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Does God want Obedience or Sacrifice? / JOHN BEVERE

God's Holy Jealousy for us

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. " - Colossians 3:1-2

All through his college years, best-selling author John Bevere was hungry for God. He would tell everyone he met about Jesus. He stayed in his fraternity house to spend time with God instead of going for football games all through his junior years because that was when the fraternity house was quiet.

After he graduated, he started to work for his church in Dallas. There was about 400 employees in the staff and they were all Dallas Cowboys fans. Initially, John did not know much about the Cowboys since he was from Michigan.  But in order to contribute in the "Monday-Morning conversations", John started watching the Cowboys games.  Soon, he was the go-to guy for all Cowboys' statistics and analysis. John became a Dallas Cowboys fanatic himself!

One Sunday after church, a few years later, the Cowboys were in a very critical game. John came home that day and turned on the television right away. He was glued to the action on the field. The winner of the game goes to the playoffs and the loser stays home.

With 8 minutes left in the game, the Cowboys were down by 4 points, but Danny White and team were driving the ball down the field. John was on his feet, shouting and screaming, knowing in his gut that they are going to be winning this game!

All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit dropped an urge to pray in John's heart. John said out loud to God, "God, I'll pray once the game is over."

Yet, the urge just got stronger and stronger. John started negotiating with God, "God, I'll pray for 5 hours when this game is over."

When the game was down to 2 minutes, the urge to pray was overwhelming. John continued to negotiate with God, saying that he would pray all afternoon and into the night if that was what God needed.

Finally, the game ended. The Dallas Cowboys won. John was excited but he knew he need to keep his commitment to God. So he went into his office, closed the door, got down on his knees and is all ready to start praying.

However, John found himself unable to pray. His words were flat. He tried everything but nothing worked.

The urge to pray was all gone.

Then John has a realization. God had wanted him to pray, but he had chosen the Dallas Cowboys over Him.

Upon that realization, God spoke to him, "Son, I don't want your 5 hours of sacrifice. I want obedience."

That is what a relationship with God is - To have God in your heart and truly mean it. Back in college, despite all the opposition he faced from his peers, John chose to put God first. Years later, he was reminded of that lesson by his loving Heavenly Father.

That which your heart is set on is what you are going to seek after.

CLICK HERE to get your own copy of John Bevere's "Good or God?"

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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.