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Thursday, November 08 2018
Living Sacrifices

Who then ascends into the presence of the Lord?  And who has the privilege of entering into God's Holy Place? Those who are clean...whose works and ways are pure; Whose hearts are true and sealed by the truth; They will receive the Lord's blessing and righteousness given by the Savior-God.  They will stand before God. For they seek the pleasure of God's face, the God of Jacob. So wake up, you living gateways! Lift up your heads, you ageless doors of destiny! Welcome the King of Glory, for He is about to come through you!   Psalm 24:3-7

I love revival! My heart was awakened in revival and it is impossible to separate me from revival.  I hunger for it, I search for it, but I have been missing one key component to seeing revival...ME!  We love to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 -  If my people, who are called my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, turn from the wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.  All the time we are quoting this we are pointing to the church and saying we are not ready because the church isn't praying enough, or the church won't humble itself, or we are too divided.  Nowhere do I see where it takes the WHOLE church for God to answer this prayer.  There is a key found in 2 Chronicles 7:12 - Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: "I have heard YOUR prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.  Solomon built a house of sacrifice...a place for the Glory of God to dwell.  His heart was after the heart of God and he wanted a dwelling place for God's presence.  He made the necessary preparations, invested in building this temple so God had a house to dwell in.  That is a type and shadow of our lives.  God is looking for "living sacrifices".

Romans 12:1 - "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service".

What does a living sacrifice look like? We are a living sacrifice for God by not being conformed to this world.  The world is defined for us in 1 John 2:15-16 as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  Becoming a Christian does not mean you have become a living sacrifice.  Jesus told us in Matthew 16:24 that whoever wants to be HIS disciple must deny himself and take up their cross and follow him.  Today we get sick and assume we are taking up our cross and following Him.  We think the successful career we have or how much we have given to charities is somehow what pleases God.  That the things we DO define who we are instead of WHOSE we are.  Each new day requires new surrender and consecration.  What you surrendered to God yesterday is already old.  Today is a new day and demands a new and higher level of consecration.  What do you desire? What do you spend your time doing? In your life does your career direct your destiny or does God?   These are good questions to ask ourselves.  Becoming a living sacrifice does not mean you give up your favorite TV program that week. God is looking for a heart that is fully His.  For a people who are totally consecrated to His plan for their life.  That is the heart that God is after and a life that he will consume with His fire.  

You can live your life in success and touch many lives and think you have lived for God, die and go to Hell because you never knew Him.  The pride of life is any ambition that puffs us up and puts us on the throne of our own lives.  God is looking for those who have become that living sacrifice that He can completely consume.  

When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple...2 Chronicles 7:1 

Solomon became that living sacrifice when he consecrated himself and became that living sacrifice that prepared a way for God's Glory to come.  His life became that act of worship where he devoted everything in his life to prepare a place for God's presence to dwell.  We wonder why revival does not come to our lives, to our churches, to our regions.  We wonder why our prayer for God to heal our land falls on deaf ears.  We have a promise and God is looking for those who are His.  God is looking for those living sacrifices that His presence can dwell.  

2 Chronicles 7:14 begins with "If my people".  Who is he talking about? Not the whole church...those whom he KNOWS.  We have churches full of people who call themselves Christian but have not laid their lives down as a living sacrifice...where the only thing they desire is HIS heart. Those who pray from a place of having laid their life down and became that living sacrifice with whom he can show himself strong.  Then when judgment comes upon the land...it is HIS people who have humbled themselves and became that living sacrifice where HE can dwell that HE will HEAR when they pray and the promise is He will heal their land.   

God does not measure your life by your success...he measures it by your obedience to what He called you to do.  Matthew 7:21-23 says "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  

Jesus, our High Priest, is our example of a life laid down to the Father's will.  Jesus only did what he saw His Father do.  Jesus took 12 men and they turned the world upside down.  It does not take ALL who call themselves  Christians for God to turn the world upside down...he only needs a few who have laid their life down totally to His plan and His purpose and become those living sacrifices with whom His Glory can come through!