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Possessing Nothing

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I recently read a quote in a book that I am reading by A.W. Tozer called “The Pursuit of God”. If you have never read it I highly recommend it. Anyway, in this particular chapter he is talking about the incredible act of faith and trust by Abraham when he offered Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. Many of us know that right when the story seemed to be sealed in tragedy, the Lord intervened and stop Abraham and as a result, delivered Isaac. You see, on the surface, this story is so interesting and so dramatic that we may easily miss the lessons and warnings of truth that seem to scream out to us from the pages once we see them. Isaac was much more than a son to Abraham. He was THE son that represented the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham to bless his family. He was THE son that Abraham had waited so long for. So when God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, He was asking Abraham to part with so much more than just a person, but a promise. As a father, I can’t imagine and I don’t want to ever imagine the torture that Abraham may have faced that night before as I am sure he debated, argued, wrestled, and pleaded with God for another option. Yet, he rose early the next morning in faith and followed through in obedience.

So, with that background as our setting, here is the quote. A.W. Tozer says, “Although Abraham had everything (referring to his belongings and livestock), he possessed nothing. There is the spiritual secret.” Take a moment and read it again and think about what it means. Really think about what it means to have things yet possess nothing. I don’t believe it’s wrong to have things. I don’t believe it’s wrong at all to have many things. I don’t believe it’s wrong to have an abundance of nice things. No, I don’t think it’s wrong at all… as long as they don’t become your possessions. Because here is the scary thing about possessions… they quickly possess you! Abraham was being tested to see if his love for his son and the promise of his future family blessing possessed him. Anything other than Jesus that sits on the throne of our heart is destructive. Anything other than Jesus that possesses our thoughts, emotions, and actions is a direct assault and attack on Jesus’ lordship over our lives. Even good things. Even nice things. Even things that seem innocent and pure can be a weapon the enemy uses to wage war against God and the worship that He deserves. When we view objects, people, or opportunities as “possessions”; when we see them as things we have earned or deserve… we have already dethroned Jesus in our hearts and now we stand unprotected and uncovered on a battlefield in which we are not prepared for. The only way we can overcome the enemy and stand victoriously over the grips of sin in our lives is when Jesus is on the throne! In Him, we are overcomers and more than conquerors! In other words, the only thing that needs to possess us is Jesus!

So, what are the things/people in your life that may be possessions? What are the things/people that you have a tight hold on and can’t bear the thought of loosening that grip? What are the things/people that seem to control your emotions and consume your thoughts? These are the things that can become the obstacles to a deeper faith and trust in Jesus. These are the things that can prevent us from dwelling in and enjoying God’s presence. These are the things that can squeeze out the passion and power from our worship eventually leading to a stale Christianity. A Christianity that exist only in title and not in action or experience. A Christianity where the relationship turns into a religion and what once was overflowing with life now is nothing more than a hollow shell. This is the slippery slope of possessions. My prayer is that we would each seek this posture and position in the hidden places of our hearts. It can be tough and it can be painful, but it is necessary. Pray for the strength to keep Jesus on the throne of your heart at all costs and pray for grace for the moments when we fail… that we may get back up, fix our eyes on Jesus, repent, and continue pursuing that wonderful place where He is more!!

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