This is an adaptation of Chamber’s Utmost, March 12th – The true test of Abandonment to God
Then Peter began to say unto Him, “Yo… we left everything and followed you.…” Mark 10:28.
The Lord Jesus replies, in effect, that abandonment is for Himself, and not for what His disciples will get out of it. He plans on rewarding them in a way far beyond their ability to comprehend it, but only by a faith which has been made strong and brave enough to have it tried.
Beware of a kind of abandonment to Christ which has the old commercial spirit in it, saying, “I am giving myself to God because I expect compensation for my trouble, or because I want to be made holy.”
All of those concerns will either be filled or informed in the soon coming kingdom, but are not the essential nature of Christianity. Abandonment to Christ is not for anything at all except for God’s good pleasure.
We are “commercialized”, fixed on a transaction from God instead of becoming a gift for Him in whatever way He chooses. We go to God for something FROM Him, and not for Himself. We must first be made a gift to Him alone before He answers the most difficult or trivial cries of the heart.
It’s like saying, “No, Lord, I didn’t want you, I want myself; now please cleanse me and fill me up with the Holy Spirit. I want to be put in your showroom and be able to say—’This is what God has done for me.'”
If we give up something to God only because we want more back, there is still a flaw in our understanding of kingdom economics. For years, there is nothing of God’s Spirit in our abandonment; only miserable commercial self-interest.
Gaining the kingdom, being delivered from self, made useful to God—these reasons never enter as considerations in real abandonment, which is simply a personal sovereign preference for Christ alone.
Arriving at an understanding of this only comes from God, for God… in His time. It is a dynamic of being crumpled into His perfect will. He gives understanding by way of ongoing trial, accompanied and accomplished by being wounded.
When we come up against the barriers or breakdowns of natural relationships with others, where is the Lord in it?
When bills are due, or we’re running late, or a loved one dies, or someone abandons us, where is He? What is He saying in silence if we just wait on Him long enough to hear and understand?
The Holy Spirit can be found at all times in communion with God praying in language encrypted in divine groans, beyond our knowing (Romans 8:26-28). Join Him. Pray along with Him. Put your whole self in the flames of devotion (Romans 12:1-2) and become an instrument of prayer.
Even the 12 discipled desertted Him when it mattered most—”Yes, Lord, I did hear your specific call of abandonment, but my job… my mom… my wife… my children… my esteem… my self-interest… I can’t go on.”
Jesus simple reply endures, “…you cannot be My disciple.”
What sad sobering words to hear.
He will not abandon us, nor has He ever.
The test of true abandonment always goes over the neck of natural devotion.
Go over it.
God’s own abandonment will embrace all those you had to hurt in abandoning.
Warning: beware of stopping short of full abandonment to God. Most of us know abandonment in visual form only and are miserable failures where and when it matters most. Bring every practical aspect into your own abandonment to Jesus and have it tested for flaws.
Take your worst and best to the altar in your own heart where sacrifices are being made on your behalf at this moment. Have your case heard and judged for flaws. The imperfections will be found and corrected, and your abandonment will live a more informed and happy existence on the back side of the cross.