Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Have I mentioned my current favorite devotional?

My small group of women are each on a journey.  We have very different lives and seemingly different issues.  As we meet weekly to share and study a book we picked up; we've been (I've been) dissatisfied with the depth of the study we chose.  After 3 weeks, I found myself convicted of my complaining.  If I wanted more depth, my Bible is right there in front of me.  I can always ask God to reveal more to me.  Or... perhaps God wants me to focus on just what is before me.  Am I seeking to feed my pride through some great revelation or understanding I've not had before?  Because pride is a constant companion in my life.  

So I slowed down and looked at what I could glean from the study.  In Acts, comparing Peter and Paul's lives.  My first thought is yada yada yada, been here, done that.  I went through the homework actually being sarcastic at some of the questions asked in the book.  "Really?  That is what you're asking me?"  So I went back over my answers and saw something ... surrender.  They surrendered their lives to the will of God.  LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE IT MADE IN THE WORLD!  Not just in their own lives, but the world.  Jesus built His church on their lives, their witness, their teaching.  How amazing the idea of surrender is.  

Am I brave enough to truly surrender?

So I shared with our little group.
The next day I read my With God Daily devotional.  It was on love and culture.  God's people were slaves and exiles attempting to live Godly lives stuck in pagan lands.  Then we look at Jesus' incarnation.  The difference is He chose his engagement.  He chose to come down to us and engage, to be a servant, to live with us.  Even in the face of rejection, hatred and murder.

That made me think.
I need to surrender without expecting the other people in my life to behave properly.  My surrendering isn't the ticket to getting what I want or having my problems solved.  Surrender is the role Christ had and it's the role I have.

It's hard.  I'm a fighter.  I think sometimes the greatest battles are won by not fighting back.  God is bigger than these issues.  If we need to rest and recuperate I believe God makes space for that in our lives.  Yet we are called to love, regardless of where we are.  

Where is God calling me to surrender?  Where might God be calling you to surrender?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

cough...sputter... surrender

My new favorite devotional is With God by Skye Jethani.

It's short, he links to scripture, even includes a prayer at the end (though with my current life I don't always have time to get down that far).

More importantly, it's deep.  He builds day to day on the same topic and I find that is really powerful in my life.  Do you ever notice how God speaks to you in multiple ways when He's trying to get your attention?
You hear a sermon at church. You hear the same message in a clip on the radio.  A similar issue comes up in the life of a friend (and now 'magically' you have scripture to pray over them because you've heard it a few times already).  A song comes on the radio and it speaks to that same message from God.  Hey girl, God is speaking to you!  Do you hear His voice?  I hear Him all the time.  I have a friend who like really hears Him.  She's so close to God He practically directs her day.  It's beautiful.  

My message of late is (cough, sputter) surrender.
Can I share that I hate that word?  It makes me afraid and fear is not something I suffer from.  I'm not a worrier, I don't ring my hands over issues generally.  I'm far too pragmatic for such behavior.  Yet, if you enter the word surrender into my life, suddenly I worry, "Oh no, what is God going to ask me for?"  "Do I have to give up everything and go work on a missionary field without access to a good manicurist and my daily cup of oh so carefully made coffee?"*  or worse, will He take me somewhere away from daily access to a computer?  Egaads what would I do? 

The answer to that is... I would, nay -- I will -- do what God calls me to do.
My fear of surrender involves several things.
1.  Giving up my belief that I'm in control.
2.  Giving up my belief that there is control to be had.
3.  Realizing God has the BEST plan for me.
4.  Realizing all my plans are for not without His blessing and guidance.

When I fear being homeless due to some catastrophic event... I hear the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, I'll be with you should that happen.  Then I think, of the people we are most inspired by, who among them hasn't endured some kind of tragedy?  Who hasn't walked through a fire holding fiercely to Jesus as their endurance?

And I think... OK, surrender.
God's will for my life.
How courageous am I?

*Some could say I don't even drink coffee.  I drink Folgers instant in very specific measure with creamer and sugar.  I don't even let others make it for me.  But still, I love my coffee.