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  • Jeff

Is it really all God's?

I am publishing this a day or two late for the benefit of those who could be effected by some of the content.

How much do we really give God? I used to think I Gave him everything. I would even tell him that he could have it all. But, I had some exceptions some really basic things, like my car and my house, my comfort and my weekends. If that wasn’t bad enough I was trying to keep things for myself like my reputation and my dignity, my present along with my future. I had decided that out of all the things that God could have out of my life those were what I was planning on keeping to myself. So out of my everything the only thing that was really left was the gum at the counter and out of that I still wanted a piece.

Really what I was doing was telling God that I wanted to give him everything but in reality I keep it all. Let's face it, I am a control freak. If I really think about it I was simply using everything in my life as a token to try to manipulate God. I would say things like I will give you _____, If you ____. But in my heart I was wanting control over what I had told him I would give him. So, for a time, God gave me control. You know, not too much control though. Just enough that I could mess everything up but not so much that I ruined everything. There are times when I believe he prevented terrible things from happening to me. Like missing keys or an unexpected conversation. I remember times where I drove past an accident that happened just moments before wondering if the only reason that it wasn’t me was because of the unexpected conversation leaving work. In all of these scenarios I am left to only wonder how much he did for my behind my back. But, that’s not the point. The point is I held onto a lot of stuff and I expected God to work around me.

Now I look back on it and only wonder, what could my life have been if I knew then what I know now. I could try to make the argument that I wouldn’t be where I am now if I had known differently then. But I don’t think that would be correct. God's goal for each of us is fully surrendered. It takes time and a lot of effort to get us to the place where we would even be willing to be fully surrendered to Him.

Let's fast forward to the call to head to YWAM. That took giving up a lot and also being willing to give up a lot to go. It started with me being willing to open up my hand and willingly give God the stuff that he had so graciously given us in the first place. The car, the house and the comfort all had to be given up in order to follow God into the greatest adventure I could have ever imagined and never wanted to.

So my real story begins at YWAM. We have just been given outreach locations. 14 of them with 24 teams total going. In case you thought there was a typo there are several locations that multiple teams are going to just for different reasons. Cheri and I both pray separately and then discuss what we believe God is telling us. Much to our disappointment and surprise both of us end up feeling that Berlin is where we should be on outreach. We needed to pick a top 3 and so we added Papua New Guinea and Peru as our other two. Not because God said to but because we didn’t feel that they were a "no" and we had general interest in both of these locations. As we eagerly await the announcement of the outreach locations a leader asks us to meet about our outreach choices. Apparently, we selected three locations that would be tough and or impossible for a family to do. He purposes an alternate option and we say we need some time to think and pray the option over. We feel like we are still supposed to go to Berlin. So we express that and through some short dialog they still don’t feel that they can make it work for us. Even with us saying that we will do anything we can to make us work for them. So, it looks like we are off to the Philippines for outreach. I didn’t feel like we should go there, I kind of don’t want to go there but yet we are going. This made me question for a moment, where did I miss something? Did I miss something? As I am processing through this I wonder If I am really submitted to God. I have said, I will go anywhere and do anything. All I care about is that I am following you God. Has that all of a sudden changed? Do I not trust God to place me exactly where He needs me? Am I willing to surrender more than what I already have in order to follow God?

There is some of me that is hoping for a miracle that somehow we still end up where we felt so strongly that we were to go. But, if not will I still be pleased with God? Or, will my entire journey be tainted with what I desired and wouldn’t let him have?

Since I have been blown away by God again and again here (lots of stories still need to be written) what I expect is to realize tomorrow that everything is in perfect place and that the people I most need to be with for outreach are on my team. And, when we get onto our outreach that God has specially prepared the stories for me to share specifically for your encouragement and especially for His glory.

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