Rendering an offering unto the Lord should be an occasion of rejoicing. Many times, when the portion of our lives arises wherein we are reminded about the aspect of worship that requires us to participate in the giving up of ourselves unto the Lord, we become disgruntled or even become distant. The Bible teaches us in 2 Corinthians,
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver…” (9:7).
We become disgruntled or distant upon hearing this particular passage of Scripture based upon hearing the many reports of the misappropriation of finances by some who have been entrusted with the stewardship of the congregational finances. However, this verse does not refer to monetary gifts alone, but also extends to any gift that may be rendered unto the Lord.
When God asks us to give Him our everything, we are ecstatic, initially, until it requires us to release something we desire to hold onto for whatever reason. This is the battle that many believers face on a daily basis, and some have been facing the same internal struggle for years. Why do we struggle with handing over something that can be detrimental to our walk with the Lord? Why is it so difficult? Trust me, we are not alone in this fight.
We know that God has called us to a life of holiness. Some people are able to lay many of their burdens down through the assistance of the Holy Spirit. That is understood. However, according to the Apostle Paul, we also know that we are
“…always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh…” (2 Cor. 4:10,11).
This means that we are all being renewed daily. This means that we are not all on the same level as it pertains to our walk with Christ. This means that there are those who may struggle a little longer with complete surrender than others based upon past experiences. When others feel out of place because they do not “have their lives together”, this can sometimes make it difficult to be cheerful when asked to surrender something. They almost feel exposed. They sometimes struggle with the vulnerability factor. They sometimes struggle with the lost sense of control that they felt they had previously. One more thing…as leaders, sometimes, we can also be contributors to their apprehension by being a little misunderstanding and condemnatory of what the individual may be dealing with internally.
Paul provided instruction to Timothy on how to address personal issues of this sort,
“…the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will…” (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
When those who struggle with becoming a ‘living sacrifice,’ we have an opportunity to make it a teachable moment for both them and ourselves in the process. Upon knowing that God still loves them and is willing to take on whatever challenge with which they may be faced, the person may slowly begin to release the reins of their struggle…and do so willingly and with a cheerful heart. But we may have to be the willing vessel who is determined to tough it out with them until their change comes.
As for those who choose to maintain “control” of their situation, we will just continue to pray (fervently, as well as, cheerfully) for them that
“…the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them…to give the light of knowledge…” (2 Cor. 4: 4,6)…#thinkonthesethings