Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Other Side of Surrender

"All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give." ~ Justin W. Van DeVenter

It feels like a dirty word. Some hear it and think they heard "quit." They assume that, by default, they must wear the "Loser" T-shirt. 

That's how the world sees surrender. 

For the growing Christian, surrender is an invitation, not an insult. It calls in a still, small, yet authoritative voice, "Take up your cross daily. Deny yourself. Follow me." 

Although the love in His voice pulls you closer, it doesn't quite bring you over the line in this tug-of-war. Fear, which seems stronger and calls louder, yanks at you from the other side of the rope.  It's voice is not tender. It's clingy and suffocating, and it tells you all you will lose if you surrender to God. The arguments are persuasive and full of accusations similar to what Eve heard. 

For all of God's power and strength, He will not pull you over the line. 

That would not be surrender. 

Surrender is when you drop the rope altogether and step over the line by choice. 

Oh, but when you do! 

Like Dorothy saw in Munchkin Land, surrender changes the color of everything! The future looks brighter though you still can't see it. Knowing God sees it is enough. 

Frightening things have to tangle with God before they get to you. Shamelessly, you get to pass the buck to Him. That's one of the perks under the Surrender Contract. 

Fear, with all of it's lies and what-if's, turns out to be nothing but a big bully melted by douses of faith in God.  

My favorite part of surrender has been the peace. It's not all riding on me anymore. His yoke truly is easy! 

What about you?

Will you allow Him to take your belief while helping your unbelief? Isn't it worth the fight to enter the secret place of the Most High and the Shadow of the Almighty? 

I know surrender is hard. I struggle with it too. By God's grace, I'm determined to live on the other side...the other side of surrender.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lord, Make Me Beautiful!

A Timeless Prayer for Every. Christian. Woman
 by Georgia Pointer

Lord, this body of mine will not always be young. Grays and wrinkles will eventually win out over creams and dyes. The firms will flab and my heart muscles will eventually find the cardio workout a price too high to pay for the building upkeep. So, Lord, give me a timeless beauty…one that shines through the lines and wrinkles. Give me strength through the hard times that result in a muscular faith. Help me to have a prayer life that creates the kinds of curves that remind one of a smile from heaven. May the hidden person of the heart be so radiant, that it doesn't matter what  the lampshade of age looks like. Clothe me with an attractiveness whose designer tag points back to  You.  My feet, Lord, make them the kind of   beautiful recognized by the poor who receive the Good News they bring. Lord, Make me beautiful! Amen.