I believe the Lord looks for that “one thing” we grasp so tightly and depend on. It could be anything: our strength, our abilities, our education, a meaningful relationship, our years of Christian experience, our connections, the good reputation we have established, our position, our extraordinary discernment and other spiritual gifts, our plans for marriage or the things of this world like the rich young ruler.
In the New Testament book of Revelation, we encounter a group of people in the church of Laodicea who were convinced that they were rich and lacked nothing. Yet the Lord told them that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Why did the Lord think they lacked everything? It is because they had become self-reliant, which prevented them from experiencing the genuine life of Christ.
As long as we hold on to that one thing in which we trust, we will never be able to surrender fully to Christ. Consequently, there will always be a distance between the Lord and us. Such lack of closeness results in frustration and discouragement on our part. In addition, that one thing will be a constant hindrance for the rivers of living water to flow freely out from us and give life to others.
How do we recognize the “one thing” still lacking in us? We will know it by the discouragement, tension, bitterness, frustration and irritation that fill our hearts, when that “one thing” is tampered with. God will open our eyes, and we will recognize it if we truly desire to. We will then have the grace to surrender it to the Lord, not by looking at what we are letting go, but by looking at all that we have in Christ— the pearl of great price.
You see, if “our riches,” that which we value most, are the Lord and what we have in Him, then no raging storm can cause any disturbance. Amy Carmichael once wrote, “A cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”
I believe the Lord wants us to live in a continual state of seeing Him as everything and being content in Him alone. Those whose life is full of joy and the unhindered presence of the Lord are the ones who experience a continuous feast on Him. Nothing else will matter to them, and abandonment to Christ alone is their obvious choice.
Will you believe that He is truly the pearl of great price? Step out. You’ll find Him to be so much more than you imagine.