A Sacrifice of Joy

Publication of “Masterpiece: A Love Story” is coming soon.
Here’s another taste:

I had tried and failed to burn my life to the ground when I was actively alcoholic. Out of that failure, God had me build an altar for Him, one not made from stones, but from prayers and worship. He taught me how to kindle a fire on it – the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit – and keep it burning. And then one by one, I took all those things that were once so important to me, that I could ‘never live without’ and figuratively tossed them onto the burn pile.

This was not a destructive process, but one of liberation. As the smoke of my sacrifices rose to heaven, I was relieved of the bondage of them.

What replaced them was a dependence on the Spirit of Christ, the guiding voice of my life, my coach and mentor, my comfort and my guide. The more time I spend seeking Him through worship, praise, thanksgiving and prayer, and especially in His word, the more He speaks to me. He is now my best friend.

This is what born again Christians talk about when they speak of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We aren’t ‘hearing voices’, rather the one Voice that comes from the most important partner we could ever have, and the one who never fails us because He is the Living God who does not change.

Life in the Spirit is risky, and sometimes it seems dangerous. To the outsider it can look foolish, but the Bible predicts that. We don’t concern ourselves with it.

This then, is the simple equation describing the Christian life. Mystery = Freedom.

Embracing the mystery is something I ran away from for a lifetime, and then was forced to confront face-down in a dead-end motel room. It has become an increasingly beautiful flower opening before me these past 16 years.

Photo: Dirk Beyer, Wikimedia Commons, used under license cc-by-sa-2.5

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