ALL OF OUR LIVING

Most of us are familiar with the bible story of “The Widow’s Mites.”

“ And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”  Mark 3:43-44

The moral of the story has always been taught to be about giving. It is easy to give when one has an abundance. However, when one’s resources are not abundant, it becomes a tad more difficult to part with the little that one has. Jesus was teaching his disciples that this widow’s giving of her farthing was deemed more valuable than that of the rich people who gave more simply because they had more to give. The widow did not have an ample supply of funds. On the contrary, the two mites that she gave were all that she possessed. Yet, her faith motivated her to offer it. Therefore, Jesus, seeing the heart behind the offering deemed it more valuable than the heart behind the offering of those who gave simply because they had an abundance to give.

It is a timeless and valuable lesson. One that should remind us that when we make offering to the Lord, He sees the heart behind the offering. He sees the faith, the underlying motive. He cannot be deceived by quantity. He is, however, moved by the quality – the heart quality – of the offering.

Another thing struck me when I read this passage today.

Perhaps it was the particular words that were used. I am not sure. However, as I read them, they opened up another perspective that I believe is very important.

Verse 44 says, “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

As I stated before, this story is used, in most cases, to illustrate giving money. However, as I read the words “but she of her want…” and “did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” It became clear to me is that it was some pressing need in the widow’s heart that led her to the treasury that day. Her offering was not made to obey a law, or to be recognized. It was made in direct response to something that was pressing heavily on her heart. Therefore, she came that day to pour herself out. To lay herself bare before the Lord.

The “pressing” may have been a desire. It may even have been a show of thanks. Whatever it was, it moved her to reach out to the Lord with her everything. “Even all her living.”

Let us not even think about money for a moment.

How often do we, in our want of God or our want from God, give all that we have? How do we allow ourselves to be broken down, to the point of physical, emotional and psychological helplessness because God has revealed to us in a “pressing of our spirit” that we are not right with Him?

We may say that we do when we pray. However, where we often (either during church service or personal prayer time) may lose ourselves in prayer, once it’s over, we get up and resume our lives as usual.

However, compare it to the offering of the two mites. Remember, a widow back in those times was a helpless person. She was at the mercy of whomever would provide for her financially and physically because she no longer had a husband. Meaning, since the person, by law, who was legally responsible to provide for her was no longer there, she was alone and without means unless someone else stepped up to provide for her. Therefore, when the widow put in those two mites, she no longer had any money. She put in all she had, and now, she had nothing.

There was no life as usual with the widow that day. She gave it all, “Even all her living.”

The Lord is telling us here that it is the giving of all of our living that He seeks from us.

In Christianity today, it is almost as if the only reason that we seek Christ is to make our life – as we want and desire it to be – better.

But we are still in charge of that life.

We “call the shots”. We envision how the life should turn out and every course of action we take is to ensure that our life visions come to fruition.

But what Jesus wants is for us to give up our lives!

He wants us to take “All of our living” and freely offer it up to Him.

He wants the “pressing” of His Spirit (that, if we are paying attention, reveals to us that we are not right with Him) to stir up a want in us.

What is this “want”?  The “want” is Jesus, Himself!  His very Life!

Jesus does not prompt us to desire an improvement of our lives…

He prompts us to desire a replacement of our lives!

Our life for His Life!  (Galatians 2:20)

The widow in this story represents an impoverished spirit. A spirit that has come to the realization that they have no physical provider. A spirit that has realized that God is the only true provider and it was this realization that manifested as the “want” of the widow.

The widow did not know what was going to happen to her after that moment. But the passage tells us that because Jesus saw and acknowledged the heart of her offering, He was going to take care of her.

Do we have that faith?

Do we have the faith to offer all of our impoverished lives to Him, for the want of Him?

Or would we rather pray for an overabundance first? Then from that overabundance we make an offering. Giving Him only a part of ourselves.

Brethren, as long as we still look upon our lives as being “adequate” or “not that bad” or simply in the need of a “sprucing up”, we will never have the impoverished spirit that the widow represents here.

Jesus wants us, by the enlightenment of His Spirit, to see that in our natural lives, we are as poor widows.

He then wants us to come, driven by the “want” of the better life that Life in Christ has to offer, and offer ‘’all that we have, even all of our living.”

As He saw and acknowledged the widow, He will see and acknowledge us!

He will then establish Himself in our lives as our Husband and our Provider. He will be there constantly to satisfy our every need. As He has promised us that he would.

May we, by His Spirit, continue to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Advertisements

RECEIVE YOUR DELIVERANCE

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14

The passage above is not only a very well known one, it is a very comforting one. It is used as a battle cry of sorts for the Christians who proclaim it when they are going through challenging times. It reminds us of not only who our God is, but also of what he is able and willing to do for us when we are “hard pressed on all sides”.

This week, the Lord opened up this passage to my understanding in a very personal way.

The passage, as it is written above, is in the King James Version.  However,  many other versions of the bible write it as:

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” NIV

“And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” RSV

“But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” NLT

While these versions say “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still/stay calm”, the KJV states “The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace.”

This message is not a comparison of bible translations. When The Lord sent me to this passage, the 3 versions that quote verse 14 as saying  “just be still” were not in line with the message He was giving me. However, when I read the KJV, it all just made perfect sense.

I personally struggle with fighting back when I feel I’m being verbally  attacked. Whenever I am or feel accused, I vehemently fight back by defending myself and it almost always leaves me feeling wretched,  spent and very angry.

It has been a continuous prayer of mine, that the Lord make me, so that I am not affected by what people say to me. It has been a life long struggle, and the older I get, the more it wears on me. As I am  growing in Christ, The Holy Spirit has made me aware that this self defense  mechanism of mine is not a trait that is pleasing to the Lord.  But I just can’t help it. When I’m verbally attacked or provoked,  I engage in the discord by not only defending myself, but mounting a counter-attack on whomever I believe is attacking me.

So it finally got to a breaking point where I confessed to God my bondage to this trait. I was enslaved by it, and I prayed “Lord, I can’t break this chain of bondage…but YOU CAN!

That was when The Spirit sent me to Exodus 14.

Why I say that the KJV of these verses spoke to my dilemma over the others is this:

What does the term ” hold your peace” translate to? It means “to keep silent; to say nothing”. In my dilemma; my challenge, my struggle; that is what my issue has been. Not responding. Not speaking . Not engaging verbally. My struggle has been resisting the indignation that rises within me when I feel that I’m being attacked, or bullied or oppressed.

Therefore,  when the Word of God, brought to Life by His Spirit, tells Me to “Stand still and see the salvation of The Lord. That this “oppressor” (this tyranny of Satan that has had such a hold on me all my life and I could not “change it” by my own power or free myself from it’s chains that bound me) which I see today, I will see it no more!” This bondage; the enslavement;  the powerlessness; “today” God says, “I will set you free! I will deliver you!”

He then sealed it; spoke to my particular condition; and said “I will fight for you AND you will hold your peace.” Meaning, He will fight for me and I will no longer have to fight for myself; defend myself;  rescue myself;  be my own advocate.

I can remain silent under attack, with the ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE that if I trust Him and obey Him, He will fight for me and I won’t have to do a thing!

What a glorious deliverance!

Brethren, is that not all The Lord asks of us? To hand over our fears, anxieties,  worries, concerns over to Him?

Because where we cannot deliver ourselves from these things, HE is more than able to deliver us!

If only we will just trust Him and obey Him.

Think of the story about the woman with an issue of blood for 12 years that is referenced in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. We apply this parable when we are looking for healing from physical infirmities.

But does it really apply to physical infirmities alone?

We all have habitual “issues” of one type or another. That we have had all our lives. Traits that we just accept are alright simply because we have always been that way.

Yet, the whole premise of being born again is that “I am a new creation. Old things have passed away…”. By “old things”, Jesus is referring to all those things in us and of us that are of the carnal nature –which the bible says “is enmity against God”.

If these traits do not exemplify love (the 1st Corinthians 13 definition of love) then they don’t glorify God. If they don’t glorify God, then how can we not accept that we need to be rid of them.

But since they are a very natural part of who and how we are, then as the woman with the issue of blood was desperate to be healed, we should be desperate to be healed of our “issues” as well.

2 Corinthians 3:17 says:

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

And John 8:36 says:

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Our liberty is not unto the flesh to do as we please, as the Apostle Paul said in Galatians,  but when the grace of God reveals to us through the Holy Spirit, where in ourselves – our personalities, our ways , our habits, our mindsets, our thinking, our understanding, what we argue for, what we insist on, what we can’t let go of – we are in bondage – enslaved to carnality – the same grace of God, in Christ Jesus, where we now lay our whole selves at His feet acknowledging how we are powerless to change or free ourselves – saves us. He then says to us, just as He said to the Israelites through Moses “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which I will shew to you to day: for the Oppression whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

What a blessed gift to enter into the relief of God. Where we no longer have to be afraid or enslaved. He will fight for us, and we will be at peace.

Remain encouraged,  brethren. Remain steadfast. Remain faithful to Him. For He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and God is not a man that He should lie.  He watches over His Word to perform it!

May we continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.