Blank Check or Invisible Ink?

Most of us are familiar with the concept of giving the Lord a “blank check” with our lives. The blank check metaphor communicates our desire for everything in our lives and our future to be at the Lord’s choosing and disposal… our pursuits, direction, decisions, etc. Usually this is not a one-time event, but a prayer that is repeated throughout our lives as we fight to seek His kingdom above our selfish pursuits. And this fight, of course, is a good thing. The Lord calls us to deny ourselves and submit ourselves to His rule, His plans, and His desires. And Scripture makes plain that He is a sovereign God who has ordained the good works that we should walk in, and controls all the sweet and bitter providences of our lives.

In the past, I have truly thought that I had offered the Lord a blank check. But lately, I am beginning to see that the metaphorical blank check I handed over is laden with invisible ink. Though I’ve never tried it, I have seen on TV how a “secret message” can be written in lemon juice, and by exposing the paper to heat, the words that had previously been invisible on the “empty” sheet of paper begin to appear seemingly out of nowhere. In a similar way, the “heat” of trials in life have revealed some stipulations I had written on the check without consciously realizing it.

Apparently, the Lord could do whatever He wanted in my life (and here comes the invisible part)… but only (fill in the blank) or as long as (fill in the blank). For example, the Lord could inflict me with sickness and disability, but only to a certain degree and for a certain length of time. Or, the Lord could keep me single, as long as eventually I got married. Or perhaps, the Lord could call me into any kind of ministry and career anywhere, as long as I found it interesting, fulfilling, or important. I thought I had given a blank check, when in fact, I began to see all over the check the invisible ink of a comprehensive contract which I was expecting God to keep. And only the heat of life revealed it.

What’s written in the invisible ink of your own heart and life? In what ways do you need to surrender the story of your life again to the Lord? As you consider, be sure of this: though each of us has written a “bad check” so to speak, there is One whose perfect check has been fully accepted. He wrote a true blank check to His Father, submitting to His will at every point because of His love for the Father. And in return, the Father was pleased to accept His offering and apply it to the bank accounts of those who trust in Him. Jesus has done what we could not do, and through His Spirit, empowers us to become more like Him. One day at a time, we can purge the invisible ink, offering ourselves in greater measure to Him, trusting that the investment of faith and obedience is worth every penny in heaven’s economy.


  1. This is wonderfully well summarized. Thank you! I may quote you in a message coming soon on Nahum 1. Also, I think the community at The Rabbit Room would enjoy this and suggest you submit it to Andrew Peterson.

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