…and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us….For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:5, 9 ESV)
According to Paul, the Macedonians were not driven by the expectations of others. They were inspired by God to be devoted to him alone, which then progressed into serving others. In this instance, they cared for Paul and his ministry team. In my opinion, it is rare to see someone replace their desires with only the will of God. Jesus modeled this life and we know the price he paid to love and save us from eternal condemnation.
So I ask the question, Am I willing to do the same thing? This would require me to surrender everything, to hold loosely the things of this world and grasp tightly on to the kingdom of God. It sounds scary and a very irrational, but it is a good test of my heart, to see if I am truly devoting myself to Jesus and his righteousness.
Daily I ask him to fill me with his Holy Spirit and to help me understand his words written in the Bible. Is this what he meant by living in freedom, to be fluid and guided by his Spirit? It is freedom in the sense that I have a choice to live this way. So yes, maybe that is how life is meant to be. That is not to say that I should abandon my ambitions, duties, and responsibilities, but instead surrender them to God and let him decide how I should handle them. It is a curious experiment to see how he will care for me when I obey his command to not be anxious about anything and depend on him. I suppose that when I realize I have everything in him, then that is what makes it possible to for me to pour out my life to love and serve others.