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This post is a part of a weekly book discussion hosted by Jason Stasyszen of Connecting to Impact and Sarah Salter of Living Between the Lines. I encourage you to check out the other posts which can be found on their sites. The Book we are discussing is The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. This week is chapter seven, “The Stick in Your Hand”.

Chapter seven talks about the excuses we often use to avoid serving God, and the things we hold on to that interfere with our faith. Using the story of Moses and the excuses he tried to sway God with, the author makes a great point about how God wants our obedience to His call and trust that He (God) will take care of the rest. In my own life, that is what it always comes down to, an issue of trust. What is it that I’m holding onto that hinders my conviction in what He has asked me to do?

What I need is a lesson(s) on how to be Unsticky

The disciples did a lot of wacky things and made a lot of mistakes but they did something that impresses me every time I read it in the Scriptures. When Jesus said to follow him, their response leaves me in the dust.

“Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:20

Talk about stop, drop and roll out into what the Master was calling them to! That’s the lesson of un-stickiness I need to study until it is no longer an issue. But, here’s the sticky part…there is a great risk in this…or is there? I know I feel there is risk involved and when I do I usually act accordingly, which is to hold tighter to the things I’m afraid of losing. During this extreme financial crunch my family finds itself in, fear sometimes gives me Spiderman qualities (sticky fingers) with money. Thankfully Father God used some modern day disciples (right in my house) to help me un-stick myself…

My son Dan (13) who gave the money he was saving up for a new NERF gun to a charity providing clean water in Third World nations…because he felt God’s tug on his heart.

My wife who paid for someone’s groceries at the supermarket because she felt that is what God wanted her to do and she saw the need in the person’s face.

With those “risks”, my wife and my son taught me a huge lesson about trust funds. It made me question just who was I banking on. Was my trust in my abilities or God’s willingness to provide what was needed? Will I drop the excuse of a poor household economy to give when He directs me too?

I’m learning that dropping whatever God ask of us is easier when you’re unsticky. Why? Because you realize there is no chance of rolling snake eyes with the Father, you can’t lose! Yes, there is risk in serving Him, but the rewards far outweigh that risk. The provision of the Father goes way beyond my bank account; it’s what He deposits in the life of my family that matters.

So, are you ready to gamble?

The early church had a group of people called the parabolani…the gamblers. The name came from the Greek word paraboleusethai, a gambling expression meaning to chance everything on the roll of the dice. Their primary call was to visit the prisoners and the sick, especially those who were ill with dangerous and infectious diseases. Their call put them at great risk but they were willing to trust God with the results. The world needs us to be like the parabolania, the gamblers, and the risk-takers…loving and serving with all we have. Willing to drop whatever is needed to follow the Master.

“Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.” Romans 6:13(NLT)

What about you, are you a member of the parabolani?
Do you need lessons in un-stickiness?

Would love to hear your thoughts! God Bless, Jay


Kim said…
I definitely need to get "unsticky". It's a reflexive action for me to get a death grip on things in my life.

I've often looked at the apostle's responses to Jesus with an almost sense of awe. I really don't know if I can ever just let go like that - but I sure hope I can one day.

Great post!
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Kim, we do need to release that death grip on things for sure! Bless ya!
MichaelDPerkins said…
What your family did is such an encouragement!

It has got me thinking and pushing forward.
Bill (cycleguy) said…
I enjoy being unsticky Jay. That is where I wish I was independently wealthy so I could help more but at the same time I find that God's shovel is bigger than mine. He has never let me down. :) I love the example of your son and wife. Thanks for a different look at this chapter.
Jay Cookingham said…
You know me Bill, I'm a bit different! Hears to being "unsticky"!
Dusty Rayburn said…
I read the title and I immediately thought of what I fork feels like after it slips into the syrup or honey by accident. I hate that feeling of stickiness, and it is the hardest thing to overcome without a thorough cleansing...

Lord, cleanse my heart that I may be used by you.
Jay Cookingham said…
Amen to that prayer Dusty! I hate sticky forks too...BTW
jasonS said…
Perfect way to say it, Jay. The idea of risk in this chapter was definitely overarching, but I so enjoyed how Richard Stearns' wife turned it back around and said, "how do we know that God isn't saving us from something?" We think if we keep going, holding tightly to what we want, it will all continue the same way, but we don't realize what we're sacrificing by abandoning God's will. Sobering and humbling.

Thank you, Jay.
Jay Cookingham said…
Jason, it was a challenging chapter for sure and I guess we can debate if we are really at risk in serving Him...He does hold our times in His hands after all!
Thanks bro'

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