“You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world,
Take this life and breath on this heart that is now Yours…”
The beginning words to the song “Have it All” immediately had me thinking. Do we really know what it means to say “You can have it all?”
I was laying down on my bed one day, reading my Bible in Matt 5:11, which says
“Blessed are you when men shall insult you, persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you, for my sake.”
and I began wondering what every inquiring mind wonders — What does that mean? I started contemplating on the question “Would I be able to go through that? Would I be able to face persecution, insults, and evil plots against me for the sake of Christ?”
That night, I watched a video made by Voice Of The Martyrs, about our persecuted brothers and sisters in other countries and I realized, this is what Jesus was talking about! These people are going through the exact things Jesus said they would. . . But how? How do they do it? Can I do that?
I knew, as much as I hated it, that the answer was no. I couldn’t, and probably many of us feel that way. But what is it? What is it that we don’t have that our brothers and sisters in other countries have? Well, I think it’s more what we have, not what we don’t have, or rather, it’s what we haven’t given up.
I realized that being able to do that requires giving up everything we have and saying, “You can have it all, Lord.”
What are we holding on to? What’s holding us back?
For me, I concluded that I was holding on to things of the flesh, like looks, achievements, my intellect and social standings — It’s not all bad to care about those things, but when you make these things your primary focus, then it becomes a problem and you are going to have to let it go.
One book that sums it up is “This Changes Everything,” by Jaquelle Crowe. In that book she explains that when Jesus comes into your life, your existence should be completely changed, because this journey is one that changes absolutely everything. This requires a lot of self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness, but by the strength of God, we can do it.
This is the secret, how these brave Christians such as Bounchan from Laos who risked being killed by bringing a Bible and Christian literature into the prison when the guards trusted him enough to let him out, and like Pastor Richard Wurmbrand who spent 14 years in a prison in Communist Romania and 3 years in solitary confinement, are able to handle the trials that are put in front of them with courage and grace. It’s because they have said, “You can have it all. Not my will, but Your will be done.” They understand that Jesus is all we need — and like the apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans:
“Who shall separate us from the love Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or peril or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)
When I think about it, I meditate on the actual words, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? What do we really have to lose? Well, most of us are privileged to live in the United States where we can have almost every comfort imaginable. But what about when God takes everything? What will we do? Do we have the assurance that even if it seems God has forsaken us we can still say “I am Yours?”
There is one question that still remains, are we willing to lay down our dreams, our insecurities, our fears, our goals, our depression at the foot of the cross and say with a glad heart, “Lord, You can have it all?” If you do, you will find who you really are, what your identity is in. You will not regret it. There may be pain at first, and you may be rejected by your peers, but there is no looking back in God’s kingdom.
I went through this a while ago. And those verses from Romans are my life verses.
This was a great article, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this article, Lizbeth! You shared such compelling truth.
Such important truths! Christ calls some to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of the gospel, and yet we so often aren’t willing to sacrifice a small amount of time, money, or whatever resources we may have to give. And the heart of the matter is something we all must decide, martyr or not: “Is He worth it all?”
This is very, very, true. Thanks for writing it Lizbeth!
Excellent, excellent, and needed!! Thank you for sharing this!!