For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
New Year’s Eve. If you are at all like me you will spend some portion of the day doing a fiscal review, making sure things are in the best possible order – particularly as relates to the look the tax man will soon take. If it has been a good year, which mine has been – Praise the Lord, you may find yourself writing a few charitable checks. After all, better it go to a worthy cause than down any of the wasteful rat holes the government might put it in. Just make sure and not pat yourself on the back for it.
Let’s face it, tax avoidance giving is hardly Widow’s Mite giving. Tax avoidance giving is giving from our plenty, not sacrificially. Not to mention the fact that giving money, while important and necessary, is not God’s deepest desire from us. We give our money because it is a step in the right direction towards God’s ultimate desire- the “broken and contrite heart” of Psalm 51.
God’s deepest desire from us is a heart broken to the point that we depend on Him utterly; so completely that no giving is ever difficult. If we are truly dependent on God’s grace then giving even our last dime does not feel like sacrifice for we know God will provide. I am not, by the way, offering financial advice here.
Please write those charitable checks today. When you do so, thank God for the bounty He has provided that you can do such. But when the fiscal review is over, and before the reveries of the evening begin, find a place of quiet solitude. There examine your life and the bounty God has provided. Ask yourself if that bounty stands between you and complete, total dependence on God. If you are honest you will find that it does on some level. I know it does for me.
Then ask God for the grace to remove such an impediment. This is a dangerous prayer. God could answer it by increasing your gratitude, but He could just as easily answer it by removing the bounty. But if you truly take the risk, what God has in store for you will be all you could ever need and so much more.
By all means, resolve to lose weight, resolve to get in better shape, resolve to work a little bit harder this next year than last – but also resolve to depend on God, completely. Then ask God for the grace to do so.