Our spiritual leaders constantly tell us not to give up. The movies we watch say don't give up. Our music tells us don't give up. Our sports stars tell us not to give up and even our politicians tell us not to give up.
One of the most difficult things for us to learn to do is to give up. We have had it drummed over and over into our thoughts and minds: "Never give up!" But I am telling you that in order to be successful in our faith, we must learn to give up.
In order to understand what I am speaking about, let's look at the Bible. In Exodus 25:2 (TLV), we read: "Tell Bnei-Yisrael to take up an offering for Me. From anyone whose heart compels him you are to take My offering."
Please don't stop reading because, contrary to most who teach from this verse, I am not speaking about money today. This article is not about paying tithes or giving offerings to support a ministry. But the results of this article may change how you look at giving.
As we read these words, let's look at the background of this verse. We find the children of Israel in the wilderness. They have spent 400 years in bondage in Egypt. But, as they were leaving Egypt, G-D told them to ask their neighbors for gold, silver and other valuable items. Their neighbors willingly gave them these riches.
Now, Israel is traveling through the desert and for the first time in 400 years, they are free from Egyptian bondage and they are rich. Now that they are free from Egyptian bondage and have wealth, G-D asks them to give an offering. Not everyone. Only those whose hearts compel them. In some Bible versions, these words are translated, "those with a willing heart."
What is taking place here in this verse is that G-D is giving Israel the opportunity to truly be free from bondage. They had physically been set free from Egypt, but G-D knew that proximity freedom wasn't the same as being free. Many people get free from prison, but never free from what prison did to them. Others get free from abusive relationships, but never free from the spiritual and emotional bondage caused by it. Some are freed from poverty, but never become set free from the poverty mindset.
G-D is offering all of Israel real freedom. He is asking them to give their gold, silver and other riches not because He needs them, but because Israel needs to understand how to be free. They were free not because they were outside the boundaries of Egypt. They were free because they were with G-D.
They needed to learn that money, gold, silver and precious gems didn't provide freedom from bondage. Only G-D can provide that freedom. So, G-D asked for an offering. The Hebrew word used in this verse for offering is Terumah, which means "to offer by lifting up" or "to give up."
This is the type of giving up that I am encouraging everyone to learn. If you are a believer in Yeshua, you have been set free, as we read in John 8:36: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!"
So, please look around your life and see if you are still hanging on to the things that you brought with you out of Egypt. Maybe you are carrying memories from when you were in bondage to drugs or alcohol. Maybe you are carrying anger from failed relationships. Maybe you struggle with greed because of past poverty. Maybe you are still dragging the frustration of lust and pornography. Maybe you are hauling the hurts that were caused by your parents or your children.
No matter what you are hauling, the truth is that everything you brought with you when you were delivered from your Egypt you need to be willing to give up—to G-D. This doesn't mean G-D doesn't want you to have things. G-D absolutely wants you to be blessed in every way.
What G-D doesn't want is for things to have you. Please take an inventory of your world. If there is anything you have that has you, stop right now and give it up to G-D and be fully set free.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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