Have you ever noticed that, as you strive to draw closer to the Father, He will reveal things about you that are so deeply embedded within that you didn’t even realize they were there? In fact, sometimes He will use a crisis to reveal them to us. Here’s why this is important to address: the Hebrew word for “offering” or “sacrifice” is קרבן korban. It comes from the root word קרב karav which means “to draw near” or “to approach.” Understanding that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), it becomes obvious what’s going to happen to us when we draw nearer to Him. As we strive to present ourselves as a “living sacrifice,” the consuming fire will draw out and burn up every unfruitful and contrary way that exists in our lives.
If you stand too close to a fire for too long, you’ll increasingly grow uncomfortable. It’s not uncomfortable to our inner man but to our flesh. Therefore, drawing near to the all-consuming fire means that our flesh – our will – is going to be uncomfortable – it can even become painful. In the natural, the typical human response in this scenario is to withdraw and back up from the fire and find a more comfortable position. In the spiritual, you and I are called upon to draw closer to Him, meaning that, as uncomfortable as our flesh may be, He wants us to get more uncomfortable until our flesh dies.
The more intently we approach Him and the closer we get to Him means that more of us that’s deep within will come bubbling to the surface. At that point, we have to make a decision about what we’re going to do. Are we going to back off or are we going to press forward even closer?
Paul reminds us that we are to be a living sacrifice:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice (korban), holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
If you’re going through something that’s very uncomfortable to the degree that things about yourself are being revealed, doesn’t mean that God isn’t near. To the contrary, it might mean that He’s closer than He’s ever been.