By grace, we can live in holy indifference to the "loss of all things" if, in the process, we gain a fuller measure of the knowledge of Christ.

Holy Indifference to the Loss of All Things

Sunday Scripture

I logged some fairly intense conversations with God the day the transmission blew in our faithful truck–the one that hauls all the equipment for our lawn mowing business.
“Really?”
“Now?”
“God, are you unaware that grass is beginning to grow here in Mid-Coast Maine?”

I’m well aware that God is sovereign even over this, but, true to form, when little inconveniences pile up, my theology goes off the rails. I forget that Scripture calls us to live an open-handed life.

This challenging posture is the farthest thing from passivity, but, instead, directs maximum energy and passion toward whatever would bring the most glory to God. By grace, we can live in holy indifference to the “loss of all things” if, in the process, we gain a fuller measure of the knowledge of Christ:

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him…”  (Philippians 3:8-10)

I’m not there yet.

However, recently, in my reading of Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God (Amazing how God orchestrates the words we read and the scripts we live), I stumbled across the Wesley Covenant Prayer. Although attributed to John Wesley, leader of the revival movement within the Church of England called “Methodism,” he actually gave credit for the words to Richard Alleine, a Puritan from the 1600’s.

Whatever its origin, this costly prayer of trust and surrender has a way of re-ordering my priorities, messing with my definition of “success,” and adjusting my understanding of God’s goodness:

“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.”

On this Sunday morning, I invite you to sit in quiet and read these borrowed words.
Make them your own.
Speak them if you can or ponder them until you are able to pray them wholeheartedly.

May the Lord be with you,

michele signature rose[1]

 

 

 

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38 thoughts on “Holy Indifference to the Loss of All Things”

  1. Wow….words to not take lightly. I’m with you. I’m shocked at my own shallowness quite frequently-at how I yield to God in my morning quiet time, then self defend vigorously when falsely accused. (Speaking from something that happened just yesterday.) I realize that I am so far from total relinquishment of all that I am and all that I have in moments like this.

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  2. Oh what a wonderful prayer she has given. I will print as I need to read that reminder daily when distressed. I see what you mean…when off the rail, it would help. I have those days and have been doing better at reminding to calm down and seek God’s peace, which actually does help. I am learning the true meaning of his will not what I want to stamp my foot and want. Love how you always give some good words and sources that I haven’t found. Thanks.

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  3. Recently chose that familiar passage in Philippians to hide in brain and heart in NIV Vs 10 has an emphatic Yes! I want to know Christ. I need emphasis when turned in the right direction. It’s the little losses that remind me I am not my own. Thank you Michele.

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  4. Morning Plz subscribe me to your newsletter when you have a moment. Technology isn’t my favorite. Do you have some time this week to be recorded for my podcast? I’ll attach questions. It won’t be broadcast for awhile yet. Sue

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  5. Thanks Michele, for so faithfully and generously sharing the treasure you find. These words are now
    copied in my journal and prayed over there…May it be so; only through Christ will I ever attain to suffering and loss without complaint!

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    1. This treasure showed up in a novel!
      And of course, I had to share it.
      I do love exposing readers to good and important words.
      Great idea to copy them in your journal.

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  6. Somehow I seem to have more trouble when comparatively little things go wrong than with the big trials of life. Maybe because there’s nothing else we can do with the big ones except give them to the Lord. But when we expected God to smooth our path, and instead we’re loaded with inconveniences…it’s harder to trust that those occurrences are for our good and growth. But my negative reaction is evidence I need those kinds of exercises in patience.

    That would be a challenging prayer to pray unreservedly, but that attitude should be my goal.

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  7. Michele, this is a beautiful, challenging prayer. In light of all that’s going on right now, I think the humility this prayer requires is pertinent. I’m pondering and working up the brave to pray it and mean it.

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  8. I had to smile at this line: “when little inconveniences pile up, my theology goes off the rails,” only because I recognize myself in it. It is easy to submit when God’s will lines up with mine. When God’s will clashes with my plans, submission is so much more difficult!

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  9. I’m not there yet either and I have GAKAT inked on my wrist. But, I am closer than I used to be but not as close as I will be.!!! Neighbors at Sue’s today!

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  10. Thank you Michele! Wonderful post, but I especially appreciate your last words – “…sit in quiet and read…”

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  11. Oh yes… I often question those little things with a “really, God? Now?!” Funny but huge things like the pandemic or the looting/rioting which I feel I have no control over anyway don’t stress me out nearly as much as those little things in life.

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  12. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing this Michele. I loved reading that, especially from Richard Alleine. It really rang through me. I just recently, came across another Alleine, apparently they might have been brothers. A Joseph Alleine, whose awesome book ‘The Saints PocketBook” spoke so tremendously to me. https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/padahfocused.wordpress.com/457
    That is the excerpt he had in his book I put on a post.
    How apt a Puritan speaks so well into the dilemma. I have learned so very much from reading the Puritans, about guarding the heart, about humility and suffering. The message you posted resonates. Matthew Henry has a good writing on Meekness, and it really is a super power when all things go wrong. Accepting both good and evil, trusting Gods Providence, and that as Paul said, in 1 Cor. 3:22– All things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All of them belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.…
    whether good or harm, downs and or ups, all things are ours… for all things are Christs, they are his and we are in Christ. if its a down thing or what seems evil to us, alas! It is OURS, and is turned to our very good. all things subjected to Jesus Christ… bringing forth Gods Special designs in us as we are shaped.
    thank you — Patricia

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