WEIGHT DOWN AND THE DESERT OF TESTING: THE MATTHEW 19:29 PRINCIPLE
We cannot run to false gods to get us out of our pain, and we cannot save ourselves by building golden calves in the form of diet pills, suction surgery, diet programs, hospital liquid diets, and fat farms. We need to give our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength to obeying God rather than food. We need to develop this relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. That is the only way we can come to trust that He truly is the One who can rescue us from our troubles. Then, the next thing we know, we are falling in love with Him. We can forget our old love called food. When we give our heart to Him, the true God, He does not rob us of anything. In fact, He takes our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength and multiplies them a hundred times and gives them back to us. Just as the false god robs you, the true God gives back great dividends. You give Him the rest of your sandwich; He gives you back the next smaller dress or pants size, along with many other jewels. He is a multibillionaire!
You cannot out-give the one true God. Let me offer you just a few personal examples. As I learned to be directed by Him in little ways, I eventually decided that it was God who is waking me in the night. It took a long time before I made the connection. Then, to be sure, I asked God to make it clear to me. I asked, "If it is You, O Lord, wanting me to get up to read Your Word or to talk to You (pray), then could You wake me with two things at once? For example, Lord, could You wake me having to go to the bathroom and blow my nose, or could you combine the moon shining in my eyes and Puss 'n' Boots, our cat, rattling a bowl in the kitchen?"
You see, getting out of bed in the middle of the night is painful to me. So just as you want to be sure that He really wants you to give the second half of your lunch, I wanted to be sure that He wanted my middle-of-the-night sleep. That is like asking for the heart of the watermelon or the icing on the cake. Believe me, I would only get up in the middle of the night for the one true God—not just any god! So, God would send two things to wake me. For example, one night I got really cold, and at the same time, a portable phone low-battery indicator started beeping. Another night, just after I finished typing a speech I would be taping in the studio the next day, I reasoned with Him to let me sleep, saying that the sleep would help me with the studio talk. Five minutes later, the Christmas tree fell over. It did not take two things that night. I told Him that I did not think that was very funny! (But actually, it was very funny and I knew it!) That night, I rewrote the entire speech for the taping, and it turned out much better than before!
Most nights He would take me to some thrilling new scripture in the Bible or just get me up to see the full moon that He made. Oh, the fun I have had (and still have) with the Father at unknown hours in the morning or during the day. I always did, and still do, keep my heating pad and Bible in my "spot" that I always use for my wintery night rendezvous with God. But since I began to give Him some of my precious sleep time, He has always put me back into a deep sleep and awakened me just in time the next morning. I am never tired because the God of sleep gives it back in a concentrated form. (I guess that is how He does it... I really don't know how He accomplishes this—all I know is that it happens.)
Other examples are that I tried giving Him my money, and He gave me back more. Then I gave up my house to help our finances, and He gave me a larger one. He is a God of endless resources. He can give or do anything He pleases. You cannot out-give the Father. I know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. But it just so happens that it pleases Him to give to those who have a heart for Him. And I am eternally, gratefully in love with Jesus for making the path to the Father clear and available.
I could never have made it this far without Him. He guides me and counsels me. He leads me away from trouble and into pleasant situations. Greed is idolatry; we feel that we need to satisfy our needs ourselves, so we make ourselves the god. How exhausting! We need to believe in God. We need to taste and see that He is good.
"Test me in this/' says the Lord Almighty "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10b)