Living Sacrifice (Part 3)

26 Apr

A few weeks ago we looked at chapter 1 in  Living Sacrifice.  In that chapter Dr. Roseveare was sharing with us what it meant for her to love God with all of her heart. This week, as we move in to chapter 2 (finally), she explores what it has meant in her life to love God with all of her soul. Just a side note though before I begin. I don’t think the bible means for such clear distinctions between loving God with our heart, soul, mind and strength. Essentially we are being told to love God with all that we are. I don’t know that Dr. Roseveare is implying that there are such clear distinctions…it may just be her cleaver way of dividing up the chapters!

At one point in her ministry Dr. Roseveare shares that she had the desire to be married. Her reason being that she didn’t want to perform surgery. She thought that if she married a surgeon, that problem would be solved! This seemed to create a season in her life where everything she did and all the decisions she made revolved around her goal to be married…to a surgeon. This pursuit led her away from the mission she was serving and resulted in what she saw as blatant disobedience to things that God was telling her to do – and this grieved her. It grieved her so much that she decided she needed to punish herself, listen to her own words:

I had deliberately chosen not to love God first….And I knew I had done this with my eyes open. It seemed too easy just to come to Him for forgiveness. My “feelings” took over and directed my reasoning. I felt that I did not deserve an easy forgiveness. I had known what I was doing and acted wilfully and deliberately. I felt I had to pay a price, and prove the reality of my sorrow and repentance. I felt I had no right to seek, or to ask for, or expect any relationship with God during this period. I chose to shut the door into God’s presence, and to remain outside. So for four years, I was living in Africa as a missionary, doing the right things, saying the right things….I taught others, yet I found no peace for my own tortured heart. I would not allow myself to belive there was still hope for me. Though I was teaching the truth and only the truth, I had sacrificed my right to its blessing by my own wilful behavior and disobedience to his commandments. (65)

What God desired to teach her in the end was that at no point did she ever deserve her salvation. There was never a point in her life when her obedience or faith made her worthy of God’s love…never. The Lord led her through a season of suffering at the hands of rebel soldiers to teach her this lesson, but that is where she finally heard his voice. A voice which told her that He knew her through and through, and yet still loved her (66-67).

And that is true of those who are in Christ. God knows us through and through, and yet he still loves us and grants us access to Himself through Christ.  I find this a difficult truth to believe at times, do you? What we all need is a healthy dose of God’s truth to lead us out of our sin of unbelief and into the gospel of God’s grace.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:20-21)

One Response to “Living Sacrifice (Part 3)”

  1. digdeepwithdina April 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM #

    I feel like I can relate to her experience. Many times I’ve felt as though I had to be worthy of God’s forgiveness…which completely contradicts the message of the cross…Forgiveness for unworthy sinnners. God continuallly speaks to us through Scripture to communicate the truth of the Gospel to our lives. Thanks for posting this Georgie!

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