When God asks us for something, it will be because He has already provided what He’s asking for or He knows that we no longer need it for the journey ahead. Every sacrifice ever given falls into one of those two categories.
He’s provided the sacrifice. All that I have is because of God’s goodness and grace. I can’t point to a single thing in my life that God hasn’t provided for me. Jacob understands this reality in Genesis 31. By understanding this myself, it will put in proper perspective what a sacrifice really costs me.
I no longer need it. Sin, hurt, bitterness, self-reliance – whatever I name, it could be that when God asks for it, I no longer need it in my life. And it’s to my ultimate benefit to sacrifice it to the Father.
The frustrating bit in this equation is my insistence to take back my sacrifice. I’ll sneak in when I think nobody is looking and take what I just put on the altar back off. Then God and I have start all over again. And this – in a nutshell – is the story of Jacob. It’s why he flip-flops being called in scripture Israel and Jacob. Sometimes, he’s Israel, God rules, God has the last word. Sometimes he is Jacob, the deceiver, the trickster.
The good news is that God chooses to work through both, won’t give up on either. That God’s grace and power is greater than sin.