To read anything, part one click HERE.
In her book, Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked my God and my Soul, Jennie Allen tells of the time she and her husband prayed anything. They offered themselves, their possessions, and their family up to God for His service. Their decision wasn’t made lightly, and did not come without fear and opposition from loving family and friends; however, when they offered God anything, He took them up on that offer. Sometime the very thing God wants does not make sense to us or our loved ones, but God wants our hearts, not just our minds.
When we’ve got our lives in our gripped hands and we consider handing them over, most of us get that feeling – fear mixed with adrenaline mixed with nausea. It feels as if we might die if we jump. But when I prayed anything, what I feared would bind me set me free. It stung like death and it still feels like death, but that feeling is the key turning in the lock. On the other side of the pain is freedom, peace, joy, hope, the loss of control, and it is how I was made to live.
Jennie tells how God used others to inspire her in this faith walk that trusts God with everything, anything. She began reading a blog written by a young woman who gave up her lattes and fancy clothes for a life sold out to God. This woman works with children in Africa and lives life to the very fullest, right on the edge where only God can catch her if she falls.
We press through the doubts and the fears and we trust because God is trustworthy, and he knows how life is best lived. The more we jump and see our God come alive around us, the more we jump without fear – and the bigger the cliffs get.
Methodically, Jennie and her husband began praying through their possessions and their lives, offering up each thing as a sacrifice to God. God didn’t want many of their things just yet, but He took them up on their spare bed, and they ultimately adopted a young African boy.
He also asked Jennie to use her gifts, the talents He’d given her.
One of the clearest things God said to me and to Zac that week was that I needed to start using my gifts. I needed to start writing and teaching. It was not clear what that meant, but I knew this wasn’t about me. I was to be the pawn here – not because I was special, only willing.
Jennie went on to write two DVD Bible study curriculum’s Stuck and Chase. I know I’d love to make these the next two Bible studies I participate in. In Jennie’s writing, the one thing that really impresses me is her openness. She doesn’t sugar-coat her words and make herself out to be a great martyr or warrior of Christ. She is a woman just like you and me, struggling with the same sins, fears, and insecurities. She just decided that living a sold-out life for God was worth anything.
I tremble as I write this, but if he allows one of my children or my husband to die, or if I get cancer, or if we lose all we own to bankruptcy, will I take this back? Will I wish I’d never said God could have me for anything.
That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Or worst fears in pen and ink. We all think it, she just had the courage to speak it.
A day is coming when our eyes will close and there will be no more chaos. No one will be preaching or writing books about God to help us remember, because we will be alive in that world with him forever.
Anything is nothing in light of that.
In light of forever. In light of him.
What about you? Is God asking for your anything?
I’d highly recommend getting this book and reading it. I wish I could share it all with each of you. My highlighter bled all over the pages of this book, because I kept thinking, “I have to share that, and this, and THIS!”
Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked my God and my Soul by Jennie Allen, Thomas Nelson publishers.