No one likes a sermon that begs for money.
It’s Christmas time and our church is fully focused on outward expression of God’s grace toward us. For weeks now, we’ve been collecting gifts for the poor in our community and money for service projects and church planting. Yesterday, our pastor gave one last push for us to open our hearts generously. But he went far beyond our wallets, as he told us a story about his son:
A few years ago, God led my pastor and his wife to give all they had in their checking account to a specific need. This time, as the annual Christmas gift offering approached, they were praying about how much God wanted them to give. Finally, a few days before, his wife approached him and said that she believed God wanted them to empty their checking account again.
They both struggled with this request. They are at a different time their lives now. They have several kids, they own a home, they have multiple financial responsibilities. So they laid the idea aside and agreed to pray over it, but both believed that God really did want them to give all they had in that account.
On Sunday morning, his wife was pulling the kids together, tucking in shirttails, tying shoes and flattening cowlicks. One son noticed that she seemed stressed and asked.
She replied, “Well, God wants us to give all our money and truthfully, Mommy is a little nervous.”
Her son looked up at her and said, “Well, you can do whatever you want, but I’m going to give all mine because I want God to know that I trust Him.”
Only to this audience can I explain what happened in me next; most people wouldn’t understand the sacrifice that this gift involves.
I began to pray, “Lord, I do trust you. What are you calling me to give up that will show you, will show the world, that I trust you? Actually what do I need to give up that will prove to me that you are trustworthy?”
As clear as day, I heard the Lord respond, “I want you to give up your right and means to a perfect body.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been walking in recovery for several years. However, God knows the fears that linger in the corners of my heart. He knows how much trust I place in the moderate exercise program I follow. He knows that deep in my heart, I still believe that my actions at the dinner table and in the gym are responsible for the fact that I haven’t gotten fat.
How can I show God I trust Him?
By giving up my right and means to a perfect body.
This will be hard. It will mean going directly against everything that comes naturally for me. But, I want God to know I trust Him. And I want God to prove to me that He is trustworthy.