Last fall, our covenant group began an “All In” journey with God. Mark Batterson’s book turned my life upside down, inside out and exposed my heart, my soul and our life in ways that I never expected. It challenged me to peel back the superficial layers of my faith and really delve into how God was calling Jay and me to live our lives. Perhaps one of the greatest ways we were challenged was in our giving. Yes, we were tithing, but we were not giving God our best, our first fruits. We couldn’t because we had our priorities wrong. Today we live in a society where often times our identity and security are found in material possessions, our address, our bank account, our profession, our closet, etc. We all fall prey to this falsehood in some way, shape or form, and Jay and I were no different.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Show me what you spend your money on and I’ll show you where your priorities are.” We did that; we listed our expenses, the needs, the wants, and it became very clear to us that God deserved more. He honestly deserved it all because it all came from Him in the first place. Nothing we pos- sessed here on earth was ours to begin with, so why were we holding on so tightly to our “things”? Were these things keeping us from truly giving back to God?
Batterson makes a statement in his book, “At the end of the day, judgment day, the only regret we will have is what we did not give back to God.” This statement rubbed my heart raw and ripped away every justification I had for not giving to God as we should. To really give, we had to “give away.” So we started praying, a lot of praying, and took a huge leap of faith. We put our house on the market, sold it and trusted God to take that step of obedience and turn it into a blessing for his Kingdom. Our family held fast to Prov- erbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans.” This road has not been easy, obedience never is, but He continues to bless us and provide for us in His perfect way, and we have continued to give more and more back to Him. That’s the irony of doing things God’s way, as God cannot give back what we do not first give up. He can do immeasurably more with our faithful tithe than we could ever do with it here on earth. The more we are able to give away, the freer we are to live. This freedom allows us to enjoy what we have and realize it’s not ours to keep in the first place. So during this pledge campaign we are “All In” for God and we will continue to give more. And though we’re not quite at our goal, we are closer, and that’s obedient progress that I know the Lord is pleased with. More for God, more for His Kingdom and more for His glory.