“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” – Matthew 13:44
When God’s call is radical obedience, what will we do? How will we respond? It’s hard to know until we’re in the midst of it. In the last year, God began to prompt me with the question, “Will you give this to me?”
Related Post: When Obedience Bears No Fruit
My Obedience Story
At the time God began to ask me, “Will you give this to me?” we were in the middle of a remodel that we had waited on for 10 years. It was everything I could possibly dream up on my Pinterest board, and to me, it was perfect. It represented almost a decade of hard work and sacrifice to finally be able to make our home something I was proud of and somewhere we could bring our newly adopted children home to.
Quite honestly I was shocked that God was asking for it. During the remodel we couldn’t afford to be renting another house, so we were living in the house while it was being remodeled. I was working 14 hour night shifts and had to use Bose headphones to sleep through the noise during the day. We were frequently without water or electricity, and we were without a kitchen for 2 1/2 months. In my mind, it didn’t at all feel like an indulgence.
When God started asking me this question we were about a week away from finishing the kitchen, the part I had very much coveted. Daily, though, I would pass the unfinished kitchen, and God would ask, “Would you give this to me and never use it, even once?”
I felt as though I was rationalizing with God. I began to argue with Him, “You are God. You don’t need a house or a kitchen. Just let me live in this house that I worked so hard for.”
God never argued back, He gently continued to ask me, “Will you give this to me?” Not once changing the question or adding to it. On one particular morning after a long night at work, I passed the kitchen. Once again, He asked the question. This time I fell to my knees and told God of course I would give it to Him.
In that moment, I finally realized God wasn’t asking me for a kitchen. He was asking me for a life solely surrendered to Him. I cried and confessed I would give my life – let alone our kitchen – completely to Him. God was showing me the places of my heart that I had begun to covet things over Him. God knew that those things we’re going to get in the way of a plan He had for me.
It wasn’t but a week later an opportunity came that changed the trajectory of our plans. After a series of undeniable events, we agreed to move abroad as missionaries, and, suddenly, I understood why God was asking me if I would give Him my house – the house I loved, the house I cherished, the house I had plans of raising my children in. Not long after it was ready to live in, we would be leaving it.
Related Post: Obedience Regardless of Understanding
What are You Willing to Give Up?
God often asks us what are willing to do to follow Him. Much like the rich young ruler in the Bible, we often go away sad when we realize that God is asking us to give up our materials things and comforts. In the Bible the ruler asks,
“’Good teacher,” he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’….Jesus looked at him and loved him…’Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” Mark 10:17-21
In order to be His disciples, we must set aside our desires and yield our lives completely to His perfect plans and purposes. My carnal nature told me I wanted safety and success, but my heavenly father assured me that those things offered me nothing in the light of eternity. He began to show me they were the very things that would keep me from following Him and the plan he had set out for me.
His Timing is Good and Perfect
The morning I hit my knees, I gave God ‘my kitchen’ and my yielded heart. The following day, we received the call we had been waiting for almost 2 years. We were matched for our adoption. Within a week and a half we were on a plane to meet our children for the first time.
Now, a year later we are preparing once again for His calling as we sell most of our belongings to follow the calling He has placed on our hearts in a country that is not our own. I can’t help but laugh because, after the fight I put up, God gave me my house (and my beloved kitchen) for a season. And because He is such a good Father, He doesn’t’ let me stay in my complacency. So in the upcoming months as I pack up boxes and make preparations for our family to move abroad, I no longer covet this house or our things in it. Instead, I rejoice that there is a treasure more valuable than it all: Jesus.