Willing to Give

The people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning…[until] the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
Exodus 36:3b, 6b, 7 NIV*

These are the Israelites in the wilderness, being led and sustained by God. The God who has now instructed Moses in the making of a tabernacle where He will dwell with His people. Moses has asked all who are willing and able to give materials, and this is the people’s response.

As God has provided manna each morning for the people, now that they have the opportunity to give back they do it the same way: morning by morning until the workers have more than enough.

I’m working through Beth Moore’s study,  A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place (updated version), and along with this passage she asks readers to discover what freewill offerings we give to the Lord—or hold back from Him.

He’s been prompting me for the past few months about an open heart, about stepping out through the self-constructed wall. I’m cooperating as best as I can, but it’s a real “step forward, step back” experience. After all, it’s familiar behind the wall… comfortable.

But I meant it when I told Him I’d obey, and when I realize I’ve retreated again, I get up and move out. Again.

Reading how the Israelites brought more offerings each day made my efforts look useless. I can’t even seem to bring one thing and let it stay there. Like the manna, it doesn’t “keep”. But then I realized, so what? As long as I faithfully bring my heart each time it sneaks home to roost, I’m doing the best I can. One of these days that heart may even stay where it’s put.

Father, my freewill offering is an open heart, but it keeps closing up again. As You remind me, I will open it and bring it to You again and again, like the Israelites kept bringing fresh treasures to You. I pray You’ll count it as obedience, and complete the work You’ve begun.

Third Day’s “Offering” is one of those rare songs that rooted in my heart on a first hearing. It’s a fitting one for today.

*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.

6 thoughts on “Willing to Give

  1. Margaret

    Janet, Somehow, I think you’re giving in ways you don’t even realize — like the Israelites did not realize they were giving more than enough….. God sees what is in our hearts — the daily freewill offering of thanksgiving and praise….

    When our hearts are living in the light of God’s love, He knows and is made glad because His love is working in our hearts.

    Reply
    1. janetsketchley

      Margaret, thanks for this insight. “The daily freewill offering of thanksgiving and praise.” That’s intangible to us, but it saves getting into striving for works. God does have work for us to do, but it’s the attitude behind it that’s the offering, perhaps.

      And yes, I am giving in other ways. It’s just this one particular thing He’s challenging me about is a major shift. We all reach those every now and again.

      Thanks for your encouragement!

      Reply
  2. Ginny Jaques

    Janet, I can’t imagine you having a heart that closes up. You are so open on your blog. Can you give an example of what that looks like? Or is it too personal?

    I agree with Margaret. Maybe you’re expecting more of yourself than God is?

    Reply
    1. janetsketchley

      Ginny, we introverts are a lot more open when we’re not face-to-face 🙂 Maybe that’s what this hurdle is about.

      The specifics may be personal and hard to articulate, but at in general it’s the common struggle Christians face every time God nudges us to grow more. Maybe it’s like peeling the next layer of the onion. Are we going to let go of our comfort zone and cooperate? We know it’s worthwhile, but it feels so hard to do.

      Thanks for your care, sister!

      Reply
  3. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for your transparency, Janet. Again, such words of challenge!

    I’m glad there’s you.

    Reply

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