OWNING NOTHING

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen.”

Romans 11:36

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:16-17

If you grew up with some Christian influence like I did, the thought behind these verses is nothing new to you.  God created all, He holds everything together, and He will bring all creation to His purpose.  We believe that, and it gives us hope and confidence.  When life’s challenges take us by surprise and we realize that we are not in control, we find great comfort in knowing that He is.

One of the things I love about the Holy Spirit is that He can take a familiar Scripture and open up a new meaning and depth to our hearts that we’ve not really seen there before.  These passages have come to mean much more to me than simply God’s sovereignty (and that, itself, is completely amazing!)

God has given us access to Him, and it is our usual approach to come to Him offering what we have and what we are for Him to use as He sees fit.  That seems only reasonable, and we’re told in Romans to present ourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness.  So we come, dragging our cart full of sins, which hopefully we’ve learned to repent from, and asking His forgiveness.  After that, we take out the other things we’ve brought…our little bag of talents and skills, our work, our family, our time, our money…all things that we offer Him for His use.  We hope He will bless the decisions we’ve made with them and that He will show us how to increase the fruit they bear.

What we don’t realize is we have nothing to give Him.  Nothing I have is my own, nor is anything truly yours.  These Scriptures along with the full teaching of the New Testament Epistles will show us that God owns everything.  He created us.  The fact that we live and breathe is only His doing.  Before we were believers, we were spiritually dead.  As believers, it is His Spirit given to us that has brought us to life.

Quoting from Andrew Murray’s “Consecration”,

091

“It is the glory of God, and His very nature to be always GIVING.  God is the owner of all.  There is no power, no riches, no goodness, no love, outside of God…everything I have is given by Him…there is nothing that God has that He does not want to give.  It is His nature, and therefore when God asks you anything, He must give it first Himself, and He will.  Never be afraid of whatever God asks; for God only asks what is His own; what He asks you to give He will first Himself give you…You can apply this to yourself and your powers to all you are and have.”

 

Therefore, as we live our daily lives and encounter a challenge needing patience, we don’t have to look inside our hearts to see if we can drum some up.  We don’t even need to ask God if He could help us be patient.  We have no patience, and we never will.  What we do have is the endless supply of God’s patience which He longs to give and is asking us to give back to Him.  So in facing that situation, we can say, “I have nothing, but, Lord, here is Your patience offered back to You.”  Or Your love.  Or Your gentleness.  Or Your help and encouragement.  Or Your faithfulness, peace, kindness, self-control, wisdom, advice, comfort, generosity.  He is there supplying the need of every moment from His own life given to us.  This practice will probably require taking a moment (or two) before we react, speak, or answer, but the more we seek the Lord and grow in Him, the greater His grace and provision will become our normal portion.

There are many references in the New Testament that confirm this truth.  Jesus’s teaching about vine and branches in John 15 gives us a beautiful picture of His life in us.  Colossians chapter 1 declares Him the head over all and reveals the mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory.  This truth is repeated in nearly all the Epistles described as abiding in Christ, walking by the Spirit, the power of Christ working in us, setting our minds on things above, doing all in the name of the Lord.  This truth is the only way to live as the New Testament teaches us to live; it is impossible to do by our own best efforts.

Along with this, He obviously owns our time, our money, our bodies, our spouses, our children, our extended families, and our homes.  Everything that touches our lives belongs to Him, and He gives us the opportunity to give it all back to Him, fulfilling His purpose for our lives.

John15; Colossians 1-4; Romans 6,8; Galatians 2-5; Ephesians

 

 

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