection of a heart obedient to God. God asks for the sacrifice of an obedient life, and he sends the Spirit to live in the hearts of his followers in order to empower them to accomplish his purposes. This requires daily surrendering one’s own will, allowing the body to die to self and conform to God’s will (Romans 12:1 – 2).
Is there an area of life that God might be calling you to make a sacrifice of obedience?
Article drawn from The Jesus Bible, NIV.