Bible in a Year – Day 54: Lay It Down
Reading through the chapters in the book of Numbers today, one thing kept jumping out to me: the sheer number of animals and grain required as sacrifices. In a society where animals were an indicator – both in perception and reality – of one’s wealth and standing in the community, God was requiring so many of them to be sacrificed.
It’s worth asking the question; why did God need all those animals? Wouldn’t the people have a better use for them? And why the large numbers required for certain sacrifices? Of course, no one can really be sure about why God chose the requirements that he did, but the fact that these questions were in my head led me to one possible conclusion:
God required people to give up that which they thought they needed in order to prove that he was what they couldn’t live without.
You see, it’s hard to really believe that God is the provider until you’ve given up your provision and watched him return it to you. It’s hard to believe that God is in control until you’ve given up control and watched him orchestrate your life. It’s hard to believe that God cares about you, your family, your job, your friends, your hobbies, your passions, your hopes, dreams and aspirations until you give them up. You give them up and see what God does.
In my life, I have had to lay down a lot of things in order for God to prove himself faithful. Most of those were things that he would ultimately place back in my hands. Some, however, were lost forever…replaced with something better. The life that God has provided for me is very different than the one I could have provided for myself. At times, I wonder about that other life and yet, I know this one is better.
For his sake, I have to lay down all of the things I hold dear, to loosen my grip on what I hold tightly and to patiently and persistently choose to follow him and walk closely with him. The outcome, of course, proves beneficial for me, too. I get to live a life of purpose. I get to be instrumental in God’s work in the world. What better life could I ask for? What better life could I offer myself?
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