At church, our current theme is TRADE OFFS!
"Jesus makes it abundantly clear that we can't add the life he offers in God's Kingdom as another addendum to our already ecelctic, hectic and complex living. When he says, "Come, follow"... he also tells us that we will need to leave something else behind. In other words... "To be an authentic follower of Christ, we will need to be willing to trade off other parts of who we have been in order to live more authentically in Christ.
You know, I arrogantly excused myself from the message this weekend feeling like over the past 7 years, I had given up lots of things that were very important to me. Though it occurred to me later, that most of them had to be pulled from my hands. I hadn't given them without a fight. So I cautiously said, "Lord, show me what I am still holding onto that has become a TRADE OFF for knowing you, for hearing your voice." It was quite clear to me that to have time to spend with the Holy One, something else had to go.
Just just as I expected, the Lord took my willingness to seek His face- with all the conditions and fears- and answered me, over and over again.
I was prompted to pull out two books from my shelves this week. One is by Linda Dillow called, Satisfy My Thirsty Soul: For I am Desperate for Your Presence. The other is by Lysa Terkeurst entitled, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food. The first is specifically about worship- a lifestyle of worship. But so is the other! I bought it to help me focus on my weight issue- but it is leading me to seek the Only One who can satisfy my cravings!
CRAVE is defined as something you long for, want greatly, desire eagerly and beg for. Wow! What do we CRAVE really? What is it that we are TRADING OFF to get it?
Remember the story of the rich, young ruler in Matthew 19? He comes to Jesus and asks, "All these rules I have kept. What do I still lack?" Jesus replies, "If you want to be whole, give up the one thing you crave more than me. Then come follow me."
Ouch! The Lord is showing me I've made a considerable amount of trade offs in the past few years- but I haven't been trading for Him. I've been trading Him away. How about you?
Is it possible that we love and rely on _______ (fill in your greater craving) more than we love and rely on God? (Lisa Terkeurst, Made to Crave)
One of my favorite old songs from my past is an old hymn written by George Beverly Shea. This song was song often as he ministered with the Billy Graham Crusades for many years. The words are:
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand...
Chorus: Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin's dread sway.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause,
|I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;|
|I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame,|
|I'd rather be true to His holy name . . .|
I choose to crave Him. I'd rather have Him! Pray for me as I make those choices everyday. I'd be happy to pray for you too! Just send me a note letting me know how to pray!