Well now, THAT got your attention, didn't it! Metaphorically speaking, I AM indeed throwing myself into the volcano, as a living sacrifice, just like you see in the movies. No, I haven't been captured by the natives and am being forced into the mouth of a gurgling, boiling cauldron of molten earth. But I AM going to be a living sacrifice.
I no longer have the rights to decide what I am to do. I must go throughout this day according to someone else's plan for me. I am standing on the lip of sulphuric mountain, and I am jumping in...voluntarily! That's right, no one is pushing me in. No one is standing there with a poison tipped spear or blowgun threatening that I'd better get in to appease the fiery bowl below. Nope, I'm doing this of my own accord with no one around.
Why, you ask? Because in that sacrifice is freedom; freedom to be who I am created to be. Freedom to use all of my gifts to please my master; freedom to break out of the brittle mold the world tries to force me in, and grow beyond that false frame, that imitation of life.
Indeed I have orders from the Great God who Is. He is indeed the God of fire, but it's not because he's an idol on a door frame shelf in some jungle hut. No, it's because He created fire. It's because He created water. It's because He created EVERYTHING, including me. It's because He is the creator, the Creative-One-Who-Provides-For-Me. He is the One-Who-Loved-First; the One-Who-Loves-Anyway; the One-Who-Loves-Even-Me. Perhaps you've heard of Him.
He's all powerful, yet all loving. He's vengeful, jealous, and full of wrath for those who move against him, yet He's gentle and loving enough to make sure His children are always welcome in his arms. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
And I'm safer, more loved, more protected jumping in His volcano than anywhere else in the universe. I choose today to let Him deal with my problems. I choose to let Him worry about my perilous situation because He WILL save the day. He WILL come to my rescue. He WILL love me. I know this because He already has, and I love Him for it.
What will you do with the gift Jesus has given YOU today?
"1Therefore, 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. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."