A relaxed grasp
Oswald Chambers has written about “the sanctity of a relaxed grasp.” By this he meant that a Christian should not hold anything back from God. But rather, he should put everything he has in the palm of an open hand so that the Lord can take from it anything He wishes to take at any time, without any resistance from us [and put anything into it for His purposes]. It means that we have come to realize fully that “we are not our own. We are bought with a price, and that therefore we should glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His” [1 Cor. 6:19].
We do not come to this place of relinquishment easily. We do not quickly relax our tight clutching of possessions, money, plans, home, family, ambitions about higher education, and benefits we might gain. Even our search for a mate, or the way we spend our time are not readily laid in our open hand as an offering to Him. How many Christians are spiritually shipwrecked because they clutch all they have in a tight fist, refusing to let the Lord have it all.
In the book of Leviticus it speaks much about the offerings that the people of Israel were to bring to the Lord. Some offerings were a special act of worship and love. For us as Christians there is also an offering, an act of worship which God expects. It is described in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” If we truly understand that we do not own ourselves, that we have no right to plan our life for our own fulfillment and pleasure, no right to spend our resources and time as we please, we will have taken a very big step toward the walk with God that He always intended for us.
A radical exchange
We read in Galatians 2:20 that we have been crucified with Christ, that it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. And we learn that the life we now live in the flesh [the body], we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. Stop and realize it … this is our obituary! We have died! And we have, according to Romans 6:4-11, been buried with Him, and then resurrected with Christ into newness of life. We no longer have a life of our own. We now belong to Christ, who is now indwelling our body and is giving us direction about where to go, and where to spend our time, strength, money and all else. He is now using our body and wishes to manifest His own love, mercy, patience, kindness, and compassion through us. He can now do with us as He pleases, we are not our own. We are His temple, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We are HIS!
We need to spend much time in His Word, pondering this truth and allowing Him to search our hearts. We need to ask Him to point out to us those “pockets” of selfishness where we may still be trying to hold onto our own way. He has provided us with the way of cleansing from these sins, and then we can be free to lay all we have at His feet. He has given to us far more than we could ever give to Him.
He has given His life to make it possible for us to be reconciled to the Father. He has given us forgiveness of our sins and an empowering by His Holy Spirit so that we can walk victoriously. He has given us an abundant and fruitful life here and now, and the promise of eternal life with Him.
The pittance we lay in our open hand as an offering to Him is replaced by the spiritual wealth He has for us. Let us have the same cry in our hearts that Jesus had to the Father: “My food is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work” [John 4:34].
Bonnie Hanson, with Alline Marshall, directed Fellowship Valley Retreat Ministries in Clarkesville, GA. Bonnie wrote a book describing God’s faithfulness in their lives and ministry: Two Weak Women and God’s Amazing Grace. It is available from GraceFellowshipInternational.com.