HOLDING THINGS LOOSELY
One of the key challenges of life is to keep the issue of ownership clear. Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord. The world and its people belong to him.” The fact is - God owns it all. We are simply stewards.
God created us, infused us with life, blessed us with an abundance of “things,” and controls the length of our days. (Job 14:5). It is the Lord that gives and the Lord that takes away, Job said. Until we fully resolve the issue of Divine ownership, life will continue to be a challenge.
When early missionaries went to a foreign mission field, they often got a one-way ticket, and some even shipped what possessions they had in a casket, preparing to “die in the saddle” serving Jesus. They realized they were not their own and were prepared to put it all on the line for Him.
God is the source and giver of life and wants us to use it for his purposes. Paul refers to this as “our reasonable act of worship.” (Romans 12:1) It is God who gave us breath and wants us to use it to praise Him. It is God who gives us strength and wants us to use it to serve him. It is God who gives us the resources and blessings of life and wants us to use them as He planned.
In Deuteronomy 8, Moses cautioned the people of Israel, “After you eat and are full, give praise to the Lord your God for the good land he gave you. When you become successful, don’t say, ‘I’m rich, and I’ve earned it all myself.’ Instead, remember that the Lord your God gives you the strength to make a living.” (Duet. 8:10, 17-18)
Everything we have and everything we are originates with HIM. When King David was appealing to the people for help to build the Temple, he stood before them and prayed, “I praise you forever, Lord! Your power is great and your glory is seen everywhere in heaven and on earth. You are king of the entire world, and you rule with strength and power. You make people rich and powerful and famous. We thank you, our God, and praise you. But why should we be happy that we have given you these gifts? They belong to you, and we have only given back what is already yours. We are only foreigners living here on earth for a while, just as our ancestors were. And we will soon be gone, like a shadow that suddenly disappears.” (I Chronicles 29:10-15)
David closed his prayer with this request. “Always make us eager (not just willing but eager) to give and help us to be faithful to you.” (I Chron. 29:18) God is wanting us to loosen our grip on things that, in the final analysis, really belong to Him anyway.
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love