How much of us does God want? Remembering last night’s exhortation, I ask the question, “how much have I consecrated my finances for Jesus?” You see, I have gone even as far as giving a month’s pay to support missions. (This is not to boast but I am driving a point here so please bear with me.) Today as I meticulously try to make ends meet, I realize that I have not really sacrificed enough. I really cried at the pain I felt thinking of how little was left with me because I obeyed the Lord. But given the chance to do it again, I would give again, even more than a month’s pay. But why am I in tears?
See, I have enough to survive… even to spend for recreation and a good haircut. But I am in tears, I realized, because I still wanted the best of both worlds — the best of Jesus and the best of materialistic pursuits. Was it not Jesus who said, “You cannot serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other.”? God is gently untangling the chords of control. I have given yes. But I realized I have reserved for myself self
-pity and the right to certain pleasures that I should have sacrificed long ago. I understand that some of us can give tens of thousands or even millions and yet not feel a bit of pain in our pockets. And some of us have felt the pain and yet we have not YET really fully surrendered to God. How is that possible? Consecration is an issue of the heart. A heart fully consecrated is overjoyed by opportunities to sacrifice for the sake of our King. It does not COUNT THE COST. Today I realize, until the day that we have ceased COUNTING, we have not really given God our ALL. (But then again, this is one of those “i die daily” things that God teaches us and takes us through from glory to glory. So don’t feel bad if you have only given him seemingly so little. God looks at the heart. As for me, God is asking
for more of it again…)
As I reflected on this, I was reminded of the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes. We have not really come to this point of sacrifice, but just imagine, If God finds such willingness to LIVE (and not just die) for a cause in this generation that we have, then what else is not possible for this generation to do? Read on.:
A Story about Del Pilar
(from the book, “Looking Back” by Ambeth Ocampo)
… I can sympathize with Marcelo H. Del Pilar who had to leave his wife, Chanay, and children, Sofia and Anita, to escape arrest for his writings…Then as now, there is no money in honest journalism. Del Pilar died a pauper in Barcelona on 4 July 1896. He was hungry and freezing, there was friction between him and Rizal over politics, he wanted to go home but didn’t have the money for passage back to the Philippines…Anita del Pilar sent her impoverished father one peso. Del Pilar was probably thinking of Anita’s thoughtfulness while he walked around the streets of Barcelona, picking up
cigarette butts to smoke…Poor diet and freezing weather caused his health to deteriorate. He couldn’t afford an apartment with adequate heating, so he froze during winter. Del Pilar’s letter dated 4 February 1890 is a thousand times more heart-wrenching … “The illness I had did not last long. I felt a chill one night when I was sleeping because it is very cold here and our house does not have heating. It was all right when winter had not set in. Because of the cold, I vomited a lot…”
I feel that a generation of heroes is challenging us and the vows we have uttered, “are you really LIVING for the CAUSE?” It is not enough to say you are willing to die because for most of us, it does not really come to that point of ‘life or death’ situations. But we have THIS LIFE that we live – the time that we spend, the money that we splurge, our thoughts that captivate our moments. It’s time to consecrate these for Jesus.
Set your self apart (nazir). Every part.