As we have discussed in previous post the spiritual disciplines seem difficult. Difficult does not mean that they are not worth it. A deep relationship with God is worth everything you have, because it all came from Him anyway.
That fact is especially important to remember with this week’s spiritual discipline: giving. Many people think that giving is when we share our time, gifts, and money. More accurately, giving is utilizing the time, gifts, and money that God has entrusted to you.
Sometimes we are tempted to give our left overs. We spend money like it is our own. We get a place to stay, utilities, food, insurance, and fun. Then, whatever is left we might give to God if nothing better comes up. We use our time often even without making sure that it goes to activities we even want. Then, we conclude that we are busy, and we give God whatever might be available.
Not everyone is that way. Some people have determined that God is worth more than our leftovers. Some people give God their best. They plan how they give the money, time, and gifts that has been given to them. The make schedules that include time with God. They make an effort to pray even when they are not sitting down to eat. These things sound great, but the truth is that God still wants more.
He doesn’t want your leftovers or your best. He wants it all. Yes, it is important you share a portion of what God has entrusted to you with the church. Yes, it is important to dedicate part of your schedule to focusing on God, His Word, and prayer. Being a follower of Christ doesn’t end there. The real lesson is that God wants you to know that all of “your” resources are actually from Him.
Giving God everything all means you give God areas where you are proud and areas that you desperately want to keep hidden. God wants you to share everything with Him; that is a part of abiding with God. The branch does not get to keep its small fruit or rotten fruit from the Vinedresser meaning that you do not get to hide areas that you are ashamed of from God. On the other hand, the branch can’t keep the biggest juiciest fruit either or the areas where you are proud. All fruit belongs to the Vinedresser.
Sometimes, we need reminders that the stuff we want to claim as our own is not our own. I believe that is why God asked for offerings. He doesn’t need money or gifts or time to do His Will, but He chooses to let us participate, because He loves us and wants to teach us.
My toddler wants to help me every day. Honestly right now, she is generally not very helpful. I can get the job done faster and easier without her. But because I love her, I often I invite her to participate with me.
God is the same way. God has invited you to participate in furthering His Kingdom, because He loves you. He has also asked that you trust Him to do the difficult tasks. God wants you to give everything you have to Him, and trust Him to do great things with it.