Week Thirty Nine
Don’t Hold Back
…Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back.
Quote from Pray While You’re Prey:
“If we are among those chosen by God to have eternal life, our goal should be to please God and to be obedient. It is not easy, but it is also not impossible.”
When I was in high school, I had three friends with whom I was very close. We were, in fact best friends, from the beginning of freshman year. At some point during my junior year, though, those friends decided that they no longer wanted to be friends with me. Looking back, I can see what lead to this decision, but, at the time, I just felt betrayed, hurt and abandoned. In the weeks after turning their backs on me, two of the three friends, asked for forgiveness and we reconciled. Though, we remain close throughout the rest of high school, our relationships were never the same, and shortly after high school, we lost touch.
The reason our relationship was not the same on my end is because I never felt like I could totally be myself or totally trust that I would not lose my friends again. I would hold back certain opinions about their actions. I would dampen certain aspects of my personality because I did not want to feel the hurt I had felt again.
The way I was treated by my friends pales in comparison to the many ways I have betrayed God. Though I have known the Lord for a very long time, there were several periods in my life when I turned my back on Him. In those times, I justified my actions because I felt angry with God that I had not gotten my way or I felt that my obedience was not rewarded, and therefore, was not worth it. I would throw bratty, hissy fits and just walk away from God. However, God never walked away from me. Each and every time I realized how foolish I was being, He welcomed me back into His arms. And, He didn’t hold anything back.
Once I reconciled with God, He did not hold back His blessings and His favor. There were absolutely consequences for my disobedience because He did not hold back His chastisement and discipline either. You see, unlike us, God was not afraid to still be a good friend to me and to continue to give me all of Him. He was not afraid that I would leave again because He knew that my love for Him and His love for me would always bring me back. So, in return, it is my responsibility to show my love towards Him wholeheartedly, through obedience, holding nothing back.
We are not stuck here on Earth feeling our way around in the dark. God has given us rules to abide by and boundaries to stay within because He loves us and wants the best for us. We owe God our all; our everything should belong to Him, including our love, which is shown through obedience. We must love God totally and hold nothing back. We cannot allow the influences of this world to cause us to be halfhearted towards God. No one in the world has given you or me a sacrifice like God has given us. It was a sacrifice that we did not even deserve. So, though, you may feel that you wish your life was in a different place right now, it is not an excuse to fail to give God your all. Don’t hold back.
Thank You, God for giving me boundaries
and for giving structure to my life, so that I know what I must do.
Please forgive me for being disobedient, for turning away from You
and for the times when I am not fully and totally committed to Your will.
Lord, please help me to keep Your commandments
and to walk on the path that you have set out for me.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©1984, unless otherwise indicated.