Loosen That Grip
I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts. — Malachi 3:11-12
We need to remember that this is a continuation of the previous verses. God is challenging his people to re-up their commitment to bringing one-tenth of all their annual earnings to the Temple. And then here, God clarifies that doing this puts a follower in a place where he can protect and provide.
But all men have a problem: we want to protect and provide for ourselves. We want to be in control of our finances and determine our future. But these are not things we can control or determine. We cannot control or determine anything. This includes the weather, nature, creatures, markets, production, or anything that happens in the future. But God can. And he wants us to trust him with these concerns. And we demonstrate that we trust him by loosely holding the things he has given us to steward. We must consciously hold them (to steward them) but not tighten our grip on them (attempting to control them). And the way we demonstrate a loose-tight stewardship grip is by returning a small portion of what God has given to us.
So the question on the table is this. What are you gripping too tightly? Is it your career? Your finances? A relative like a parent or a child? Your opinion on politics? The preservation of your health? Is there something that you are gripping so tightly that it prevents God from providing and protecting for you? If so, give it to God. Loosen your grip because you might be getting in the way of the blessing he has wanted to provide you.
ASK THIS: What are you gripping too tightly?
DO THIS: Give it to God and let him protect and provide.
PRAY THIS: God, I want to give you...
PLAY THIS: Provider.
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short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.
God, I want to give you everything. I am tried of failing at trying to control everything in my and my family’s life. I trust you God, you are my rock.
Great devotion going into the new year.
Wow! I would have expected more men to share after watching/reading this mornings devo. I too have control issues along with health issues. Lost my right leg above the knee this past summer. I am a maintenance supervisor with about 4 more years to retirement. I’ve been off work for more than 26 weeks and was informed that the company I work for is going to fill my position. I pretty much expected that but when it comes to fruition it scares the living daylight out of me. I know God has a plan and his is much better than mine.I struggle daily with giving it ALL to him. Please keep me in prayer brothers.
Praying for you Don!
Awesome devotion that hits close to home as I contemplate the next chapter in my life. After 37 years of a career, I am looking towards retirement and have decided to give it all to God, as tough as it may be to leave a comfortable position and lifestyle that I have become accustomed to over the years. As the song says, “just trust and obey, for there is no other way.”
I think I hold too tightly to the “protector/provider/fixer” title. I feel as if being a good steward means I use my money, time, talent, and general stubbornness to fix, arrange, or even force things to be how I think they should. By myself. With what “I” have to work with. And I am afraid I get in God’s way. And His way seems to be the better way, in hindsight of corse, as I could never see a full spectrum of things. Father help me work for or even with you and not get puffed up and try to take over on my own.
Amen Trent. I’ll second that. Right there with you.
Amen, bro. This is such a foundational principle of a life surrendered to God. I am a farmer, like the people he’s talking to. As I read vs 6-15 for context of this conversation; before I go out and feed cattle this morning, as I make plans for ordering fuel, feed, and fertilizer for the coming year’s calves and crops, as I daily watch (read “fret”) over the weather and markets that I can’t control… I read in verse 7 that the whole point is that HE wants ME to return (focus) to HIM! That is the point. All He wants is my heart, our hearts. He wants me to stop living a lie. Telling myself that I am a believer, a follower, that I haven’t left Him…and the whole time, He’s saying “come on back, child, put your faith in me, your trust in me, focus your heart on me….and I will take care of you better than you ever can take care of yourself.” Cheating God is cheating self. Cheating others is cheating God. Thinking that I’m in control of crop production and cattle production is foolishness and idolatry. Ouch. He is the One who gives every gain. Vince, thank you for leading me in this introspection this morning. Great devo!
Farming is definitely a good way to exercise faith. So much uncertainty, unpredictable situations, and expense. Good on you for doing it with faith and recognition.
I’ve probably spent most of the past three decades trying to arrange/protect/control my health, my family, and my work environment. Honestly with a few exceptions I can honesty say that almost every time and certainly every time I forged ahead despite godly counsel telling me otherwise (in the form of gods word or brothers and sisters in Christ) have ended with more struggle, long term issues with people in my life, and general frustrations overall.
On the flip side, the few times I truly “let go and let God” as we say…. Have gone well… not always right away, but I can honestly look back and see where God miraculously intervened in ways I cannot explain nor take credit for!
Praying that as men we all come to realize that our strength lies in HIM and then through us, not by us with lip service to Him.
May the Lord bless your crops and cattle in more abundance than ever my Brother! Thank you for sharing your heart