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Touching Abandonment

Carla



My devotional this morning was titled, “Abandonment.” 

Okay. So, I’m a tad ridiculous. I am.  And as I read my daily devotional I am automatically forming this to-do list in my brain. The day’s title becomes the task and beside it appears an empty box begging to be ticked. 

Mark 10:28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” 


Gulp.

Paper books are not safe in my hands. I am an interactive reader who delights in the added highlight, underline, circle, dog ear of pages and taking the liberty of writing my own profound notes in margins. My Utmost for His Highest is a devotional I read nearly daily by Oswald Chambers. The devotion begins with scripture and then Chambers’ own words follow. These daily writings are life giving, and often kick me in the spiritual butt. Today I realized in my western-culutre-list-makihg-ness as I was trying to find what abandonment for God looked like to me, I was actually examining love for God in my heart. 

My visual to-do list formed and my mind was ready to tackle abandonment.  AND anything else Oswald had for the day! So I began reading Oswald’s words. Here are a few I wanted to share: 


“…We have got so commercialized that we only go to God for something from Him, and not for Himself. It is like saying, “No Lord, I don’t want Thee, I want myself; but I want myself clean and filled with the Holy Spirit; I want to be put in Thy showroom and be able to say—‘This is what God has done for me,’” If we only give up something to God because we want more back, there is nothing of the Holy Spirit in our abandonment; it is miserable commercial self-interest.” 
Chambers’ words are sobering and dissolves the to-do list in my brain.
To-do lists aren’t bad. Mine help me stay organized. I even use them as relationship reminders. “Meet so-and-so for lunch at 1PM,” or, “E-mail Mr. Blah-Blah later.” The thing is, relationship happens when we spend time and invest ourselves; flowing out of our heart. Relationship with God is much more than a ticked box. Oswald’s ending paragraph began like this, “The test of abandonment is always over the neck of natural devotion (the relationships we have with loved ones, self interest, ect)…. Most of us know abandonment in vision only.”  

In my imaginations seeing myself as completely sold out to or abandoned to God is easy. There isn’t cost in fanciful dreams. Dreams are dreams and free to have. In fact, I believe dreams are FANTASTIC beginnings. Attempting to cultivate abandonment for God for the sake of ticking a box is both ridiculous and impossible. I can, however, continue cultivating a relationship with Him. And God is worthy of our praise, attention, relationship. Perhaps I am oversimplifying, but when I dig in to find what is actually buried underneath, the foundation is often, and perhaps always, love. The basis for abandonment to God is love for God. 

I’m praying for you today that you would experience God’s love in a way that is tangible, and that God would confirm some of those questions whirling around in your mind. 

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