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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sweet Surrender

"If you have really handed yourself over to Him it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you."---- C.S. Lewis, *Christian Behavior* (Macmillan, 1943), p.66

How many times have you "surrendered" something (an issue, a worry, a sin, etc) to Christ? How many times have you held your hands high in worship singing, "I surrender all"? How many times, while praying, have you said, "Lord I'm putting this in Your hands"? How many times have you said to yourself, "Just let go and let God"? Hundreds? More times then you can count? Me too! Worse many times has the preacher on television or at church said "the sinner's prayer" and you prayed along with them...just to "be sure" or "just in case". Me too...

When we say with our lips that we are surrendering something to the Lord - including ourselves! - we, as His children, knowing that He is ultimately in control of our lives, need to really surrender it. What I mean is this - true surrender doesn't mean "saying" that you surrender and then worrying endlessly about that same issue or wondering if God will take care of the issue. Do you remember the infomercial on television for the product whose catch phrase is, "Set it and forget it!"? Well, when we surrender something to the Lord, we need to "Surrender and forget it!" I know it's not that simple - I hear the protests already. "But you don't know what the issue is! It's so severe! It's life threatening! It's ______ (fill in your situation here)". No...I do understand. Being a cancer survivor, I completely understand. Being the fiance of a man with cerebral palsy and crones disease and a home bound diabetic future mother in law, I understand. Being the best friend of a woman whose son had a kidney transplant, I understand. We all understand.

We all understand what it means to want to hold on to an issue. We all know how scary it is to put an issue that you desperately want to control into the hands of a God that we have not yet met face to face. Yet someone said something to me the other day that I personally had never thought about before. Why did Christ die on the cross? We all know that answer - to take the punishment for our sin to set us free so we could, by believing in Him, have eternal life (John 3:16). But there is an element we might overlook now and then - Christ also died on the cross and then defeated death as a reminder that because He endured the pain, He could take care of ours - and defeat it. Every time we try to take hold of a situation that we "tried to surrender" to Christ but then think about constantly, try to fix or resolve ourselves, we re-crucify Christ. We put Him back on that cross and we re-drive those nails into his feet and hands. We do it. Through our lack of obedience with regard to surrendering, and not heeding His word about the pointlessness of worry, we are disobeying our Lord and Savior - and thus, we cannot be given the greatest blessings He has in store for us until we obey.

When we try to control a situation that we have previously surrendered, we are not only disobeying the Lord, but we are saying "You're not really good enough to handle this" or "I don't really trust You to handle this, so Ill just work on this myself." Wow. Can you imagine seeing Christ's face right in front of you and saying to Him, "I don't trust You" or "You're not good enough" or "My situation is just too big (or too small) for You". Would you dare? Me either.

So what are we to do!? We wave the white flag...but for real this time! It doesn't matter what the situation is, seek HIM and He will take care of it by sending the Holy Spirit to guide you through it, helping you to see His will and His way in every situation. His word says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight." and "Come to me, all who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." But not only do we need to surrender all to Him (heart, mind, body, spirit and family) but we also need to go to Him, humbly, in repentance, asking for forgiveness about trying to control everything - ask Him for His help in getting you to fully release everything to Him. It's not easy but it's necessary. Complete obedience to Christ our King - our Lord and Master - our 100% essential. Impossible you say? seems that His Word says "With God...ALL things are possible"! So no excuses! Wave your white flag today! AND MEAN IT!

"You may as well quit reading and hearing the Word of God, and give it to the devil,if you do not desire to live according to it."-------- Martin Luther

Let's Pray:

Heavenly Father, I ask for Your forgiveness. I come to You humbly to admit that I have been a control freak - so much so that my actions and my words have made it appear to You that You are not enough to take care of my situation. I know that is not the case Lord because Your Word teaches me that nothing is impossible for you, no situation too big, no situation too small. Take this load off my back - help me release the grasp I have on this situation regarding ______________. I pray that Your Will be done. Send the Holy Spirit to sit by my side as I deal with this situation. Lord, I'm afraid to surrender everything to You. But Lord, I put my complete faith in You for all things and I thank You for promising me that, as Your child, if I simply ask for You to slip Your hand in me through this situation, helping me to know that the victory is already won - by YOU! In Your name we pray, Amen!



Blogger Lily L. Ratliff said...

What an awesome post! And so relevant to the times that we are living in. So many people fear the worst, and think that in order to feel like their monies don't get consumed by the economy, or their wayward child doesn't get caught up with the wrong crowd, or substances of life, that they must take care of it! But we should always know that our God shall supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory! Amen! I thank you for being the voice of God for many this day!

May 14, 2009 at 7:34 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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