So, I woke up recently, which is a good thing. I mean, I get to type these words and continue on through the day. It’s good to wake up, right? But physically waking up aside, I believe I also had a spiritual awakening recently. Physically, I had been sleeping through the night; spiritually, I’m afraid I had been taking a nap. I didn’t mean to nap, but it happened.
You ever have that feeling? You don’t realize you’ve been sleeping until you wake up? Then you look around and try to discern how long you’ve been asleep. I can’t tell how long I’ve been asleep, but it may be longer than I think. Not cool. But not the end of the world, either. I’m awake now. Good morning!
In the new morning moments, both physically and spiritually, I turned to the Lord. It felt like a reestablishing. OK, I’m back in this, Lord. T. Austin-Sparks calls our walk with the Lord The School of Christ. So, it’s like each new interaction with the Lord is a new class, lesson, or session. This felt like I was entering a new semester with Him. I said something to Him along the lines of Him demanding more of me as He seems to do with each fresh interaction. His response was simple and direct:
How can I demand more when I’ve already asked for it all?
How can He demand more when He’s already asked for it all? That makes way too much sense. How quickly I forget that He’s asked for it all. My life is not my own. In my defense (and there really is no defense), I had been napping. I groggily replied, “Well, that’s an awful lot, Lord.”
It’s no more than what I’ve already given. Be the one to choose Me.
Again, He’s making a tremendous amount of sense. And repeating a previous lesson. But I’ve found that to be the case more often than not: God likes to teach in layers. He has a “Lesson 101”, a “Lesson 201”, a “Lesson 301”, so on and so forth. He likes to take me through something on one level, then He takes me through the same thing on a new level, then He takes me through it again on yet another level. I can’t tell you how many levels He has, because I frankly don’t know. But I have a hunch that there are a lot.
So, how can He demand more when He’s already asked for it all? He can’t, that’s how. And yet, He seemingly can. He asks for all I can give Him. So, I give Him all I have to give. Then, on another level, He asks for all I can give Him. So, I give Him all I have to give. Then, He asks again. And again. Each time He asks, it’s for all of it. He’s asked for it all.
How can I keep giving it all? Because He’s already given it all. Since He’s given it all, and His life is within me, I can rely on that life to give it all again. I can’t do it in and of myself, but He can do it. So, I choose Him. That’s all He asks.
I’ve asked for it all. = Be the one to choose Me.
To choose Him is to give it all. When I choose Him, I give all my rights, desires, wishes, needs, etc. over to Him. When He asks me to be the one to choose Him, He asks for it all.
A quick example: My wife and I met, fell in love, and had our first kiddo in Oklahoma City. The first saints with which we ever really met outside of the institutional system were in Oklahoma City. We have a familiarity and comfort we don’t have anywhere else in Oklahoma City. Suffice it to say, Oklahoma City holds a special place in our heart. We’ve recently been visiting and ministering with saints in Oklahoma City. It’s been refreshing and encouraging for us, and they seem to decently like us. We’ve even been house-sitting for a family while they’re on vacation. I’ve grown really content with all the body life and love and good feelings going on right now. So, inevitably, I don’t want to leave. But I hear the Lord’s call onward. He’s got more for us to do, and He’s got more to gain, so He’s calling us to leave. He’s got a bigger, better purpose than what I can see. And to be quite honest with you, it’s been tough to want to heed that call. It’s been tough to be the one to choose Him. All of me wants to stay in OKC. But the Lord has asked for it all. He’s asked me to be the one to choose Him. I can’t give it all, but I know that He can. So, what happens? I choose Him, and I let Him give it all. He can do it, because He already has done it. So He does it again. And He gains. He increases.
And that’s all He ever asks for.
For more on God asking an awful lot, I dare you to check out this post from October 2014.