Extreme Sacrifice (A true story)
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).
Fearfully, they huddled inside the small room while hearing the piercing screams of fellow Christians being butchered outside. Pastor Hendrick Pattiwael and his wife were helping to lead the Indonesian youth camp and they felt responsible for the young people in their care. The camp had been a joyous time of spiritual growth and worship.
Then they were attacked.
When the radical Muslim mob surrounded the building where his wife and the teenagers hid, Pastor Pattiwael went outside to distract the bloodthirsty mob. Like hungry lions, the angry mob sprang upon the pastor and viciously attacked him while the young people and his wife escaped out the back door.
“Jesus, help me.” Those were his final words.
The next time his wife saw him, Pastor Pattiwael’s body was lying in a coffin. Ugly wounds criss-crossed his torso and arms. In shock and anger, Mrs. Pattiwael cried out to God. “How could you let this happen? Why didn’t you protect my husband?”
Gently the Holy Spirit reminded her of her husband’s own words just days for the attack. “If you love Jesus, but you love me or your family more, you are unworthy of Christ’s kingdom.” He told her then that he was ready to die for Christ’s kingdom.
Mrs. Pattiwael remembered those words and refused to become bitter. She still works with her church in Indonesia. The advice she gives other Christians today is this . . . “Seek God more earnestly so that you can stand in the midst of more trouble.”
We don’t have to look for trouble. It already has our address. Jesus often reminded His disciples that trials are part of daily living. Seeking God more earnestly does not mean seeking more trouble for our lives. No, the benefit of seeking a deeper relationship with God is to better prepare us for the inevitable.
We don’t have a choice about what troubles come our way. However, we can choose to have a relationship with God that prepares us for trouble.
Some trials may mean losing our lives for Christ’s sake. Yet this is not the real sacrifice. The extreme sacrifice must come long before. We must sacrifice our selfishness at EVERY LEVEL in order to develop intimacy with God ahead of time. When we have sacrificed ALL to purse a preeminent relationship with Christ, we have already done the hardest part.
Credits: Extreme Devotion: The Voice of the Martyrs. W. Publishing Group. Nashville, (2001), p. 16.