Do you find yourself wandering around in circles, trusting yourself to solve your problems, even though you don’t want to admit it? Do you want to be able to let go of everything and to experience God’s nearness and growth even in the very things you desire to flee? But are you uncertain or even afraid of what God will require of you?
It is easy to sing and claim that Jesus is my everything. But an “everything” Christian is someone who has learned the secret of giving Him every part of her life. She gives all of herself and all of her time for Him, mind and heart deeply engaged with His so that she will joyfully follow Him toward every single adventure He has planned for her, as Mary DeMuth describes in her book Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus.
Mary DeMuth was formerly part of a church plant in Southern France and now lives with her family in Dallas serving as an author and speaker proclaiming freedom in Christ. She shares her feelings of apparent missionary failure and financial disaster, showing that God doesn’t necessarily desire for us to be successful, wealthy, famous, or comfortable. He wants us to follow Him, and that means abandoning ourselves to follow Jesus and suffering for His sake.
She provides many nuggets of truth that resonated with me:
· We shy away from risk, from anything seeping of tragedy or difficulty. And yet that’s where our treasure lies (p. 177).
· Suffering enlarges us so earth’s clothes no longer fit, so we long to be clothed with Him (p. 178).
· When we live for what we cannot see, we grow. When we spend our lives for what we can see, we shrink (p. 180).
· God does not always call us to live out loud; sometimes He calls us to the quiet and the secret (p. 181).
· The secret of growing right now is holding Jesus’ hand as we walk the path He stretches before us. How we choose to live in each moment is actually the manner we live our lives (p. 196).
· The fundamental place we grow is in the moment-by-moment decisions we make for or against Jesus in our lives (p. 197).
· Profound growth happens in the context of community. Community can be the most painful thing we endure on earth, but God also uses His flawed followers to heal us (p. 153).
If you want to find the freedom of giving everything to God every single day, Mary DeMuth shows you what this looks like. Gradual transformation into the likeness of Jesus is not a procedure or a program. She provides biblical truth on how our heads, hearts, and hands are intertwined in the internal transformation and illustrates how this results in living out Jesus as our everything.
Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.