I thought that I was sold-out for God. I was working as a missionary, volunteering and engaging in my local church, and I thought I had given everything over to Him.
Emphasis on “I thought…”
About a couple years ago I returned from a summer of interning/serving around Europe. We had served with and supported many local churches, spent numerous hours on the street using performing arts and simple conversations to evangelize to people, and volunteered with cafes and organizations serving the less fortunate.
I returned home and began looking for my next opportunity. I was sitting in the driveway of my home in my car talking to God one night when He asked me something.
He asked if I would give it all up.
I was confused.
“But I already have. I haven’t followed the normal college path, I leave my friends and family to volunteer overseas every year, I donate my time and money to causes – what else could there be to give You?”
He replied gently – yet firmly, “You haven’t given me quite everything.”
I had been holding onto a relationship in my life that was nearing the end of its course. It had meant the world to me and as I began to look at the place it held in my heart, I realized that I was much more attached than I thought.
I had been trying to hide it in my heart and pretend that everything was given to God. I thought, foolishly, that He wouldn’t notice.
It was a lie I had believed for a long time. I had tricked myself into thinking I was completely given over to God, all the while I protected something in my heart that had no business being there in the first place or having such a high position in my priorities.
He asked me to let it go. To give it to Him and trust that He would take care of my heart in the process.
So I did. It wasn’t easy, it was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I fought it for a little bit, tried to talk my way out of it, but the inevitable loomed – I had to give this situation to God completely.
Looking back, even though it was an incredibly painful and revealing lesson to learn, I am so much better for having gone through it.
When He asks you for all of you, give it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t try and talk Him out of it. Don’t pretend that you have given everything already or that you have nothing else to give; He’s asking you for a reason. Even if you aren’t aware, He knows what your heart looks like and what it needs to look like.
He’s not going to leave you there in your brokenness either, He’s giving Himself as a safe place to rest in and take shelter in when we give up the things nearest and dearest to our hearts. He’s simply asking us to loosen our grip on something so He can create something even bigger and more beautiful in its place.
It’s okay to let go. It’s okay to feel the loss in that season as well. But something that has always stuck out to me is a quote from David Livingstone, “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”
The opportunity to live a life completely given over to Him is the greatest honor we as Christ followers will ever experience. There is an abundant blessing found in a life lived with your hands open.
Hold the things in your life and in your heart loosely, and be ready to let go of something good in order to receive something even better from the Good Giver.
“Not one man has ever sacrificed for his Lord without being richly repaid. If the cross is only contrasted with earthly pleasures lost, it may seem hard and threatening. But when the cross is weighed in the balances with the glorious treasures to be had through it, even the cross seems sweet.“
– Walter J. Chantry
By Brooke Everheart
Port YWAM Kona Communications Staff