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“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”
Luke 9:23-25 (NKJV)
Hello, dear friends.
I say “friends” because I truly believe if you continue to read post after post that you are, in many respects, my friends. Perhaps even sisters in Christ.
I entrust you with bits of my heart each time I publish, and those of you who share in the comments or emails bless me in return with yours.
It is a relationship.
Built on a trust.
Founded on a promise.
And I’m so thankful for it.
Not too long ago, I reached a point where I believed there was little reason to write if I chose not to be transparent.
Which means each time I hit the publish button, I willingly put myself in a vulnerable place — a place where you can reject me or my words and wound my heart.
And I choose to do that.
Because as much as I want to write just what you want to hear, I still have to be true to what I believe I’m called to do — and that is, faithsize my life.
“Faithsizing your life means obediently and faithfully aligning your position and purpose before the Lord.”
I cannot do that if I am unwilling to surrender.
Surrender my pride.
Surrender my desire to be liked.
Surrender my hope for success.
Surrender my fear.
November 26th I began a short Bible study on surrender using Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book, Surrender: The Heart God Controls.
I opened the study in my prayer journal with this entry:
“Lord, I know there are areas of my life I need to surrender fully. I ask You to open my eyes to them. Let me see them so that I can name/identify every last one. I do not want to live in disobedience or denial, nor do I want to be ignorant.
I love You.
I want to obey.
I want to enjoy the blessings of true peace.”
And that is where the battle for control began.
Why do I battle?
- Because I am human and cursed with a finite understanding.
- Because I fall into the foolish practice of thinking too highly of myself and my wisdom.
- Because I do not want to suffer rejection or appear foolish.
- Because it’s easier to overly generalize rather than offend.
- Because I have found comfort in things that were never meant to bring me (or anyone else) comfort.
- Because (Oh my goodness, do we ever grow up?) everyone else is doing it.
Predicated on fear, all of the above trappings will ultimately steal God’s blessings from my life. I become my worse enemy.
What might I miss by not aligning with His plan?
What might the world have missed if others chose not to step through the fear into surrender?
What of Mary, mother of Jesus?
Gabriel, who was sent by God to Mary, tells her:
“‘You are honored very much. You are a favored woman. The Lord is with you. You are chosen from among many women.’
When she saw the angel, she was troubled at his words. She thought about what had been said.
The angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid. You have found favor with God. See! You are to become a mother and have a Son. You are to give Him the name Jesus.
He will be great. He will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the place where His early father David sat.
He will be King over the family of Jacob forever and His nation will have no end.'”
Luke 1:28-33 (NLV)
And Gabriel comforted her with promises.
And then, there was Joseph, the man Mary was pledged to marry. An Angel of the Lord was sent to him as well:
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'”
Matthew 1:18-21 (NASB)
And he too was comforted with God’s promises.
Stepping through fear into surrender they married.
And Jesus was born.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:11 (KJV)
Prince of Peace.
Mary was somewhere between the age of 13 and 16.
I am 43.
Surely I can muster the maturity of a teenager and trust a Sovereign God with every.single.aspect.of.my.life.
My word for 2016?
To my blessed Savior.
I surrender all.
May your week be filled with thankfulness for the birth of Jesus Christ.
May you love and be loved.
May you give forgiveness where needed and may others forgive you.
May you rejoice in all truth and bear one another’s burdens.
May you trust in, hope for, and surrender all to the One who came to save.