Have you ever wanted to just give up on a spiritual goal? There have been times I have wanted to give up the pursuit of holiness and in fact, I have cried out to God that I must have been crazy to seek such a thing! I have wailed how this was all a mistake, and never mind what I said!
What I knew before was that the Bible chronicles the trials of Paul (2 Cor. 11:23-28), and that in spite of his incredible trials he persevered and stayed the course. He suffered the loss of all things (Phil 3:8) yet finished well; and all it cost him was his life.
Please be clear, I am no super saint, I am not perfect (far from it!) and I have plenty of areas of my heart that need changing like anyone does. I cannot explain this desire I have to know Him, to be intimately in tune with Him so that I may serve Him faithfully and glorify Him with my life.
What I have learned thus far is that the things that once meant everything to me had to become nothing.
Paul said: “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil 3:7-8).
I once had a big beautiful home that meant very much to me. When God began to change my heart I could not wait to sell it! It became a hindrance to me, to my service to the King. It took up hours of my life in maintaining that I wanted to spend doing things that are Kingdom oriented. Over the past decade I lost the desire for material things as compared to my former self. For this, I give glory to God! It is truly His hand in this change.
The things that have been easy to surrender are the bright side of this equation. Other things have been and continue to be incredibly, miserably difficult. I could literally write a novella on them all, but I will spare you that. The point is that when God begins this process and brings these desires to you there is a cost. The old hymn I Surrender All contains this verse: