CHAPTER 8: GIVING UP WHAT WAS NEVER OURS
I really enjoyed the story Lysa started this chapter out with.
God has special knowledge into our lives. He has blessings for the radically obedient that make the dime-store stuff we are so intent on holding on to pale in comparison. The question is, do we trust Him? Do we trust that He will bless us? Do we trust that His blessings are infinitely better than what He might first ask us to release?
Read that last question again...Do we trust that His blessings are infinitely better than what He might FIRST ASK US TO RELEASE?
My mind goes to my Mom and the special bond she formed with one of her foster children. I recently posted on this little one. This baby came to my parents unloved and despised by her birth mother and Mom nurtured her, loved her and gave her the best first year of life any mother could give a child. Carmie knew without a doubt that she was loved by my Mom. When the kids were returned to a biological mom that can't support them and has stated how she "hates Carmelita", my Mom was faced with a choice. Curl up in a ball and cry her heart out, which she has shed many tears over this child OR trust in God through the tears and pain. She had to believe that His blessings are better than holding on to Carmie. As painful as these last few months have been missing her, she had to release her to God, not to the biological mother but to God, and because of her obedience He is able to use her in the life of another baby girl.
Sacrificial giving is one of the few times God asks us to test Him.
He wants us to venture into truly abundant giving. He wants us to get out from under our own selfishness with our possessions and accept His invitation to become radically obedient with what we own. Then, not only will He bless us, but He will lavish blessing upon blessing on us.
Did you not love how Lysa shared of when she felt like an out-of-fashion speaker and so she saved $100.00 and invited her fashion conscience girlfriends to shop with her for new clothes? Then came the unexpected phone call from a friend asking for prayer regarding finances and how her family was in desperate need of $100.00 ASAP unaware of Lysa's stash. Lysa listened to God and gave her friend the money with a willing heart. Because Lysa's desire to obey God was greater than her desire to look stylish, she allowed God to open the floodgates of heaven and pour a huge blessing upon her. Instead of canceling her shopping date with her friends she went and tried on clothes with the plan to put on hold what her friends picked out for her and return when she had the money. Her plan was a good one, but God had something else in mind. While in the dressing room she had no idea her friends were also being obedient to God as they paid for the clothes and blessed her with a $700.00 shopping spree!
How awesome is our God?
We can never out do the blessings of our Lord. Never. He just has more up His holy sleeve than we can even begin to pretend to know and He will take us to our knees in praise every time He acknowledges our obedience.
If we choose to obey and give of our resources in abundance, a feeling of amazing satisfaction will follow. The radical blessing of being able to take hold of a real life----a fulfilled and satisfied life we can't find any other way---will be ours.
The last part of this chapter really spoke loud to my heart. She titled the segment of this chapter, 'The Blessings of a Sacrificial Life'.
None of what I listed above are truly "mine" and until I get that and stop trying be the control freak that I naturally am, I am missing out on what God has waiting just for me and my family. Until I choose to have a heart that is radically obedient to whatever God asks of me...