IMG_1346IMG_1347What if it isn’t dessert that God wants me to give up?

What if it’s my dreams? My deepest, dearest earthly desires? My self-authored life-path? Myself?

Because somehow, somehow, I’m getting that idea…

because He sends these messages that say,

You long for what will please you, but where do fights come from? Do they not arise from desires that war within? Don’t you know this desiring is friendship with the world, which is enmity with God? (James 4:1-3)

In  view of God’s mercies, present your body as  a living sacrifice. It’s only reasonable (Rom 12:1-2).

Take up your cross daily and follow me (Lk 9:22-24).

For you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3)…

and because He raises up these messengers, witnesses who exemplify such giving-up…

She put into the treasury all she had (Mar 12:41-44).

He said, “See, we’ve left all to follow you” (Mar 10:28).

(Another) he said, “I am crucified with Christ…” (Gal 2:20). “I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” (Phil 3:8). 

And there are others… (Heb 11:24-26,36-39)

To catch a monkey, I once read, hang a fat bottle from a jungle tree. Fill it with goodies monkeys love. Leave it hanging and just step back and out of sight and watch him catch himself.

He sees the goodies. He wants the goodies. He pushes in his hand to grab the goodies, works it down through the narrow neck. He grabs a nice big fistful, then tries to pull his hand back out. It won’t fit through the needle’s eye opening—but he won’t loosen his useless clutching. He just. can’t. let. go.


I wonder, though, if little Mr. Monkey spotted a better goody, high up in the tree, he might then be able… Might let go, be free.


The giving-up isn’t for sheer suffering, but to reach toward higher, better things.

Looking high today, to the tree [listen].

Looking toward Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, for…


(Reasons #684 – 703, from Hebrews 4 & Hebrews 5)

  • Because He is the Apostle and High Priest of our Confession.
  • Because He was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, as Moses was faithful in all His house.
  • Because He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, for He who built the house has more honor than the House
  • Because He was a Son over His own house, and not just a servant like Moses.
  • Because we are His house if we hold fast confidence in Him.
  • Because we have been granted to be partakers of Him if we hold fast that confidence
  • Because He is the living God from whom we must beware of departing.
  • Because His promise remains that we who have believed may enter His rest
  • Because whoever has entered His rest has ceased from his/her own works.
  • Because there is no creature hidden from His sight.
  • Because all things are nakedly revealed to His eyes.
  • Because it’s Him to Whom we must give account.
  • Because He’s not a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tested in all ways that we are.
  • Because He nevertheless remained without sin.
  • Because He has enabled us who believe to come confidently before His throne of grace.
  • Because in Him we can find grace and help in time of need
  • Because in the days of His fleshly life He offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears
  • Because when He offered up prayers and supplications to the Father, He was heard because of His godly fear.
  • Because although He was a Son, He still learned obedience by the things He suffered.
  • Because, having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all who  obey Him.


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12 thoughts on “What If It Isn’t Dessert?

  1. Yes, it was, Lisa, and such a beautiful love feast of Scripture you drew together! I hope others go from here and feast on them.
    That monkey info I think I learned from reading Brother Andrew’s biography, in which someone told him he was caught like the monkey. (Christ later set him free.)
    So glad we “met up” today!

  2. Wow. Powerful and thought provoking post. I wonder if I’m not like that dumb monkey, relying on instinct as opposed to the wisdom provided by God. It is a choice; the flesh or the Father…

  3. Hi Tereasa,
    You know, that’s something I think God has done in me since I was first a newborn in Him: made me fall in love with His word and then, as I read more and more of it, brought the different scriptures together in my head. The word does say that He is our Remembrancer. (And I really need one!) These things all just seemed to come together “by themselves.”
    Thanks for encouragement.
    Thinking of you (and praying) often.

  4. I think we’re all little like that dumb monkey, Floyd. I think of that analogy often in relation to myself.

  5. I often wondered how you got the Scriptures to go together like you do. You say they just “come,” what a marvelous gift! I constantly marvel at how unique each person is and how He brings us together to enjoy one another’s gifting as we get a larger picture of Who He is. Thanks for posting so we can see His great workings in you.


  6. Yes, Dawn, exactly! Of course it depends on getting intimately familiar with as much scripture as possible, but I have come to see it as the way He’s made me a jigsaw piece to fit into the whole body of Christ. We make a big mistake when we expect everyone else to have the unique bent that God has given us—and, just as much, to expect ourselves to have somebody else’s gift to the same degree. I think we’re probably all gifted in all areas more than we realize; nevertheless there is such a beautiful unity in the fitting together of all our “uniquenesses”! (I know that’s not a real word, but you get what I mean. You see it on your job, too, don’t you?)

  7. This is a thought-provoking, soul-searching post, Sylvie, and you are brave to write it. You pose questions, I daresay, most of us don’t want to answer, but likely, at some time will need to. I know I have. Sometimes, I have given God the wrong answer. I’ve tried to save that dessert. It reminds me of manna that was saved too long and became worm-ridden. That’s a gruesome description, but it’s straight from Exodus. If God says to relinquish dessert or our dearest, sweetest dreams, then it is what we must do. I’ve done it several times by giving up two potential dream jobs that I was offered, a management career, professional singing, and professional writing and speaking. I hardly want to imply martyrdom. I whined and grumbled and wrestled. It was ugly. I became depressed. I hardly surrended readily or graciously to God. But in the end, it’s the relinquishment that is tantamount to following Christ, by laying down what we thought was dessert at the foot of the Cross. It turns out that it was only rubbish (the “dung” word is used in one translation) and not dessert after all. And when rubbish is relinquished, we receive the real Dessert, Christ Himself. And in God’s economy, loss is gain.

  8. Ah Lynn,
    Sometimes I’ve given God the wrong answer, too, with the same result. And other times when I did relinquish garbage masquerading as treasures, it was only by His thoroughly oiling my hand with His holy Spirit and pulling with His supernatural strength that my hand came out of the monkey jar! I might add that you and I have certain relinquished baubles in common.

    As you say, though, the result has. been. gain. Without all this struggle of giving up would we get Paul’s meaning when he said all he lost was worth it “for the surpassing greatness of *knowing* Christ Jesus my Lord”? I don’t think so. Even Christ Himself struggled in Gethsemane—“for the joy set before Him.”

    There it is again, that “upside-down” Kingdom/economy, where “loss is gain.” Although it’s really *our* economy that’s upside-down, isn’t it?

    Heavenly blessings to you, sister in Christ!

  9. YOu are so right, Sylvia. It’s a topsy-turvey kingdome were loss is gain, and death is life. What a paradox!

  10. Great post, Sylvia! So hard to let go of the things we’re holding to, but that better treasure’s up there – so much better! Thank you for sharing!

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