DEVOTIONS: Go the Second Mile: Exchange Things for freedom

15 Oct

Bill Gothard’s Daily Success:  Command 9 : Go the Second Mile | Day 60

Exchange “Things” for Freedom!

The love of material possessions that we grasp and guard, even to the destruction of God-given relationships, is the source of many of our conflicts. God knows that when we have an abundance of material wealth, the tendency to stray from Him is greater. Therefore, when “things” become idols, He arranges circumstances to free us from their grasp.

When we expect from things what only God can give, such as security, joy, and freedom, we turn things into idols.

This cycle is the pattern in our lives, even as it was in the nation of Israel. Therefore, God lamented, “For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant” (Deuteronomy 31:20).

When I began to fast for extended periods of time, I experienced an unusual phenomenon. The longer I fasted, the less the things of this world interested me and the things of God took on new and deeper meaning.

Later, when I told this to an artist named Severt Andrewson, he explained that God had refocused his attention on the things of God through a different experience. For years, he had labored over his paintings, and he had quite a collection in his home studio. One night, a fire broke out, completely destroying his house, studio, and art gallery, with all of their contents.

Following the fire, Severt remembers kneeling in the ashes with his wife, Ruth, and thanking God for His love and for what He would do in the future. After this event in his life, we contacted him about illustrating the Character Sketches books.1 Severt realized that God had perfectly orchestrated his past training and circumstances to uniquely prepare him for the task of creating wildlife illustrations for the Character Sketches series.

Paul learned the secret of winning more of Christ. “I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

One of the surest ways to start a family fight is to try to divide an inheritance. The love of money and the willingness to sacrifice lifelong friendships for more possessions has been astonishing to me as I have counseled many families. Even carefully made wills crumble under the vicious attacks of family members who march to court for their “fair share.” They may increase the bottom line of their net worth, but they will only leave it to their children for the next round of bitter fights.

Are you willing to exchange “things” for freedom? Stop right now and say, “Heavenly Father, I surrender all my earthly possessions to You so that I can experience more of Your life and freedom.”


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