Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is that My Promise to Claim?

Yesterday I wrote regarding our surrendering and loving Jesus.  I believe that love and surrender go hand in hand. 
John 15:12-14
12.   This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. 
13.   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14.   Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Jesus clearly states that to love him as our friend we must be willing to do whatsoever he asks of us, up to the of laying down our very lives.  He laid down his life for us, and he is not requiring anymore of us than that which he did on our behalf.  When we truly love God as he requires of us, we will indeed completely surrender. 

Which brings me to my next scripture, Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  We hear the first part of that scripture quoted time and time again when people are going through difficult times but they fail to read on to the phrase that the first phrase is based upon.  All things, good and bad, work for good.  Whether it is a sickness or a financial set-back or blessing, if we are given glory or abased, it will INDEED work together for good… but only to them that LOVE God.  The promise of it working for good isn’t given to every person but only to those that love and follow hard after God.  We learned in John that when we truly love as we are commanded, we give up our very lives so my question is, can we claim the scripture of all things working together for good if we are not completely surrendered to God’s will?  If we are still seeking our own desires, pleasures and conveniences, do we have any part of that promise?  If we love our own way more than we love what God desires for us, will the ups and downs of life really work for OUR good?  Taking the scripture at its word, I would have to say that things will NOT work for our good if we are seeking our way more than God’s.  If we do not seek the kingdom of God first, we have no part of the promise of things working for good.  Things will indeed work for the good but ONLY to those who truly and completely love God and are willing to lay down their lives for him.  So can you claim the promise of Romans 8:28?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Yesterday I wrote about how I was going to surrender the battles that I have been fighting to God and let him take care of them as they should be.  As those words were being typed out, I thought about how big and important surrendering really is.  I also thought about how difficult (and perhaps rare) true surrender can be.  My definition of surrendering to God is essentially, you choosing His will over your own.  As I think of all the people that were written about in the Bible that were surrendered to God, I feel certain that surrender is more than just dressing a certain way, speaking a certain way and or leading a sinless life.  A completely surrendered life involves so much more.  Abraham had to leave his family and all that he knew because he was surrendered to God’s will.  Noah built an ark and was ridiculed for many years because He chose God’s will over his own.  Daniel had to face a den of lions because he chose God over the king.  Mary chose suffer shame and birth our Savior.  The disciples chose to be tortured and killed rather than deny Jesus.  There are two significant instances that symbolize true to surrender most clearly to me.  The first is when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his promised son.  As I think about Abraham, I believe that Abraham wept many tears but because he was completely surrendered to the will of God, and loved God truly, he could not refuse Him.  He probably wondered why God would ask such a difficult thing but those questions did not deter him from complete obedience.  That is true surrender.  The other person that amazes me at their willingness to surrender is Hosea.  God told Hosea to take a prostitute for a wife.  Because of Hosea’s love and surrender to God he takes Gomer to wife.  But that isn’t enough, God also commands Hosea to love her.   How difficult that must have been but Hosea loved God so therefore he loved and surrendered to that which God called him to.  Time after time Hosea had to go to the auction block to redeem his wife that he loved, from a life of prostitution.  Yet through all of the heartache, all the pain he was totally in love with and surrendered to God. 

Time after time God has called his people to surrender everything to Him.  Sometimes we tell him that we are surrendered but He quickly finds out that it is merely lip service because as soon as he asks us a difficult thing, we turn aside to our own way.  When we develop a true love for God, we will indeed surrender completely to his will for our lives.  Once we have learned to completely love and trust our Savior, we will indeed follow where he leads… regardless.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Two Cents? Not this Time.

Exodus 14:14  “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

What a wonderful but difficult statement.  I am so glad that God is going to fight my battles.  For the King of all kings to stand up for my defense thrills me beyond all words.  To know that this is a battle that I do not have to fight because God is fighting it brings me great comfort.  The difficult part is: “and ye shall hold your peace.”  According to the Hebrew, peace in this particular instance means “to be silent.”  Perhaps being silent isn’t hard for any of you but for me, when I know how things should be, I just feel the need to put in my two cents.  But it has occurred to me that I have been fighting this particular battle, without success, for a very long time and I am now officially so weary of this battle.  So therefore I am determined that I am going to surrender this battle completely to God and let him deal with it as it should be dealt with.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Feelings... nothing but feelings

Good Morning and welcome to a new week.  Last evening a friend texted me inquiring about my well-being.  I tried to walk the line of telling the truth yet speaking in faith.  As I thought of how I would respond, a bit of the fog of despair lifted and I saw clearly how this precious walk that I have started on is not based on whether I am “OK” or horrible, it doesn’t matter whether I am weeping or laughing.  This walk isn’t based on how I feel at any given moment but instead  is based on the Word of God, which never changes.  God’s word is solid, secure, reliable and consistent, it does not change with a person’s mood or any particular situation. So though I have my mountaintop experiences, moments of heart-break, times of trials or euphoria; my walk never changes.  You see, I made a decision that I would walk the path that God chose for me; regardless of what that path included.  If that path was lined with shade trees and flowers or if it went through a barren land, I would walk it.  As I walk that path, my feelings might get a bit involved and I may cry out that the path is too hard, too painful and leaves me too broken but really, it will not keep me from following where my Lord calls.  This path I follow isn’t about whether it is easy or hard.  It isn’t about what people say or don’t say.  This path isn’t about being sensible or logical but rather about following my Savior.  There is only one feeling that matters in this walk and that is the love that I share with my God.  The love that took him to a cross.  The love that caused him to reach for me when I was so unfaithful to Him.  The love that overlooked what I deserved but instead showered me with mercy and grace.  Our love and devotion one for another is the only feeling that really matters.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My List or God's?

I have had a lot of discussions lately about lists.  Lists of our desires: dream house features, companion characteristics, next new car requirements, etc.  Perhaps it is a list of a dream wedding (as my daughter is getting married, we have this kind of list in abundance), a dream marriage (2.3 kids, live in West Virginia, in a four bedroom ranch), a dream career, a dream life, etc.  Some lists are short term list of a kitchen remodel and some are long term lists of a five year plan, ten year plan and so on.  I would guess that we all make these kinds of lists, whether just mentally or on paper.  I have lists too.  I have “To Do” lists, packing lists, dream vacation lists, etc.  Several months back I believed that God was going to provide me with a “new to me” car, therefore I made a mental list of the desired car’s characteristics.  I was very conservative with my list and had only 3 or 4 requirements but I did have an additional list of desires relating to the more frivolous features.  When I started looking around for a car, I looked at cars that matched my list.  I searched within a 3 hour radius of my house for the car that would fulfill my desires.  But doors kept closing, either the cars were already sold, they would not negotiate on the price, or they ended up not being as advertised.  I must say, I was quite disappointed.  It was a Friday evening as I sat on my sofa in deep depression that there appeared to be roadblocks everywhere I turned.  I KNEW that God was bringing me a car so why couldn’t I find it.  As I sat on that sofa feeling a whole lot sorry for myself and desiring for someone to share in my misery, I called my brother.  During the course of our very short conversation, his words made me realize that the list I had made of my car and the list that God had were two different lists.  It was possible that God desired a car for me that I would NEVER have chosen for myself.  Once I was able to pull my eyes off of my lists and the closed doors, it was then that God brought me the car that was perfect for me.   When I went to test drive the car, to be completely honest, I didn’t love the car.  I did feel that it was the right car for me but it was definitely not a car that I would have EVER chosen for myself.  Because I did feel it was the car God brought me, I bought it even though I really didn’t love it.  Right after purchasing the car, I took off on a very long trip with this car.  Over the course of the 2 ½ weeks, I realized that the car that GOD chose for me was far superior to anything that I would have chosen for myself and was very thankful for all of the closed doors and the missed opportunities.  Now each day as I sit at my kitchen table and look out at the car that God brought me, I realize that I really love that car.  I love the looks.  I love the comfort.  I love power.  I simply love my car.  All the while knowing that the car matched God’s list of requirements and not mine. 

So when I think of the other lists that I have made, either on paper or mentally, I realize that if I will just submit those lists to God, He will far exceed anything that I could come up with.  Perhaps it is because I am a single person of a certain age but I do have a list of characteristics that I would like to have in the man that I will marry.  I believe my list to be noble and does not lean toward vanity.  But then I think about my car and I realize that I would rather God chose my husband, whether he matches my list or not, because God’s choice will far exceed anything I could think to put on my list.

I believe the same thing regarding a job.  I could make a list of requirements for a job: pay, benefits, etc. or I can just surrender my will to God’s and let Him choose the one that is right for me for right now.  Perhaps the pay will be less than what I am used to but I know that there will be a purpose and I will love it because God deemed it to be the right one for me for this moment.

Don’t mistake me and believe that a person cannot make their own choice in a vehicle, house, spouse, job, etc. and have the blessings of God.  My point is merely that God’s list is far superior to mine and takes into account every eventuality.  I truly would rather have God’s list and not my own.  So it does not matter what your list is regarding, if you will truly and completely surrender that list to the Creator of the world, and trust Him, what you will receive will far exceed all expectations.