devo 2, week 1 of the GIVE UP series

Have you ever given someone a blank check? What you were basically doing is giving them the freedom to withdraw from your account anything they wanted. And you trusted them. Right?

What about giving God a blank check? What about giving up your life, like a blank check, and surrendering authority of “your account” to Jesus? Sound hokey? Maybe. But think about it. Does He have full access to my life? Do you trust Him? Are you okay with whatever He might withdraw? It doesn’t always mean “blessing,” at least as we tend to define it. It for sure may leave you with seemingly nothing, like so many people who trusted and lost their lives for the sake of His Kingdom. So, it’s risky.

We usually don’t give God a blank check do we? Usually, at least in some way, we block access to our lives. We live as though we always need more and as though we will always be limited in our generosity to what we have in our personal account. But that is not the case. In fact, blocking access to Him actually will leave us with nothing, while surrendering full access gives us access to riches that can’t be lost.

Take some time to read Luke 12:13–21.

QUESTION:

What is the issue for us, that we don’t value God and a “rich relationship” with Him more than the riches we might gain on our own?

Is it because I can see what is in my barns? Is it because I can’t see God? Jesus said in John 20:29:

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Maybe the issue is not only what we value about God but also that we don’t trust that He loves us like He says He does. Maybe that’s the real depth of the meaning of John 3:16. Do we believe that He loves us so much that He actually did give up His son? And that He would again and again if it meant that we could walk in rich relationship with Him.

Look at what Jesus said a little bit later in Luke 12:

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

Do I believe that? That my “Daddy,” as Paul called Him, takes great pleasure in giving me His Kingdom and the riches of it. Am I okay that the “stuff” of His Kingdom is not actually stuff, but rather life, love, togetherness, compassion, sentness (to name a few)?

Here’s the deal, though. If I don’t give God the blank check that is my life, then my whole life will be defined only by what is and isn’t in my bank account, rather than by what is in and is growing in the “bank account” of the lives of others. That kind of investment is the only one that will last – investment into the lives of the broken, the needy, my neighbor, my co-worker, my spouse, my friend, my kids, our world.

ACTION STEP:

  • Take an honest look at how you spend your time, your money, your mental energy. Does it indicate that you value the riches of God’s Kingdom, relationship with Him and with others, more than the stuff of earth?
  • PRAY_Lord, what am I holding to more tightly than my relationship with You and my relationships with others? Help me to let go, and trust You.
  • LIVE_If the answer to that prayer above requires change, beg God to change you and help you act on that change. And, spend less time this week than you have been pursuing your own gain and more time cultivating the riches of God’s kingdom by spending more time in your most meaningful relationships. The obvious are family and close friends. But even look for someone you work with or someone at school to specifically give up your gain for the sake of their gain, and watch “on earth as it is in heaven” happen right before your eyes.

Maybe we’d believe it if we’d see it. You will if you give up your gain.

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