By Niki Packer
Last week’s Called and Confident blog about dreaming by Debbie Legg was very motivating to me. What would I do if I could only do one thing? What dream has God put in my heart? These questions excite me and make me want to talk and dream with God.
However, there is a theme that God has been repeating to me the last few weeks as it relates to dreaming big in God’s kingdom. It's something that doesn’t really excite me. It’s something that scares me and keeps me from dreaming. It’s a word I dread. The forbidden S-word. Sacrifice.
Sacrifice plays in big role in fulfilling dreams. In order to accomplish something, we have to give up something else. If we want to buy something, we give up money. If we want to vacation, we cut costs in other areas. If we want to go to college, we give up years of "regular" life and income. And if we want to see dreams come to fruition, there are countless things we'll have to give up along the way.
But maybe a better word for sacrifice in God's Kingdom would be EXCHANGE. I am giving up something, but what I'm receiving is way better.
In 2007 God gave me a dream for a Sunday night children’s program similar to a mini-VBS. We've now been doing the J-team ministry for 12 years and while it is fulfilling, it also means there’s a lot of work and sacrifices involved. Sundays are very long days for many of us while J-team is in session. There is much we have to exchange in order to plant Kingdom seeds in the children of our community. But the blessings are so much better than what we're giving up!
Invariably, the things that I think I want are never as good as what Jesus knows will fulfill me. When I trust Him, even in the sacrifices, the exchange rate I get is definitely in my favor! God never asks us to give up something just because He wants to see us suffer. He doesn't delight in watching us sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. But He does love for us to trust Him enough that what we give up will never be better than what He gives us.
So the next time the Lord asks you to sacrifice something, try trusting Him that the exchange will be to your benefit and the blessings far greater than the sacrifices.