Give Your Life Away?

by Ashley Lauren McClain

“Give your life away.” I remember when I heard my Pastor say this in a sermon. He said it as a statement, but in my mind, it immediately became a question. Give my life away?

What about MY dreams, and MY purpose and MY calling? What about ME? How does giving my life away get me any closer to the goals and ambition I have for my life?

Can I just say I wish I had taken his words as truth all those years ago?

I believe the chasing, striving, disappointments, and my many failures could have gone so differently. If only I had taken his words to heart the first time I heard them.

My problem? My focus was on me. I loved the Lord, but I was more wrapped up in my dreams and plans than in Him. Give it all away? Who would I be if not the girl with the big dreams? Who would I be if I laid them down to serve God by sharing the gospel and His love with others?

Answer: I would be the girl fully walking in the calling that the Lord has on her life.

Maybe you find yourself today caught up in the chasing and striving in life: nothing you do is good enough or fulfilling enough. If you do, I get it. I lived there a long time. But I made a decision to not stay in that place anymore. I am hoping maybe you will join me.

Am I telling you to give up on your dreams and things you are passionate about? Absolutely not. What I am saying is that the focus has to come off of ourselves and placed on Him.

What good would my dream be if it didn’t bring any glory to Him? If it failed to bring anyone who is lost and hopeless to Him? I would be living a life, that in reality, I don’t want to live. I have to believe that it is probably one that you wouldn’t want to live either.

In Matthew we read the Lord’s “Great Commission”: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 CSB).

I love how The Message translation explains verse 20:

“Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 MSG).

Day after day. If we are truly followers of Christ, sharing His love and His work in our lives with others, it will never get old. This is where life is best lived.

That is where the fulfillment I have longed for is found. It is found in taking the lessons we have learned and using them to benefit others. It is found in being vulnerable with our failures and transparent with our lives. It is found in pointing people who have no hope to the One who is the Giver of Hope.

It is found when my focus shifts from me and my to Him and them.

Will you join me today in giving up our own goals? And instead focus on God’s agenda: reaching out to the world around us? We can live a life filled with amazing, life-changing dreams. But we have to first be willing to lay down our empty ones, get our eyes off of ourselves, and lock them on Him.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other…”  Matthew 6:24 NASB

TWEETABLE
Give Your Life Away? insight on #FollowingGod from Ashley Lauren McClain on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Ashley McClainAbout the author: Ashley McClain is a girl with big dreams, a blog, & a heart to encourage women in their journey through this gift of life we have been given by the greatest Gift Giver there is! She loves to read, write, drink coffee, and spend time with the hubby & puppies! Connect with Ashley on her website ashleymcclain.org. She would love to hear about your journey too!

Join the conversation: Have you had a dream fulfilled? How did that effect you? Was it worth it?

 

 

2 thoughts on “Give Your Life Away?

  1. Ashley, you are a woman after my own heart! I totally agree with giving our lives away – it is THE most exciting adventure possible! For over 20 years, I asked God to help me reach the children of my city for Jesus – but I was stuck just giving my life away by teaching a class in one small church, loving the children, with no way to reach beyond to the city. Then God told me, “Now that you know how to reach children for Jesus so well, I want you to write and illustrate (I’m also an artist) a book on the doctrine of salvation — for children ages 4-8.” I did: “The Prince and the Plan” came out. When it did, it was like life kicked into high gear! I told my pastor, “If I could give these books away, I would!” God was listening. From plodding along faithfully, I was suddenly swept along at an incredible speed to reach children for Jesus! The first 2,000 books were mistakenly printed in black & white and were therefore not salable. God said, “GIVE them to the pastors on the Native American reservations around you there in Montana.” I did. The tribes are now saturated with this book on the gospel! After I broke even with local book sales, God said, “Give the rest away to the children of your city.” So I’m doing that. Wow! What an adventure! Living in the giving-away place of life is where we see MIRACLES, not just in our own ministry, but also in the lives of those around us. It is like living on an entirely different level of existence!

    Like

  2. Hi Sheri!

    WOW! This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with me! Your last sentence encouraged me SO much and I couldn’t agree more!

    💜

    Like

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