Tuesday, January 20, 2015

True Surrender

Since my life seemed to explode, God has been teaching me about true surrender. True surrender involves many things and none of them are easy...or are they? Since we are humans no it isn't but when we truly let go and give the reigns to God it can be. God has been showing me that true surrender means: 

1- submitting to God's authority by acknowledging His right to reign and rule in my life each day and deliberately submitting to His lordship and the Holy Spirit living inside of me. 

2- Having submitted to His authority and right to reign and rule, living confidently in the knowledge that every event in my life is known by Him and He is not surprised by anything. He knows His plans for me and they are far better than I could ever dream or imagine. 

3-Since His plans for me are far superior to mine, I need to trust Him with every detail of my life. To do this I need to be spending time everyday in His word and in prayer. God made us in His image and He is molding us each day to reflect Him.

4-As I grow closer and closer to God, the desires of my heart change and become the desires of His heart. We were made to glorify God. If we are truly surrendering daily, His desires become our desires and His will our will. 

I just finished reading Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Wow! What amazing faith and amazing passion these men of God (and their wives) had for the will of God. They wanted to please God and follow Him no matter what. People thought they were crazy. Their desire to serve God and follow His will was their first priority. There are so many more things I could say about this book, but I cannot do it justice. You will not be disappointed if you read it. There were some quotes in Epilogue 2 by Elisabeth Elliot that stood out to me that speak of true surrender to God and submission to His authority. 

But we know that it was no accident. God performs all things according to the counsel of His own will. 

Their story (referring to the Auca Indians who murdered the five men), at the time of the death of the men, later when I lived with the Indians themselves, and during all the years since as I have recounted it and reflected on it in the light of my own subsequent experience, has pointed to one thing: God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to. 

God is the God of human history and He is at work continuously, mysteriously, accomplishing His eternal purposes in us, through us, for us and in spite of us. 

Cause and effect are in God's hands. Is it not the part of faith simply to let them rest there? God is God. I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand that He act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice. It is the same spirit that taunted, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." There is unbelief, there is even rebellion, in the attitude that says, "God has no right to do this to five men unless..." 

For us widows the question as to why the men who had trusted God to be both shield and defender should be allowed to be speared to death was not one that could be smoothly or finally answered in 1956, nor yet silenced in 1996. God did not answer Job's questions either. Job was living in a mystery-the mystery of the sovereign purpose of God-and the questions that rose out of the depths of that mystery were answered only by a deeper mystery, that of God Himself. The Lord answered Job out of the tempest: 

Who is this whose ignorant words cloud my design in darkness? Brace yourself and stand up like a man; I will ask the questions and you shall answer. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tell me, if you know and understand. Who settled its dimensions?
 (Job 38:1-4 NEB)

Job stood the test. He recognized who God is. He "melted." But he then became the intercessor for his friends, and God restored to him more than he had ever had to begin with. 

It takes faith to hold on to that in the face of the great burden of experience, which seems to prove otherwise. What God means by happiness and goodness is a far higher thing than we can conceive. 

A healthier faith seeks a reference point outside all human experience, the Polestar which marks the course of all human events, not forgetting that impenetrable mystery of the interplay of God's will and mans. 

It is God and nothing less than God, for the work is God's and the call is God's and everything is summoned by Him and to His purposes, the whole scene, the whole mess, the whole package-our bravery and our cowardice, our love and our selfishness, our strengths and our weaknesses. The God who could take a murderer like Moses and an adulterer like David and a traitor like Peter and make them strong servants of His is a God who can also redeem savage Indians, using as the instruments of His peace a conglomeration of sinners who sometimes look like heroes and sometimes like villains, for "we are no better than pots of earthenware to contain this treasure (the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ) and this proves that such transcendent power does not come from us, but is God's alone." (2 Corinthians 4:7 NEB)

The One who laid the earth's foundations and settled its dimensions knows where the lines are drawn. He gives all the light we need for trust and for obedience. 

Amen, right? 
All italicized portions taken from Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois. Copyright 1996. 

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