by Steven Gledhill for FREEdom from MEdom Project
“The kingdom of heaven is like 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.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13-44-46 (NIV)
“What do we really believe about God?” Do not dismiss the question. What do you really believe about God, today? Think it through. Should you come to fully believe what you read on this site about Jesus Christ, nothing will hold you back from giving him everything. The first thing to lay hold of is the fact that all that is made was made by God. It’s all his idea. He made it all in its purest form. He then entrusted it all to us starting with Adam and Eve. From the beginning we have been made shareholders of God’s valuable resources.
So as you read this, ask yourself. “Am I investing in God’s best for me in this life, or am I settling for the best that I can do on my own?”
Imagine your father is Bill Gates and you are an heir to his empire as his son or daughter since he adopted you. You’ve been given a role in the vast empire that is Microsoft. You were not initially able to purchase stock in the company when you were young and starting out so Mr. Gates, your dad, purchased enough shares in your name that you are 100 percent vested in the company. The other thing about your dad is that he is a great man, loved and respected by all who have really come to know him and believe in him and his plans and purposes for the business. As you have opportunity to invest more of what he has given you, you’ve come to believe that your investment will yield a huge return. You’re confident that as you continue to give to the company that the company will give back to you. It is a certainty–a sure thing.
Scripture assures us that we are adopted sons and daughters of God our Father, and that we are literally heirs to all that is his. We are shareholders in the family and kingdom–or business–of our Father. As we are willing to let go of our pursuits and invest in the resources of God and Heaven, the return on our investment is without limit or restraint. As shareholders of all that is his, what is holding us back from investing in God’s kingdom? Talk about upward mobility…
Most of us have heard the expression that “we reap what we sow”. Sowing is a concept most commonly considered with farming and gardening. Once the seed is planted it is sown into the soil. The soil is nurtured and cultivated until it produces a harvest. Sowing is about investment and the harvest is the return on our investment. We sow, or invest, in the world we live in everyday. We invest our time and our resources into what we can produce in this world, as well as what this world can produce in our lives.
The real issue in this arrangement for sowing and harvest in our lives is our imperfection. We are flawed and the systems of the world are flawed. When we calculate the math in a flawed system of worldly economics, we come up short every time. As we invest into a flawed system, the return on our investment is insufficient. The formula for sowing and reaping is correct, but the results are dissatisfying. Therefore, we spend our lives in a futile attempt to rework the formula. It becomes our obsession as we pursue to understand the logic of our discontent. If we can somehow figure it out, then we can change the formula until it works for us. We work and we struggle as if we’re trying to untangle a knot, or tangled wire. Have you ever felt really stuck working to untangle Christmas lights? The harder we work to untangle the knot the more tangled it becomes until it is impossible.
God’s system for sowing and reaping is tied up in the person of who he is. God is perfect, thus his system really is perfect. The formula is the same, it is the source and the system that we invest in that is the difference. When we invest in God’s economy we can receive everything that God wants and has for us. He wants what is best for us. What is best for us is his best for us. God’s resources are endless. He gives and he gives and he gives. Talk about a return on your investment.
Do you want God’s best? Are you willing to trust God, even when it’s pretty rough going? The Bible assures us that when we let go of what we have and what we know and trust in God for everything, abiding in his will for us, then we can ask him for anything and he will give it to us. When we allow God to replace our desires with his desires it frees the Holy Spirit of God to fill us with godly intentions and character. He cannot wait then to give us the desires of our heart. You will learn that God gives us a new heart and mind with new desires.
It is spiritually healthy to want something special to happen in our lives as we choose recovery from the discomfort of our dissatisfaction. Too many people that come through my alcohol and drug treatment program are afraid to ask God for anything more than their sobriety. To commit one’s recovery into the will and care of God is to give him our entire life.
Once we can accept that we all still get uncomfortable and suffer from this world’s residual effect on our lives, we can establish our life of recovery knowing that God lives in us through the Spirit of Jesus Christ. God promises us that when we surrender ourselves to him and fully trust him, living recovery his way, not for his good but for our good, then he is faithful to bless us and will give to us the desire of our hearts.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord, also trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJV)
The challenge is simple and straightforward. We need to let go of our defective value system and let God heal us and change us into what he values for us, a life that is abundant with the provisional and spiritual blessing only God can give. The challenge is to admit our weakness, letting go of what we think we know is best for us, and believe letting God enjoy doing what he knows is a life of peace and joy for us. As we embrace this challenge and commit to our recovery from our addiction to us, discovering and doing the will of God in our life, the Bible declares that we can ask God for anything and he will give it to us.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified (takes pleasure), that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love…These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in You, and that your joy may be to the fullest. John 15:7-9, 11 (NKJV)
When we are sincere in our commitment to the will of God in our life, he expects us to come to him with our needs and even our wants. When we are abiding in the will of our Lord Jesus, our will conforms to his will, as we are transformed and renewed (Romans 12:1-2). This is always good. In Christ, we have a Savior who sympathizes with us having been weak in the flesh himself while on earth. But now, Jesus challenges us in his word to approach his throne of grace with confidence and boldness in our moment of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Jesus Christ is the king that rules over all things. He is in complete authority. Subordinates of a ruler generally fear their ruler. We are not minions in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are friends of the king when we are abiding in the will and love of him who saved us. When we are disciplined in our commitment to work our recovery God’s way, the Bible says that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that, as his disciples, meaning followers of his teachings, we are his friends.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 (NIV)
How awesome is that? We are friends of God! That is something to get excited about.
“If you abide in Me and My will abides in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)
It is critical to understand this. God wants to bless us with what we want in this life. But he can only do that when what we want is consistent with what he wants for us, which is a good thing since he always has our interests close to his heart. What God wants is to shower us with his best—the best of his resources. So what do you want your life of recovery from disappointing imperfection to look like?
Men and women I have worked with in my practice, who has told Christ what they want their life sober to look like and feel like, have experienced God’s hand in their circumstances and relationships. They will tell you that approaching the throne of grace with confidence, even boldness, has been the difference between surviving sober and thriving in their recovery as they are blessed by God.
God desires that we seek him out and pursue, by prayer with grateful hearts, the things that we desire in maintaining our commitment to recovery from imperfection God’s way. Tell God about the things in your life that you would like him to bless you in. Start by talking to him about your relationship with your spouse and your children. Tell him about your struggles, and tell him about your wants and dreams. God desires to show you favor from his storehouse of blessing.
May God grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. We will rejoice in your salvation (recovery), and in the name of our God we will set our standard of excellence! May the Lord fulfill all of your requests. Psalm 20:4-5 (NKJV)
God loves us so much! He cannot wait to open up heaven and bless us. Jesus set the standard by dying for his friends, telling us that is the greatest expression of love there is (John 15:13). Jesus said that everything God did for him while he was on the earth; he wants to do for us. All we need to do is abide in his love, and allow his will to be alive and active in us, which as recovering people, we should know by now is also in our best interest.
When it comes to what you want your life to look like, go to God with your desires about your relationships, your job and your finances. Seek first the things of God and trust him to bless you out of his abundance for everything else in your life that you value. Tell God you want more in your marriage and for your children. Tell him that you want more in your career. Tell God that you want financial stability for your family. Tell God that you want to be healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tell God that you want to know his will and grow in confidence of faith.
Your values about what you are and what you own change as you are willing to let go of whatever it is you value that owns you in exchange for that which God owns and values for you; and wants for you to own.
Be sure that your motives are humble and sincere, that you are esteeming the interests of others as at least equal to your own, and that you are working a responsible disciplined program of recovery. As you desire and ask for everything that God wants and has for you, then, realistically with confidence, expect him to bless you until your life and world as a recovering person is all you want it to be.