Life.  Some see it as a randomly assigned smattering of days with no purpose.  Others believe in divine appointments they rarely keep.  For most, ordinary.  But it doesn't have to be.   What if we dared to go the narrow way? Join me in taking THE FAITH DARE.

Caution: Participating in this challenge might force you to give up some of the things (people?) dearest to you. This challenge could change your life.  Join at your own risk.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

FAITHdare #8: I've Got Stuff, You've Got Stuff

FAITHdare #8:
Go, sell everything you own, and give it to the poor.

When you read those words, what went through your head? Were you shocked? Maybe somewhat appalled that I would have the audacity to tell you to do something so crazy? Did your mind immediately start to tally up the things you would be WILLING to give away?

Did you automatically assume it was a joke, or a test, or some ploy on my part?

What if it isn't a ploy? What if Jesus looked you in the eye and said those very words to you today? Would you walk away sad, knowing you could never do what He asked? Or would you leave everything in obedience to a God who demands your total allegiance in every area of life?

In a culture gorging on materialism, we, as followers of Christ, choose to believe that all of our stuff is one blessing upon another from God. Don't get me wrong..."all good things come from above" (James 1:17). But I can't help but wonder if all of our stuff is just another barrier, another block stacked on the wall that threatens to separate us from the God who longs to know us intimately. What would happen if all you or I had was the Word of God? Don't you think our need for Christ would be purified? Don't you think our hungry bellies and empty hands would be a constant reminder of our emptiness without Christ? Don't you think our need for Him would be clearer, and our dependence on Him would be greater?

I am the first to admit that I sometimes turn to stuff to satisfy deep longings and hurts that only Jesus can truly satisfy. What if that option was taken away? What if we abandoned the mindset of this culture in which heartache is reason enough to empty our pocketbooks?

Are we really living all that differently from the lost around us? We spend money and they spend money. We buy houses and they buy houses. We wear beautiful clothes and they wear beautiful clothes. We decorate and they decorate. We drive nice cars and they drive nice cars. We bury our sorrows in stuff and they bury their sorrows in stuff. Only difference is...we tack Jesus on the end. We SAY we need Him more than any possession. Do you think they really believe us? Do we really believe ourselves? Can we honestly say we are living for another world while we buy and hoard stuff here? Can we claim the name of Jesus and choose to remain ignorant to the desperate poverty of billions of people around the world?

The Word of God is STREWN with passages on the dangers of wealth. And none of us can really get out of this one (unless you live on less than $2/day), because we are all wealthy compared to the standards of the world. In my opinion, we all need to take a step back and SERIOUSLY examine where we have allowed material wealth and possessions to crowd our view of eternity, to crowd out our witness to others, to crowd out our deep need for relationship with Christ.

Is any of your STUFF an idol? Here's a good barometer to measure by: Do you have anything that you would be hesitant to give up?

As I have done the past three weeks, I am going to list a couple of scripture passages for you to consider this week as you seek the heart of God on this matter. However, there is NO WAY I can even begin to cover every place in God's Word where material possessions are discussed, so I would also like to suggest that you take it upon yourself to do some intentional study this week on your own in relation to this topic. And maybe you need to examine your budget, or your accumulation of stuff. Please heed the call of the Spirit on this one. Later on down the FAITHdare road, we will be looking at our possessions from many different angles, but I pray that the Spirit begins to stir in hearts right now, revealing ways in which we have allowed things to take precedent over obedience to Him.

FAITHdare #8:
Is your relationship to your stuff idolatrous in any way? Seek the heart of God, and heed the voice of the Spirit.

Suggested scripture passages (go beyond this list!)
Luke 18:18-30
Mark 10:17-31
Psalm 49
Luke 21:1-4
2 Cor. 8-9
Luke 12:13-21
Luke 16:19-31
1 Timothy 6:3-10
Matthew 25:14-46


  1. I just wanted to let you know that I am really appreciating your posts and the way you are walking us through these faith dares. I haven't left many comments and haven't always been faithful in responding to the dares exactly as you have set them out... but I am still with you and just wanted to let you know that.

    My challenge comes from the fact that I am married with three children and so my wife and I need to be in unity to deal with some of these issues (eg. it is not just my stuff to sell - my wife has a 50% stake in it.)

    So anyway, thankyou. I appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this blog and just want to send my encouragement from "Down Under"

    Andrew Kowald (Perth Australia)

  2. I just read through Psalm 49. I can't remember ever reading this psalm before - so thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

  3. Andrew, thanks for the encouragement! I pray that God is challenging you, as He is me, through FAITHdare! Isn't it incredible how, after reading God's Word over and over again, we can still glean so much so many "new" things? When I read that Psalm a couple months ago, I thought the exact same thing you did: "Have I ever read this before?" I am so thankful the Spirit allows us to see God's words in a new light every day.