Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Giving Up Everything

Photo by Andre Scarrio from
  • Abraham left family and homeland in obedience to God.
  • Elisha left his family, his work, and his home to go with Elijah and serve God. 1 Kings 19
  • Peter and Andrew dropped their nets, left their father, and went with Jesus to learn from Him.
  • Likewise, James and John left family and life-long occupations to follow Jesus and serve God.
  • Paul left his religious order and his family to answer the call of Christ on his life.

God’s call always requires us to give our all. What that may necessitate will be different in the details for you than it has been for me, but in every case it demands a heart willing to do, to go, to say, to share, to think and to give up EVERYTHING for Jesus.

Romans 12:1-2
So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

Over the years God’s call on my own life has varied. When Dick and I first entered pastoral ministry, God’s call took away close proximity to family, the dream of owning our own home, and a substantial income as an employee of the state.

When God called me to rely on Jesus’ death on the cross for my sins, I had to swallow hard and give up trusting in my own efforts as a means to please God and earn a place a Heaven.

Looking back over the many years since the day I placed my trust in Jesus reveals a constant need for re-dedication and further purification of my attitudes, my words, and my actions. I have had to continue to place myself in the purifying flame of God’s presence in order for God to temper and shape me after His will.

While offering ourselves totally to God does require sacrifice, knowing His will--what is good, perfect, and pleasing to Him--is worth any personal cost.

What has offering your life as a “living sacrifice” involved for you? I would love to hear your story! J


©2014 Pamela D. Williams


  1. Most recently it has involved two things. One was moving to the mountains two years ago. My husband wanted to move, yes, but I also felt God's strong call on my heart to go. It wasn't easy leaving family, friends, and familiar places after 29 years. It still isn't sometimes. But, I know that God is working out new things in my new home. The second thing is the increased involvement I've had to take on with my parents (and now my mom since my dad's passing in January). It involves a lot of traveling back-and-forth, and the difficulties of caregiving.

    However, there are blessings to be found in following the One!! And though the *cost of discipleship* is sometimes steep, it's easy following the Savior who gave it ALL for me.


  2. Pam, I love your words. "I have had to continue to place myself in the purifying flame of God’s presence in order for God to mold and make me after His will." I'm right there with you, :) continuing to be mashed and placed back on the Potter's wheel. Thanks for the reminder of all the Bible greats who had to leave something in order to be faithful.

  3. Even after twenty years in ministry, I still lived with in 45 minutes of my children and grandchildren - so hearing a two hour away location was where we were heading as we followed our call to mission and ministry caused tears each time I thought of them - especially Maddie. All the others were older and busy in their own ways in life! I had watched her each Monday from when she was tiny and we were great friends and buddies and watching her blossom as a person healed many hurts I had experienced. But, all my family loves it here as well and we are well blessed in all facets of our lives. Yes, I can get a bit home sick for people and so many have given so much more than myself but God continues to stretch and bless us in ways that we might never have known had we not listened to his call on our lives. You words today remind me that the flames of God will only benefit us and reveal Jesus in us - thank you!

  4. The senses tend to foul us up and are used against us in this flesh...

    My story is one of selfishness, not so unlike the prodigal son. Only when I was completely broken did I look Up from myself.

  5. Hi Pam! You really do have a personal story of being called out, and called away. You have truly given yourself to your ministry for God.
    I think God calls me to step out every day, I just miss most of it as I gaze at my navel! Lord help me to hear and to see, I want to work for you!

  6. Thanks for giving me something to think about in a new way.