Thursday, February 10, 2011

Would I go away sad????

Reposting an old Facbeook note of mine: and Freeing Truths....
“And behold, a man came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”-Matthew 19:16-22

The guy in this story was trying to earn God- He did what was right. He had made the law attainable and missed what it was meant to do- expose our sin so we could see our desparate need for God. We aren't supposed to be able to fulfill the law. There is only One who could and did fulfill the law: Jesus! So Jesus took it the next step for him and exposed his love for his own possessions over love for God. The need was always for Jesus, not to “get” the better life down the road eternally, but to know JESUS.

I’m struck now by how Jesus would have that same conversation with me. How am I trying to earn Him still? Do I think I’ve attained anything? Or has the law exposed my need (oh I pray it’s truly Jesus and only Jesus my life is about)?

But the BIG question for me is: What else is there that Jesus would bring up for me when I could answer yes I’ve done this for all the others? What is the thing/ person/ lifestyle/ etc. that if He told me to let it go in order to be completely in Him might cause me to, like the rich young man with many possessions, turn and walk away sadly?

I’m convicted that that there are many things/ppl in my life I’ve chosen and would hang my head sorrowfully and walk away for… and God is showing me that though I have failed to let them go over and over, through His strength (and clearly ONLY by His strength), I can give up my grip and walk away joyfully toward Him (I blogged once in more depth about not just leaving but also going TO Him. You can read that here). What a freeing thought. I really don’t want ANYTHING in my life to mean more to me than God Himself.

-Not Andy (who I pray God gives me a lifetime with but know that is not promised)
-not Jimmy and Caleb (who I pray I get to watch become husbands and fathers themselves who love God wholeheartedly, but know that is a gift not promised either),
-not my family of origin… or their salvation (oh how hard this one is to let go!!!)
-not my family by marriage (who i tried so desparately to feel wanted in and wound up missing Christ while deepening the gap between us for so long),
-not my dear friends and church family
-not our “home”
-not the dream of owning our own home one day
-not our ministry
-not my dream of being thin
-not my health
-not our paycheck
-not even my life itself
-not ANYTHING!!!!

I SO want to say, like Paul (Phil. 3:7-15), that it is all trash and I would WAY rather know Christ and be found in Him than to have any of these gifts that I’ve held as precious and dear, but are truly not even worth comparing to the surpassing love of God. I am SOOOOO far from living this out and praying that Christ will continue, in grace, to guide me closer and closer to hIm so I can truly hold loosely all that I’ve been given- and have JOY in the loss of them, knowing HE is the great treasure. I believe He is doing this work in me and now, today as I read this passage, the conviction turned to absolute JOY that He has already begun this work in me and he WILL see it through to completion (Philippians 1:6)

Will you pray with me and hold me accountable and remind me of the surpassing worth of Christ when you see my grip tighten on these gifts?  Is there a gift God has given you: something or someone in your life, that He wants you to hold loosely-or even let go of completely- so that you can experience the true JOY in Him alone as well? I want to encourage you too, to give it up and walk away… not sorrowfully from him, but JOYFULLY towards Him as the true treasure!

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