04 Dec Guest Post by Colby: Give and Take
Yay! My favorite posts are always when it’s not me writing, but Colby! To say I am very excited to have Colby sharing today is definitely an understatement. He is full of such truth and wisdom and let’s be honest, he’s a much better writer and communicator than I am. You are in for a treat and some of you might also be in for a theological awakening too.
Caroline and I recently spoke at a session of the Moms in the Making conference and mentioned the importance of repetition of Biblical truth (God is good, God loves you, you are a Daughter or Son of God), specifically in the face of lies that are repeated and reinforced by our culture. The lies are especially harmful when they are very slight distortions and twistings of what otherwise appear to be Biblical principles, therefore going unnoticed and accepted.
Today, I want to apply this idea and retake ground that has been lost to one of the biggest lies the church believes today. I want to change hearts and minds about these words, and turn them back into the mighty weapon they were intended to be for the purposes of victory and breakthrough in your life. Even those words – victory and breakthrough – imply that there is a battle and a violent overcoming of opposition. I want to encourage you that you are able to actively engage in these because you are empowered and equipped through your unity and partnering with Christ! Lets Go!
What do the words ‘give and take’ mean to you? In a non-church context, its probably most associated with compromising and bargaining, such as deal making, diplomacy, and politics. But for us as the church body, what do these words usually mean to us as we relate to God? I’ve found that recent and current Christian music songs have a good pulse on that answer:
2005 Dove Award-winning “Blessed Be Your Name” (Worship Song of the Year)
“You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
God you give and take away
Oh you give and take away”
2017 Grammy nominated and Dove nominated (Song of the Year) “Hills and Valleys”
“I have held the blessings
God, you give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough*
Father, you give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all you will remain
Over it all!” *
These are, of course, the words of Job, being sung to modern-day believers about God the Father, who has since Job’s time given to them the precious gift of His Son. The songs were and are extremely popular. The voices and instrumental accompaniment are beautiful. But beyond those, most songs don’t become quite this popular unless they are extremely relatable with great emotional connection. I want to keep this post brief, so will not address that Book or passage here. I hope you have watched Caroline and friends’ addressing of this topic, which I will link here. And I hope you are ready to move on from what the church and culture have repeated and reinforced about the character and goodness of God.
Today I want to offer something better, in that its more true, more accurate, and more actionable. If you’re done waiting and lamenting, this is for you. It’s time to change your mind about what these words mean, and replace that with new life and power for “give and take.” Ready?
May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites.
And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him.
So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?
These passages are from the Old Testament account of the nation of Israel transitioning from wandering in the wilderness to entering the promised land. God had given the land to Israel by going before them and throwing their enemies into confusion and chaos, and filling them with fear and causing their courage to melt. The land was a promise of a good thing from a God they could trust in. For their part, Israel still had to go and take what God gave to them. They trained, organized, planned, and strategized, with God, who repeatedly told them He would go before them and would be with them. Israel had a responsibility to take and they had the power to do what God commanded them to do.
When something is repeated in the Bible, it is very important and very powerful. Stop clinging to a Noah-through-Abraham-era lamentation that is never again repeated. We see in Genesis 16:2 where a hurting and lamenting Sarai believes and speaks a lie about God, and then sets into motion a tragic act of unbelief. But we see the facts of the circumstance were laid out in Genesis 11:30, and the truth of God’s nature were revealed in Genesis 21:1.
16:2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
11:30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.
21:1 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.
God promised a good land to Israel, and he delivered. He promised and gave his Son, the Messiah, who delivered a finished and completed work and sent the power of the Holy Spirit to all who will receive it. For your part, you do need to understand what this accomplished and provided to appropriate your power and authority in this life. It’s time to look at some of the ‘theologies’ being accepted in culture that have taught a powerless and passive church, and decide if that’s what Jesus taught and died for.
*I included these two lyrics only because they closely resemble “thorn in the flesh” and Sovereignty issues – this song goes for the ‘is God really good?’ trifecta!
To see Colby’s other posts you can go here:
PS. If you are going through infertility, please head over to ministry to join a faith-based support group!
PPS. Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.
PPPS. I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!