Owing vs. Owning

A couple of weeks ago my pastor shared the testimony of a fellow pastor.

 

Years ago, this pastor moved away from his home state and planted a church in obedience to God.

 

A few years into the project, things weren’t going so well. There had been very little growth. They still had less than 100 members. It had not turned out at all the way he imagined it would or how he expected God to work it out.

 

And in the process of planting the church, this pastor had lost everything. He had lost his home. He had lost cars. He had lost everything. And he was continuing to lose.

 

One day he was praying and crying out to God about the situation.

 

He reminded God that He was the one who asked him to give up his previous life. Asked him to move his family to this particular location and plant a church. He told God that He owed him because of all he had given up, all he had lost, and all he had invested in this church plant.

 

And then God told him something.

 

God told this pastor, “I don’t owe you. I own you.”

 

And the pastor said that from then on, everything changed.

 

Wow. God’s right, you know. He does own us. He owns us because He bought us with the blood of His own Son.

 

And because He owns us, He can use us whenever and however and for whatever purposes and for however long He chooses.

 

This pastor’s conversation with God changed his attitude. I have a feeling he was reminded that he was there to do whatever work God gave him to do, and that the outcomes were up to God. At least, that’s what this story helped me remember.

 

Where has God placed you? What work has He given you to do? How is it going so far? Do you feel like God OWES you because of what you’ve given up or lost or invested? Or do you live like He OWNS you?

 

Oh. And by the way. The pastor is still at that same church. Only it now has over 15,000 members, is heavily involved in helping the people in the community, and is one of the most well-respected churches in the city.

 

Go figure.

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