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Everything and Everyone

In Sermon Spillover, Soul Food on January 3, 2011 by The Spillover

The Earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

-Psalm 24:1 (NIV)

God made the earth, so of course it’s His.

God made everything on the earth, so of course it’s all His.

God made everyone on the earth, so of course we’re all His.

Seems logical, right?  Easy to say, isn’t it?  For many years of my life, I would declare those statements confidently (and then move on, quickly).  And then, some time ago, God started working on my heart.  He opened up my eyes to allow me to see something:  Just because you say something, doesn’t necessarily mean you believe it.  Where was the evidence in my life?  If I went to trial for the crime of believing that God was the maker and owner of everything and everyone, would a jury convict me?

I was talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

Why was I working so hard to try to make myself as comfortable as possible, while neglecting those who need help?  Does my stuff mean that much to me?  Would I think less of myself if I had less stuff, or made less money?  Would other people think less of me?  Do I gather some of my self-worth from job performance?

These are important questions.  It goes deeper than your standard, “Are you giving enough money to your church” question.  Seriously.  If I get too comfortable being comfortable, what will happen if I wake up one day to the Holy Spirit calling me to a place that’s very uncomfortable?  Would I allow my own insecurity to squelch a clear command from Him?  And what’s the point of having any money anyways, if it’s only for my own comfort?  How would that fit in to the book of Acts?  The list of questions goes on.

Sunday’s sermon was food for me.  Do you remember when Dave was bounding around the stage with his hands clenched tightly, saying how many of us live like that?  That was me.  Or maybe, that still is me.

I’m working on it.  And by God’s grace, I think I’m making some progress.

But the last part of that scripture listed at the top of this post is where I’m struggling.  I’ll tell you what God’s yelling at me, right now:

“Adam, everyone you love belongs to me.  Not you!”

This is hard for me.  I have anxiety problems which are directly related to this.  I love my family so much, I want to guard them from anything that might harm them, or even make them uncomfortable.  I see things on the news and make myself a nervous wreck, thinking, “What if that was my wife?  What if that was my little boy?”.  It’s unhealthy.

I really love my wife.  That’s great, isn’t it?  Sure it is.  But I also tend to rely on her emotionally.  If something isn’t right with her, it will arrest my mind until I can fix it.  On the surface that might seem nice, but if you dig a little deeper, there’s a problem there.

Also, like any new parent, I am 100% smitten by my son, Michael.  He’s almost 1-1/2.  He’s the most ridiculously perfect little thing in the world.  If you see him at church on a Sunday morning, or with my wife at REAL Moms, I would advise you to not look directly at his cuteness (disclaimer: new parent syndrome).  If he’s the slightest bit uncomfortable, I’ll run through a brick wall (Kool-Aid man style) to get to him, so I can fix whatever might be wrong.

And I worry, constantly, that something tragic could possibly happen to him.

And I find myself asking, what in the world am I doing?

Why do I constantly worry about the safety of my loved ones, as if my anxiety will somehow keep them from harm?  It’s a strange thing, because in my own mind, it seems that I have no control over it.  But really, it’s an animal I need to get a hold of.  I commit my family to the Lord with my words, and then my actions say, “OK God, I’ll take it from here.  Thanks anyways, but I’ve got this one.  Sure, I know you decide whether or not I take another breath, but I’m going to lie awake at night and worry about my family, anyways.  I won’t feel comfortable until they’re directly in my field of vision.  What’s that?  They belong to you?  Oh, I know that.  Still, I’ll see to their safety.”

This is my big project of the moment.  God’s telling me to loosen my grip; He’s telling me that when I’m away from my family, He is not.  When I’m at work, He is there with them.  And He is sovereign and trustworthy (and I am not).  And nothing I can do will change that He is in control.

Maybe some of you can relate to what I’m going through.  Maybe your struggle is more with the first part of Psalm 24:1, instead of the second part.  Regardless, the earth is the LORD’s, and everything and everyone in it.  To God’s glory, let us help each other to live this truth.  By His grace, we can.

3 Responses to “Everything and Everyone”

  1. P.S. – feel free to pray for me, with regards to this.

    Thanks!

  2. This is very well written and does hit close to home. The sermon was fantastic and definitely full of truth and conviction. A few years ago I really felt the need to impress upon my children that they were never alone…God was always with them. Did it come from a fear of them being kidnapped and needing to know God would be there? A nervousness that they would never experience God’s grace and presence as deeply as I wanted them too? Anxiety that something would happen to me or my husband? Probably, but I really felt the urgency for them to understand that God was always with them and that He was always enough. It’s a lesson that I continue to struggle with myself. Letting go and letting God…loosening the grip and trusting Him with everything…in good times and in bad. Like you said, it needs to be done in words and action. That’s not always easy but knowing the love the Lord has for each of us and knowing His character – goodness, faithfulness, etc. makes it a battle that I am willing and long to lose! Also, having hope and the knowledge of eternity and the promises of God’s truths in Scripture makes it easier as well. Afterall, as the verse says, we are His creation. We belong to Him. It’s not merely a matter of me or my children simply trusting Him, it’s giving our all back to Him. Recognizing we are His. Surrendering completely! On a daily, sometimes moment to moment, basis. So all that (sorry!) to say that you are not alone! Pray for me too! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for sharing! We’re on the same page for sure. I love that we have the opportunity to share these things as brothers and sisters in Christ. I think this blog will be a good forum to discuss things like this.

      And I think you’re right – sometimes it takes a moment-to-moment type of surrender. There are times when getting myself to stop being a control freak feels like it’s going against every fiber of my being. Probably because it is.

      Thank God we have the Holy Spirit to empower us.

      Thanks again for sharing!

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