Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. (Prov. 3: 5-6)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Rom 8:28, 32, 37)

For me, these verses encapsulate some of the best advice and greatest encouragement found in Scripture. Taken together, there is an emphasis on the “all” – the all-encompassing love, grace, provision and sacrifice of God, and the personal response that will make it all available to us.

In the current issue of Every Day With Jesus, Selwyn Hughes recounts the story of a community that had decided to sacrifice a pig, the most precious thing they had, to their gods. When it dawned on them they would be giving up something they greatly enjoyed, they came up with another plan. They would cut off the pig’s head and tail, put the tail in the pig’s mouth, and make that their offering. Then they could keep the rest of the pig for themselves. Dr. Hughes points out that many of us do something similar: we offer some things to Jesus, but keep what it most important to us for ourselves.

Ouch.

Trusting the Lord with all my heart means not holding anything back. Giving God my whole trust means not requiring Him to explain or justify anything. It means believing absolutely that His love and eternal purposes will ensure what is best, whether or not I can understand what is happening – or why. Acknowledging Him in all my ways means seeking His will in everything, and then obeying it; not offering just the head and tail, but the whole pig.

Loving God is the foundation of a reciprocal relationship. He first loved me, and in a way that is unquestionable: He gave His own Son for me. He gave what is most precious to Him for my sake; He held nothing back. His purpose was that I would come to know Him, love Him, and be transformed by that love, becoming more and more like Jesus. His ultimate purpose was that I might be delivered from the condemnation of sin and have eternal life. His will is that I would choose to live in the abundance that only comes from and through Him, and that my life and witness would speak to others. His desire is for me to accept from Him everything I need to conquer sin, fear of man and the slavery to self – to be fortified by His Spirit and soaked in His Word so that Satan’s fiery darts are reduced to a fizzle.

Love conquers all. God’s love, fully received and fully believed, will fully achieve all I need.

Lord, please help me to see that giving my all to You will result in me gaining far more than I could ever ask or imagine.