The next four posts cover four key questions asked by Arnie Klein of Emmaus Way in a teaching posted on the Web. The complete teaching can be found at http://www.emmausway.org/MP3%20files/SOW-2.mp3
These questions are important because they get at some of the major issues facing Christians today. Arnie said, “In the final days, God is going to pour out His glory in a way that the world has never seen. He’s not going to pour it out on a field. He is going to pour it out on His Church. But to receive it, we have to be free in these four areas.”
We must be free in order to experience God’s best. From possessions to relationships to our public identity, what would impact us the most if we lost? Is there anything that we could lose that would completely shake our faith in God?
Arnie talked about how it can be easy to talk a good game but hard to really live as if Jesus is the most important thing to us. It’s not that we give everything away or refuse to care about other people. We shouldn’t treat our family or job as if they don’t matter. Yet, we must always keep things in perspective. It is easy to think we know this truth until we have to deal with it in our daily reality. We don’t know how strong our faith really is until God asks us to give up something that we hold dear.
The sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham comes to mind as a great illustration of this concept. Abraham trusted God no matter what the situation seemed to indicate. I believe that Abraham expected to walk down the mountain with his son. He knew that God had the power to bring his boy back to life.
Do we trust that if we give God everything He will really bless us with the best life possible? I am not talking about lots of stuff or riches. I am talking about real joy, peace and love. I am talking about a sense of freedom and purpose. I am talking about close relationships with those we love.
If we give God everything, then we have already answered the first key question. We simply trust him to provide what we need and are willing to let go of something or someone dear when the time comes. It is not that we don’t grieve or experience loss. It is just that we trust God despite what we may feel or think. We live a life of complete surrender and trust.
If we feel like we have something to lose, that is the thing we may find tests our faith the most. The only way we can really abandon everything to God is if we first trust in God’s love and sovereign power.
Ok… I need to stop and process through that.