Never Own Anything
- Roy Lessin
As a young believer in Jesus Christ I was greatly impacted by a sermon given by A.W. Tozer. It was called the Five Spiritual Vows. It is one of the best messages I have ever heard. One of the vows was “Never Own Anything.”
To illustrate his point, Dr. Tozer told the story of a farmer who planted his seed and prayed, “God, please bless my crops.” However, at the time of harvest the farmer’s crops failed. The following year the farmer planted his seed and once again prayed, “God, please bless my crops.” Once again the crops failed.
The next year the farmer did as he had done the previous two years and prayed the same prayer, “God, please bless my crops.” This time, however, the farmer did something different. After praying, he quieted his heart enough to hear God speak these words to him, “Whose crops?”
“God, please bless my crops.” the farmer repeated.
“Whose crops?” God asked the farmer once again.
The farmer paused for a moment and then cried out, “I get it, Lord, I get it! God, bless your crops.”
That fall the farmer brought in an abundant harvest.
A few years ago I learned the principle of this vow in a different way. I had gotten involved in a hobby that I enjoyed. My interest in my hobby grew and took up more of my time. It soon became apparent that my hobby was beginning to consume me. One day, while driving in my car, I sensed the Lord say to me that I needed to keep the things I possessed from possessing me. In that moment, I knew I needed to release into God’s hands, my hobby and the ownership of it.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Everything we have comes from God. We own nothing and should not try to take possession of anything or anyone. It is important for us to hold with an open hand, everything that God has placed into our lives, without seeking to possess it with a closed fist. God will freely give us all things to enjoy, but we cannot enjoy what He gives us if we do not release the ownership of it to Him.
Here are some wise words from Watchman Nee about ownership, “Can we trust God to keep for us what He has given, never laying hold on it ourselves in our natural desire for possession? What God gives, he gives! We need not struggle to retain it. Indeed if we grasp it fearfully and hold on, we may risk losing it. Only what we have let go in committal to Him becomes in fact really ours.”
©2017, 2009 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Used with permission.