They say never lend money to a friend.
Those situations are an oven for creating hostility or tension, even after the money is back in your account.
“hmm they accepted that handout too quickly”
“how many times are they going to keep reminding me that I owe them money”
“I will pay them when I am good and ready”
“did they just post a picture of their new Jordans whilst I’m here struggling without the money they owe me”
All this can create tension that is hard to shake off with a hug or ‘hi’.
What if I told you that God too is waiting on you, whether you identified with the lender or receiver in that scenario, because our lives were bought at a price.
We tend to forget that…well I do…
But the reality is that God bought our lives through the exchange of His Son, Jesus, for our sins and He paid the price on the Cross.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (NKJV)
So where do we stand in all this? ….Am I meant to atone for Jesus’ sacrifice?
God does not guilt us into thinking that we should be on our knees grovelling to make up for Jesus’ sacrifice. Religion does that.
But I believe God is waiting for us to show up or show out!
Just like in the scenario at the beginning, either party can choose whether they are going to act a fool or respond with respect.
i.e Lender – ‘I have chosen to lend a money to a friend without placing a noose around their neck. Receiver – ‘I have chosen to accept money given by a friend and instead of acting up, I will honour their act of kindness’. God is seeing if you will honour Him.
God paid a price sending Jesus. Yes, it pained Him but He still did it out of love for us. For you.
He is not a wimp. In His infinite authority, God made a choice and knew what it would cost. More importantly, what that sacrifice would mean for us! In that moment, He deemed us more important than His Son, Jesus.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, that same Jesus pleaded with God 3 times that if there was any other way to atone for our sins, God would have mercy and let Him do it instead of going to the Cross.
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
So realistically what does that mean for us?
Your body, spirit….everythaaang, is not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Not only are they not your own, they are meant to be used to glorify God. Here is when we must honour the act of ‘kindness’ (which is really a life and after-life saver) God showed to us.
Typically when we think of honouring God, we picture ourselves in honourable positions to honour God. We want to honour Him, give Him praise, drop our largest offering/tithe yet in the gift basket at church because we are sooo happy for what He is doing in our lives. We are comfortable or in most cases, we have just received a blessing.
What about honouring and doing all these things when we are deep in the pit and believe there is no way out.
Honouring Him when those dark thoughts come out to play.
Honouring Him when your addiction causes you to backslide.
Honouring Him when shame becomes less of an emotion, and simply a way of life.
How can I do that?
By seeing your pain, experiences, addictions, sufferings, shame for what they really are – opportunities to be used to serve God.
Remember our lives are not our own. Within that ownership or life deed includes the things we struggle with or experienced: alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse, sexual immorality… We do not go through all that crap for nothing.
Let’s view them differently even whilst we are at the bottom of the pit: as real experiences, about real issues that we can share with real people to help them with their realities to bring them to His Kingdom.
We do not have to delivered from our situations to do this. I choose to believe that God truly delivers us from all these strongholds for the purpose of serving Him.
I repeat. God will deliver you, when you trust Him to use your ‘baggage’ to serve Him.
You are not just handing Him your crap at the airport drop-off point , whilst you kick-back in the lounge. By trusting Him you are saying ‘I am ready to serve You, no matter what that entails’.
Exodus 8:1 –
And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. (NKJV)
Basically, God says they should be delivered so they can serve me.
When I read this I thought, ‘God is kind of a savage here’…👀
He wants Pharaoh to free the Israelites after years and years of slavery, so that they can worship and serve Him. 👀
Then I realised that it may seem like they were getting the short end of the stick/shortchanged, but they were not and neither will we with God demanding our release from strongholds.
If we would realise by surrendering: trusting Him completely and allowing Him to deliver us so that He can use our lives to glorify Him, brings an even greater reward for us compared to what God gets from it.
The Israelites were led to a land of milk and honey, but what did God get in return? A few exhalations, some burnt offerings but realistically who really got shortchanged?
And who is getting shortchanged now?