The Exchange

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? – Matthew 16:26

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This Sunday I was blessed to be able to attend worship services with my congregation. I have had a rough 2015 so far, physically, so this spiritual favor was not taken lightly! I sang loudly and prayed with tears in my eyes.

The lesson was about the many wily ways of the enemy. One scripture captured my attention. See, the devil knows the power of pain. He wields fear like a samurai sword and he hates me with a passion I cannot understand.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 

What if the devil approached me in this wilderness, as he approached Jesus in His? What if he offered me riches to pay off all our debt and set our family up in financial security for the rest of our days.

I don’t think I’d even have to think twice about that one. I’d quickly tell him, And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19-20)

But the problem is that the devil knows me. He may not understand me, but he knows me. He knows where to push and how to pull to cause the most separation. I’m certain it wouldn’t take him long to get right to the point. Especially since he is the one who delights so much in my suffering and causes it whenever he can.

The devil would offer me healing. He would dangle physical relief in front of my starving eyes. He would remind me of what it’s like to feel strong and whole and able. If only I were to fall down before him, I could be restored. Some days I can almost feel his hot breath on the back of my neck, waiting with this temptation.

And as much as I love my God, I know that the basest part of me would reach for what he offers.

This is where I have to stand grounded. Sure. Strong.

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13

Because Jesus reminded me on Sunday… I’m worried about all the wrong things. Nothing is worth the loss of my soul. No exchange can be made that would be worth more than the one that was already made.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20

And so I am refocusing… yes, I know… again. Life is like that though, one crest to the next. I’m accepting my battered body and my dwindling mind. I’m embracing whatever the future may hold, knowing that I need only know who holds the future in order to find peace.

Dear Lord, Keep me from yielding to the aches and tempting escape routes this world offers. Thank you for making the only exchange that matters. Set my eyes, heart and mind on You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

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May God Bless You,


9 Comments on “The Exchange

    • Thank you for always encouraging me, Heather! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • May your week be blessed, too, Deb! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • So glad we were neighbors, Kristin! Thank you for blessing me with your encouragement. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  1. This post just yanked at my heart – oh, to be offered physical healing. But then to realize it comes at the cost of soul? You keep standing firm, Shelly. And if you need someone to hold you up, you let us know. Praying for you.

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