It is not possible to obtain a promotion without sacrificing something. Many people in the workplace will work hard, long hours hoping to get the attention of their superior and obtain advancement. Sadly, many people will sacrifice the wrong things in order to gain success in the corporate world. By sacrificing such things as their marriage, family, relationship with God, their children, and even their integrity an individual may find themselves drained, depressed, and in spiritual and emotional despair. The same can be said for some who seek a ministry position.
Sacrifices acceptable to God
So, what is it that God would require from those who call on His name? Well, the Bible tells us a couple of things; He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Mic 6:8 NIV
We see similar commands in Deuteronomy; 12 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 "[and] to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? - Deu 10:12-13 NKJV
What the Lord is trying to convey to those who would hear Him is success through Him is not an effort in the physical but faith in the Spirit.
Act justly = to do what is right
Love mercy = be kind, merciful, and loving to others
Walk humbly = walk in submission with God
The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One [is] understanding. - Pro 9:10
One cannot state enough the importance of having a reverence, respect, and awe of our Creator, for when we have such an attitude we will find ourselves living a life of submission to Him and seeking His perfect will for every part of our life. Knowing the Holy One, is what brings understanding and reverence to our lives. We know we are on the right track when we read His word and put it high above any other authority.
In a Gallup poll, it was found that 46% of Christians read their Bible only once a week or not at all. This is the first sacrifice; time. Salvation is a free gift that, if accepted, will cost your life. That may not make sense to everyone, and clearly, everyone who says they are Christians are not really Christ followers. Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 In the verse just before this, Jesus described how He would have to be rejected and killed; He would suffer for the cause of Christianity.
When an individual says they believe in Jesus but are not willing to give their lives fully unto the Lord and to grow in Him, they are fooling themselves. This attitude puts them in danger of hearing one day, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." Matt 7:23
Again, we see Jesus talking about denying self as he explains that there is a cost to following Him. 25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. ~ Luke 14:25-27
I don’t think many people understand what Jesus meant when He said, “carry your cross;” which is why so many refuse to live their lives in holiness. Too many Christians don’t believe the words of Jesus Christ and often think a minister is judging them if they use these verses and others, to describe a discipled Christian. The fact is, most people want a feel-good fantasy eternity in Heaven but not the truth of the Kingdom of God. There is suffering as a Christian; there is also sacrifice; none as great as that of our Savior though. Isn't it a decent thing to want to give back to someone who gave so much for you? I certainly think it is.
One must give themselves as a sacrifice unto the Lord and choose holiness because He asked us to. God said, "Be holy, for I am holy." We can reference these words in several places in the Bible and yet so many who call themselves believers will balk at these words and deny the power of the cross to cause them to give up sin and be holy. Sacrificing oneself does not mean giving up their blood for He has already done that, but it does mean giving up the things of this world which is the kingdom of Satan, and living and giving to the kingdom of God.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. ~ Heb 12:1-4
"You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin" makes it very clear; we have to strive, fight, and struggle against the desire to sin. We have not come anywhere near bloodshed, as Jesus did when He was in the garden and wrestled His flesh to the point of sweating blood so that He could fulfill the call on His life; a call that would save all of humanity. Yet we argue about things that are obviously unholy and sinful such as drinking excessively, using marijuana and other mind altering drugs, doing Yoga as a Christ follower, and of course tattoos.
The idea that a Christian should actually be Christ-like is absurd to most who say they are. I have heard every excuse in the book for why people believe these and other behaviors are not sinful and have even heard people manipulate the scriptures to fulfill their sinful desires by making them right in their own eyes. You and I will answer for these things, maybe even to the point of eternity in hell.
What if your choosing to deny your fleshly desires to sin would save another life? What if someone is watching how you live out your life and because of you they choose Jesus or because of you they may turn their back on Christianity? You may hold the key to someone else’s ability to find freedom from torment, freedom from sin, and even freedom from hell! Is there someone worth the sacrifice in your life?
In Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he exhorted them saying, “…. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” Phil 2:12 NLT
Showing the results of our salvation requires a daily commitment to a lifestyle of Jesus Christ. One can make up excuses all day long, but those excuses can never overrule the Word of God and His commands. I am warning the reader now that if these are your excuses and you are not living as Jesus Christ said to, then you are in grave danger of facing the fire! Beliefs such as “we are not under the Old Testament rules, we are under grace, or the Ten Commandments were for the people back then,” are lies from Satan. If you have been a believer for any time, you should be mature enough to put away such childish thinking and grow up in the Lord!
In Romans 7 Paul states that the law is holy and brings us to the knowledge of sin. Jesus said He didn't come to do away with the Law or the Prophets and yet Christians do away with it. We are not bound by the curse of the law, but moral law and standards are still intact and will remain as such. Your body is now that of Christ Jesus and houses the Holy Spirit! Do you dare contaminate it with the lifestyles of Pagans and call it just and good?
Can you argue these words? 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. ~ Rom 8:7-8 If you read your Bible and believe it you will have your conscience quickened by the Spirit of God and recognize your sinful state. We don't need a preacher to tell us we are in sin because the Spirit of God lives in us and convicts us of such, if indeed He does live in us. Look at these words; 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? ~ Rom 6:1-2
Holiness is not a choice it is a command! Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, Eph 1:4 and He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." ~ 1Pet 1:15-16
I suppose if one doesn't know what holiness is they could use it as an excuse not to be as such. However, since the Spirit of God indwells everyone that calls on His name and believes in Him, one is without excuse because He will lead us into ALL truth. The real problem is people like sin, and they like the idea that they can live in it and still spend eternity with God. The truth is, this belief is a lie to keep people in bondage and to allow Satan to have many more souls than most think he will actually get.
If any of these words describe the state of your heart and your Christianity, then please repent and get right with God now while there is still time.
Remember 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among [them]. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." 17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty." ~ 2 Cor 6:14-18
If we really want promotion in life on earth or from earth to heaven, then we must seek His higher purposes and not regard the way of the world.
Read the following words carefully, they are of Jesus Christ, be warned that there is filth and there is righteousness, choose today what god you will serve.
"He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."~ Rev 22:11
Heavenly Father, thank You for being the prime Promoter in my life. Thank You for the promotion to eternity with You after this life. I ask for Your help in this world and workforce to make decisions that glorify You. I believe You value hard work but also value time with You, family, and rest and all these things are hard to balance when I have a drive to be successful. Today, I confess success has been in the forefront of my mind and at times has driven me to overlook the more important things in life. Today, I ask for an alignment to Your will and purposes for my destiny. I submit all the concerns of this world to You with a great expectancy that You hear me and will be my help. In Jesus name, Amen