Jesus is worth the loss of everything you know deep down isn’t sustainable but hate to let go. Let Him prove that to you.Lisa Whittle
I had a recent experience of breakthrough with the Lord. Maybe you have had one before. In a moment, you’re overrun with His love, your soul feels 10 pounds lighter and you’re all-around in awe that this kind of freedom is possible. Oftentimes we can thank the Holy Spirit for such work of clarity and peace, and this time for me was no different.
It was quite the throw-off-everything-that-hinders moment for me, to steal a phrase from the author of Hebrews (12:1). It was as if I saw so clearly the best thing in the entire world (Jesus) and wondered how I’ve gone so long choosing anything else (self). It was as if I got a fresh taste of the most satisfying, enjoyable fruit and wanted to throw all the processed food in the garbage and never go back. It was an experience of settledness, confidence and love that I realized later I would do anything to keep. This prompted a week-long open-ended question to the Lord: What obstructs, clutters or clouds my communion with You? A question followed up by: What costs so much that it jeopardizes our closeness?
I laid before God all my desires and habits (healthy and unhealthy), idols and dreams, and made some choices I hope and pray will tether me anew to His presence. Maybe I’ll share them here one day. But I share it with you at all, as a sister alongside you in the race of endurance, to put the questions before you.
What obstructs, clutters or clouds your communion with Him?
What costs so much that it jeopardizes your closeness?
What if XYZ is sabotaging your hunger for Jesus?
In her new book, Lisa Whittle, when faced with the realization shopping had become an idol, remarked, “Wouldn’t it be stupid if shopping came between me and Jesus?” (Don’t hold me to that exact wording.)
My own version of that question is – wouldn’t it be ridiculous if ____ robbed me of all I could have in Jesus? Social media, salty snacks, Hulu, fitness, New Balance sneakers, my own spiritual performance, how I’m perceived by others… any one of these things could probably fit there.
1 John 5:11-12 says, “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” With Jesus, abundant life forever, treasure-in-Heaven-storing-life. Without Jesus, mere existence. In John Piper’s words, “Only through him [Jesus] can our deadness be replaced with life and our blindness be replaced with light.”
We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One.A.W. Tozer
Like Paul, may we sacrifice everything that stands in the way of us knowing and loving Him more deeply. “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.” (Philippians 3:8-9a)
It’s a prayer for myself and a prayer for His Church today.