…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:33, NIV*
This is the memory verse for Unit 8 in the Experiencing God Workbook (Henry Blackaby and Claude King), and it stopped me.
I kept trying to go on with the first lesson, but the verse pulled me back.
The NIV titles this section “The Cost of Being a Disciple” and the context is about recognizing the high cost to follow Jesus—and following Him anyway.
I’ve never taken this to mean a literal giving away of all my possessions, but more a call to “hold them loosely”: instead of clutching and saying “Mine!”, to share and above all to put God first. Not to make them idols.
Reading the verse this time, however, I realized Jesus isn’t just talking about things. Specifically what hit me was that He includes my time.
Time is something many of us guard jealously. A lot of it’s already spoken for, but what discretionary time there is, especially once I’ve made plans for it, is not to be messed with.
But God, as Henry Blackaby says elsewhere in the study, has the right to interrupt us. To redirect or redeploy us. I struggle with discernment to know whether it’s a distraction I should ignore or a redirection from God that I should heed.
This verse reminded me that the bigger struggle is to surrender my time to God when it’s clear He wants to redirect it. To serve Him willingly in the new place instead of begrudging how I’d planned to serve in the old place.
Father, Jesus is not only Saviour but Lord. I know Your way is best, but sometimes it’s so hard to let go. Please give me a willing heard, and help me follow and obey. Help me truly give up control of everything I have—including my time—because it’s all Yours, and You are good.
Robin Mark’s “All For Jesus” is a regular prayer of mine, and it certainly fits this week.
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Another area of submission, that I have struggled with, is giving God my family. This includes not only the plans that I may have had for my children, but also the big one, worry. We know worry is sinful because it shows lack of trust. Still it is difficult to give Him situations in the lives of our loved ones and not to keep taking them back by worrying (or nagging Him) about them.
This is such a hard one, Lyn, partly because it depends on our loved ones’ choices. It’s hard to trust that God can find a way past the messes people make. But I agree it’s a matter of trust. This sin isn’t the evil kind, but the damaged kind–we’re still learning how trustworthy God is. I keep coming back to “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
I so connect with you (yet again!) on this, Janet. At one point I decided to ask God to shield me from distractions, so I can just assume everything in my path He has put there. I’m not sure it would be the right way to go for everyone. Some people live in the middle of a bustle. But I feel it has worked for me. I do sometimes ignore the phone, but it’s always because I feel I have His permission. I work for Him 24/7, and He directs my path, even giving me R and R when I need it. Such a restful profession!
Ah, Ginny, I think this is how it should be. I’m not there yet… still struggling. But really, if we’re working for Him, it shouldn’t matter what particular task He sets. Just that He directs. Thanks for this reminder! I keep saying I’d rather be with Him somewhere I didn’t want to be, than without Him doing what I might have chosen. But then I keep wanting to choose…
Its been a difficult six months for me…and when I finally gave up everything…God has put this prayer in my heart. LORD, THANK YOU FOR WHAT I DO NOT OWN. Its liberating when one is no longer in control. My time…is now His time too! I love what you said. When we loss the right of our time, He can interrupt us anytime for redirection or deployment. This understanding comes with wisdom.
“It’s liberating when one is no longer in control” — and the funny thing is, we’re not really in control anyway, we just think we are. The physical “stuff” we own takes over.
Gladwell, I’m sorry you’ve had this struggle, but I’m also celebrating what you’ve gained. Thanks for sharing this prayer, and I praise God that it’s not about what we have — it’s about Him having us.