Week 3 Obey and Partake
Forsaking All Others
The Lord Jesus Christ has won the battle you now face; you have only to partake of His victory. Discipline, obedience, bringing the flesh into submission—these elements follow; they do not precede partaking of the Lord.
hat obstacles block us from partaking deeply of the Lord through prayer, praise, and Scripture? What keeps us from opening our hearts and minds fully to the God who loves perfectly, gave His son for us, and always knows what is best?
A major roadblock to intimacy with the Lord is the deep emotion we feel for the precious people He has provided us to love. The intense love and protectiveness of a mother for her child, a father’s broken heart over a wayward son, a spouse’s fear of betrayal, an adult child’s grief over the death of a parent—human relationships are fraught with heartache and fear. But imagine this scene:
You are standing before an altar looking into the eyes of the one you love most. A voice queries, “Do you promise to love unreservedly, forsaking all others, and holding only to your beloved forevermore?”
A response that lists the other people you plan to give precedence to your beloved would be stunningly inappropriate, but isn’t this how we treat our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? He stands before us with open arms and does not turn away, but our unreleased burdens for others wrench our eyes from His face as we bend beneath their weight.
We place the people we love ahead of sweet relationship with Christ when we are oppressed either by a crushing weight of responsibility for them or fear of losing them. Part of the reason we feel desperate to keep them safe is a need to protect ourselves; what would we do if we lost them? Apart from entrusting our loved ones into God’s capable hands, self-protection guides us to detach emotionally while we simultaneously increase efforts to control and protect.
In truth, we cannot protect our loved ones; we can only pray God’s protection for them. We can’t save them, but we can pray that His saving power is activated in their hearts. We can’t heal them, but we can pray that the Lord will heal them. Only through faith in our Lord’s sovereign power do we have courage to place our eyes firmly on Him while allowing our hearts to remain open to those we love.
Entrusting is not the same as abandoning. We can carry our loved ones in prayer without carrying loads God does not intend for us to bear.
Pray: Father, I release my precious loved ones into Your hands and Yours alone. I entrust them to Your care. Please keep me from detaching from them emotionally so as to avoid the responsibility and burden of intercession. Strengthen my heart to do my loved ones real good as I bring them to your light in prayer. Help me to deal with those I love with a heart that stays open to them, but with my eyes placed firmly on You. In recognition of your sovereign control over my life and the lives of those I love, I entrust them to You. You are the only One I can’t do without.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.