Leave Your Gift

“This should be a good gift for the chief!” said my husband standing up from my lower kitchen cupboard, holding up the large, filigree bedecked glass container filled with liters of golden liquid we had extracted from the honeycomb ourselves.

A meeting with our local chief is an essential part of our lives. As missionaries in Zambia, Africa, finding favor during these appointments can open doors to remote village preaching opportunities. Or close them if we didn’t follow proper protocol.

Every time you enter the chief’s presence, you bring a valuable gift. (If you’ve ever strained raw honey in a home kitchen with a spotty water supply, you know its value!)
You wait to be summoned when at the chief’s palace.
You give a bow and respectful clap once in his presence.

And above all, you leave your gift with the chief.

Of course, on that last one, right? How ridiculous would it be to go through all the proper respectful protocols only to grab that jar of honey on your way out? “Sorry, but we really like cooking with fresh, local honey. It took a lot of work to source and strain all of this.”

I have a feeling that would weaken the relationship! What a disrespect to the man of honor.

This scenario made me think of similarities between our relationship with the chief and our relationship with God. Anyone who has read Romans 12:1-2 knows the importance of giving our life as a sacrifice for God’s use.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭

We are the living sacrifice God wants.
Our praise. (Heb 13:15)
Our service. (Ps 100:2)
Our delight. (Ps 27:4, Ps 1:1-2)

Most Christians I know are willing to praise God and strive to please Him. The difficulty comes when we discover the impact of giving our costly gifts to God. It is then that we are tempted to take our sacrifice back off the table.
Instead of praising, we worry.
Instead of delighting, we panic.
Instead of serving, we circle the wagons.

In essence, we take our jar of honey back home.

I know this battle firsthand. There was a situation where the safety of something I had offered to God felt threatened. I was sure God would take and destroy this “gift”. He would use it (yay!) but leave me broken without it (oh no!).

As I work through the struggle of leaving my gift in His hands, I am learning what a faithful God He truly is. The things He has taken, He is using for His glory. God doesn’t accept our sacrifice to deplete His children but to transform their treasures into something more valuable.

And here’s the truth- just as the chief is worthy of that beautiful gift because of who he is and his power, even more so is that true of God!

We give God our living sacrifice, not because it’s easy, but because He is worthy.
He can be trusted with our precious gifts.
He makes them more valuable in His hands than they ever were in ours.

And the most comforting thing of all is that He sees, cares, and understands.

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ ‭

Our sacrifice to God is safe in God’s hands.

Written by Lisa