156. Holding Back

Note from The Storyteller:  If you have not read entries 1-155, do so.  There is much insight that will help you as you walk toward spiritual maturity.  All of the entries can be found at the following website:  https://www.waiting4thetrain.com/.  Also, please forward this email to everyone you think would be interested in and would benefit from reading this blog.

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“In the Book of Acts,” Stan began, “there is a somewhat startling story of a husband and wife who died as a consequence of lying to God.”

“Yes, I know that story,” I responded.  “Ananias and Sapphira.  It was in the early church and they were not honest about giving the proceeds of a piece of property they sold.”

“That’s right,” Stan said.  He then continued, “A high price was paid by them for trying to hold back something for themselves.”

Stan then added, “Fortunately for me I have not suffered that sort of grave consequence, but I certainly do, way too often, try to hold back from God what I said I would give Him.”

“Help me, Stan, with what you mean,” I responded.

“Well,” Stan replied, “there is the big picture and there is the little picture.”

“With the big picture, when I accepted God’s free gift of salvation through the finished work of Christ on the cross, I committed to be His.”

He continued, “With the little picture, every day I commit to be who and to do what God intends for me.”

“But,” Stan said, “it usually only takes me a few minutes into my day to break that commitment.  And it always results from my desire to hold something back for myself by thinking, saying, and doing what I want, rather than what God wants.”

“That,” he concluded, “is why Jesus said that the first step in being His disciple is to deny self.”

“When I refuse to deny self, I am holding back and there is a part of my relationship with God that suffers as a result.”

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But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land?”  Acts of the Apostles 5:3.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord, that you have held nothing back from me.  You have given me life, life with you in eternity when my time here is done, and life with you on this side of eternity when I choose to walk with you and hold nothing back.  You know how often I want to hold back for myself what you want, which is all of me.  Please forgive all of my holding back.  And please move in me exactly as you want so I give you all of me all of the time, and hold nothing back.  Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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