But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2.14
Unfortunately, many do not understand the Word of God, especially when it comes to sacrificing. Everyone wants to have a comfortable, prosperous, successful life, but not everyone is willing to pay the price to achieve it. Many do not want to fight or sacrifice, but when there is no sacrifice nothing can be achieved in life.
God’s blessings don’t just fall from the sky, blessings are achieved, and only those who strive, fight, sacrifice and act by faith in the Word God can achieve them.
Though the Lord Jesus already came into this world and gave His life to save us, we still have to sacrifice. He said the Kingdom of God is conquered with violence, and only the violent, who act violently against their own will to do the will of God can take possession of it.
There are many good people who believe in God and attend church, yet they do not understand why their life does not change. These people pray, ask, cry, always come to meetings, they’re always present on Sunday, but nothing happens! There is no change, they are not delivered, they are unable to achieve their goals. They live frustrated, discouraged, disillusioned lives and, at times, they even believe God no longer cares about them or loves them, and that they were born to suffer. Many end up falling away from the faith and turning away from God, or continue hopping from church to church, as if a church was going to solve their problem! It isn’t!
No church or religion can solve our problems, only God can do that through the manifestation of our faith. The truth is that our future is not in the hands of God, a pastor, a bishop, a religion or anyone else, our future is in our own hands. Everything a man sows, he will reap, regardless if it’s good or bad. We reap today what we sowed yesterday, and tomorrow we will reap what we sowed today. This is the law of life.
You can have a lot of faith in God, but if you do not manifest your faith, it won’t bring you any results or benefits, because faith without works is dead. A sacrifice is the greatest expression of faith. Our life is the result of the offering we present to God. Jesus said it was necessary to sacrifice:
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Then Peter (a natural man. Though he was a disciple of Jesus, he had not been born of the Holy Spirit) took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men”. Matthew 16.21-23
This did not mean Peter was possessed by a demon, but because he was a natural and carnal man, he did not understand the importance of sacrifice. He saw it as madness. Therefore, it was not hard for Satan to inspire him to try to prevent Jesus from sacrificing in favor of the Salvation of mankind.
The devil knows that sacrifice is the key to victory, and he tries every way possible to prevent people from understanding this, acting by faith and offering a perfect sacrifice to God.
This is why when we speak about sacrifice in church, several questions surface in the minds of many people. Negative and malicious thoughts appear. Evil sows doubts in order for that person to be afraid to sacrifice and not conquer the realization of their dreams.
Just like the devil used Peter, he uses friends, relatives and even pastors to sow words of doubt in us. Some say that we are out of our minds for sacrificing, and this causes many to sit on the fence, be divided between two thoughts, confused, which all lead to their faith being neutralized.
This is why we should not ask anyone for their opinion about what we should, or should not do. Not everyone is in the same faith as us. Even if the person is in church, it does not mean they are in the same faith; on the contrary, they may even be used by the devil to cause confusion in our minds.
Faith is a gift from God, a revelation, it is personal, something between you and God; therefore we have to be definite in our faith to put it into action. This way, the power of God will be manifested in our lives.
If the Lord Jesus had stopped listening to the voice of faith, to listen to the voice of doubt or the voice of emotions, He would not have given his life as a sacrifice on the cross, we would be lost in our sins and there would be no Salvation. However, though the flesh is weak, the Spirit was prepared.
I wonder… When Bishop Macedo received the revelation from God to leave everything, sacrifice everything, his job, his career, his personal projects to bring the message of Salvation to those who are lost, if he had listened to the voice of his friends and close relatives – who were converted to the Lord Jesus, but said he was crazy and that it would never work, because he didn’t have God’s calling to be a pastor –, what would have happened to millions of people throughout this world? Today, these people have overcome poverty, addictions, a life of crime; families have been restored; people who were alone in this world, filled with past traumas and complexes, depressed and even thinking of committing suicide are now saved, their lives are completely transformed and they live happily in the Kingdom of God.
The UCKG is a work of faith, born from a sacrificial faith. And if you really want to achieve great things in life and make a difference, the key is sacrifice. All you have to do is solely listen to the voice of faith and reject every doubt and negative thought that may arise to try to destroy your dreams.
I ask you the same question Elijah asked on Mount Carmel: How long will you falter between two opinions?