Thursday, May 8, 2008

I surrender

Staying the course for Leslie's challenge, but man the devil today had another plan! I've been interrupted by several phone calls and a trip to the elementary school to pick up a sick child. The first day I woke up early and wouldn't you know it, Mallory and Hailey were up five minutes later! I'm still doing my quiet time and staying diligent in seeking Him and that is all that matters. Eventually the devil will give up and move on.

"You know you're surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You also know you're surrendered when you don't react to criticism and rush to defend yourself. Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You don't edge others out, you don't demand your rights, and you aren't self-serving when you're surrendered." Taken from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren - That is my prayer! I'm already seeing good fruit in a few of these areas, not all the way, but small slow changes. Thank you Jesus for the renewing of the mind!

For a lot of people, the most difficult area to surrender is financially. I want the situation with my home to go away, to be fixed, to be restored. But, my prayer is not "Lord fix it." My prayer is "Lord I know you can fix it and I hope you do but I want your will for my life. I want these circumstances to operate in a way that your purpose for my life or another's life will be fulfilled." Jesus himself is our ultimate example of this when he prayed the night before his crucifixion: Mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he cried out, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."

Surrendering is tough work, it is intense warfare against our self-centered nature; not my strong suit! But, if we surrender and stop quarreling and working our own plan, our surrender is followed by peace, freedom, and God's power in our lives. Are you getting this? I know I am! You'll remember in a previous post of mine that I mention my self-centeredness (Kari-ism, I know self-centeredness isn't a word). If I'm self-centered it is because my flesh is stronger than my spirit and I can't be used by God because God can't trust me. That must mean that if surrendered people are not self-centered that God uses people who are surrendered! He doesn't chose people based on their beauty, talents, or swift words. He chooses those who are surrendered.

Surrendering is not a weakness or a loss, it is the ultimate sacrifice and form of worship. We surrender in a moment, maybe at rock bottom, but we must continually surrender our lives daily. Each time we stand at a cross road between what our flesh wants and what God wants us to do, we must surrender. We have to start with the small before we become successful with the big. We must surrender at the check out line instead of attacking the slow cashier. We must surrender when we want to buy that dress but the money is intended for our tithe. We must surrender when the alarm clock goes off and we should be putting God first and we want to instead stay in bed. We must surrender in the moment, moment to moment, all day long.

We have to have daily time with Christ in order to have strength to pull this off. We must have a relationship with him. The better we know him, the more we become like him, the more we want to surrender and serve him. There are times when it isn't easy and you will give into your flesh instead of surrendering. There is grace and forgiveness for that.

"If you don't surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos." E. Stanley Jones - oh how I understand the meaning of that!

So we're on our way to surrendering, telling Jesus what we need, expecting, not toiling, and receiving. While we are waiting and not toiling there will be times of attack. The devil will tell you lies. We need to combat those times with scripture. There is power in our words and scripture is life, it's God's word. We must be saying scripture aloud every day. We need to be saying what God thinks of us. We need to change the record on the player. No more listening to satan's lies. When he comes against you say "devil you are a liar!" and quote a scripture that demonstrates what God says about your situation. We need to quit listening to satan's lies, the opinions of those around us, and even our own image of ourselves. Instead, say scripture aloud to build our inner man. Scripture speaks life into our circumstances and releases God's power in our lives. Scripture renews our mind and frees His hand for His power to fall on our lives. So take off the old 8 track and pop in a new CD! What are you listening to today?

1 drops of sunshine:

Leslie said...

awesome post, the Lord used your desire to spend time with him, to stir up an interesting topic. So regardless of if you got that time today or not... your heart was willing and he knew it.

Awesome topic. I awoke with a migraine this morning, and I was doing so good... argggh. Total the devils work no doubt. :)