Sunday Devotional - Have I Been Holding Back?

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and 
with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37)

God wants it all. He wants 100%. So if I give Him 90% of my heart, it's not enough. If I give Him 95% of my soul, it's not enough. And if I give Him 99% of my mind... it's not enough.

So many times we think we're doing enough because we are doing more than our neighbor. If we compare ourselves to others, it may seem unfair that even though we hold back that 5%, our neighbor doesn't even give 50%, so how does it seem he's more blessed than us? Why is God holding back when we give Him so much?

 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, 
you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, 
which leads to death,
 or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

Everything we give into, yield to, or indulge in takes away a little portion of ourselves that God wants. If we give in just a little bit to selfishness, then that part is taken away from God. If we give in just a little bit to lust, soon we find that lust takes over a small part of our lives too. The more things we give our time, energies, and hearts to, the less time, energy, and love we have for God. He wants to give us freedom and life, but we're too busy making ourselves slaves to every little inclination we have. He wants all our hearts, souls, and minds, but are we holding back?

Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” (Mark 10:28)

Absolute surrender is when we leave everything and give up everything for the sake of following God. He doesn't want us to come to Him and hold back something for ourselves. He wants us to give everything to Him, not because He wants us to have less, but because He wants to give us more. He intends to give us greater and better things when we're willing to give up the small things that we cling to now. 

So what am I clinging to? What am I unwilling to give up? Shouldn't I consider that the piece that I'm missing--that's holding me back from the breakthrough I desire most-- is worth giving up anything? Today my prayer is that we realize what we're holding back from God in our lives... our little indulgences... so that we can be willing to lay that small thing down at God's feet to gain bigger and better things.

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