Originally published January, 2014 - War Cry.
One of the cruel practices in some ancient pagan worship involved mutilating sacrificial animals. Among some peoples, rather than kill the animal, a leg was severed while the animal was alive. Such sacrificial animals then lived out their days, their limp testifying that they had been offered as a partial sacrifice. This is one of the reasons that when the children of Israel conquered some of the kingdoms they were ordered to destroy the animals. The partial sacrifices testified to a defective belief system.
While we are horrified to read of such practices, too many Christians approach their consecration to God in the same manner. “I will give Him something but I’m holding back this.” For it to work, there cannot be piecemeal sacrifices made in the service of God. It is everything or nothing. There is no provision for a down payment followed by easy installments. If you claim Christ, then He claims you. All of you. Your money, your talent, your gifts, your family, your career, your life.
The likelihood is that He will leave your sacrifice in your hands as the steward, not the owner. As a steward, it is up to you to handle things as God would, with His glory and purposes in mind.
The alternative is a partial sacrifice. And as in the animals of Canaan, that does not represent joyful giving but painful living.