God gave us the tools to survive through life’s challenges. Strong faith will allow you to experience peace in the midst of the struggle.~ Lisa Blair
There are times in our lives when we surrender ourselves as a form of selfish need, and times when we surrender because we want a covenant relationship with the Lord. Where are you on the spectrum? It may be time to decide. You are on the precipice of surrender.~ Lisa Blair
Many of us tend to use this phrase nonchalantly. This is not a thoughtless statement or a decision to take lightly. When we express this thought, we are entering a covenant, a pack, with God. From this point forward, there is no looking back. This is the point of surrender.
I have heard this scripture spoken in many contexts during my lifetime. I imagine you have, as well. You may have glibly spoken it during a conversation. As a student of the Word, I now pose the question, how many times have I broken covenant with God? How many times have I uttered this statement and then chosen my own path, made my own decision, or followed others, overriding God’s purpose and plan for my life?
This gives rise to three questions we all struggle with:
1) What does ‘your will be done’ mean?
2) What does surrender mean?
3) Are you
ready to commit to the covenant with God?
WHAT DOES YOUR WILL BE DONE MEAN?
When Jesus was preparing to take his place up the cross, after he could no longer take the pain, and wanted to be released from his duty, he cried out,
“My father! If it is possible, let this Cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26: 39 NLT)
This is the turning point in Christ’s prayer. “Here, Jesus demonstrated the turning point in prayer for all of us. Prayer is not about bending God’s will to get what we want. The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will and then align our desires with his. Jesus willingly placed his desires in full submission to the father’s will.” (Not my will but yours be done. Learn Religions.com)
When we make the statement, we are in effect, praying. We are committing ourselves to God’s Will for our lives. His plan for our lives was established long ago, long before we were born, perhaps before He created this universe. If we allow God to lead us, He will show us the path to take. Your will be done means you will abide by His will and not your own. 99% of the time, your purpose will be different than His. You are not first in His Will, but you surrender regardless and are bound by the covenant you created when you cried out the phrase.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11 NJKV)
In effect, when you call on God, pray to Him and listen to Him, you are abiding in His Will for your life. Your (totally) surrender yourself, holding nothing back, to His Will and His Way.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER?
Surrendering means yielding ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider to be ours, to relinquish our life, all of it. We surrender what God has given us and how we wanted to use it to become His steward of this life. When we surrender to God, we are acknowledging His ultimate control of everything, including our circumstances, past, present, and future.
Billy Graham wrote: If you want a change in your life, if you want forgiveness and peace and joy that you’ve never known before, God demands total surrender, in so doing, our Lord becomes the ruler of your life.
When we surrender and give up all we are, we no longer seek personal gain, we are delivered from sin, and become useful to God to conduct His work on earth.
When we reach this point in our lives, making moral choices, we must choose to follow our own sinful nature (our carnal life) or seek God and surrender ourselves to Him.
ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO THE COVENANT WITH GOD?
Once someone speaks this statement, utters this prayer, recites this scripture, conversion has been set in place, you are on the precipice of changing your life to become God’s tool, His steward, and His servant.
Take heed, think this through before you find yourself amid the war for your soul. It is a choice, do you follow your carnal desires, or surrender them to our Lord and Savior, the head of our lives?
Are you ready to enter into covenant with God and all that it entails? Are you ready to allow God to take you wherever He needs you? Are you prepared to commit?
Internet Resources – Thy Will Be Done. lifehopeandtruth.com; A Message From Billy Graham. billygraham.org; Surrender To God. http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org; Total Surrender| My Utmost For His Highest. utmost.org; What Does It Mean To Surrender To God? http://www.gotquestions.org
We are anxious and fret needlessly. God is with us. Who or what can stand against us?~Lisa Blair
What a great way to begin the week, recognizing God is over all things. He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The truth is, we are anxious and fret needlessly. When we surrender and reside in His Will, His Word, and His Way, the craziness of the world cannot crash down on us. We are protected by His promise to keep us safe.
Our life on earth is a dispersion cast by Satan’s deception. God gave us life to live fully and with power. We have the power to rest in His peace as the world spins off kilter around us. We can experience the calm He provides if we walk in His peace.
Let us walk in victory this week, standing fast in the face of all challenges. We are victorious!
His peace is greater than our understanding.~ Lisa Blair
Only God can give us peace that is greater than our understanding. Rest in His peace of mind and heart. His love is like a warm blanket, once wrapped in it, the world falls away.
Lord God, only you are my strength.
Lord God, only you are my refuge.
Lord God, only you are my helper.
God is my strength. I rely on Him 24/7. There is no time we are not in communication. I call on Him in praise for the beauty around me, for keeping me and guiding me. I ask for His strength during challenging moments, and in His love in the good times and bad.
He is my refuge. He keeps me safe and sheltered from danger, pursuit, and harm. I call on him in times of need only to find He is standing there waiting; upon contact (with Him) I feel the peace that He provides. A peace that is difficult to explain in everyday terms. The Bible describes this as the peace that is greater than our understanding.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6, NIV
It is during this peace that the chaos unravels. His strength overrides the fear the chaos wrought upon my very being. Resting in His peace, I recite, ‘I fear not because the Lord is my strength and through Him all things are possible. Through Christ fear dissolves. Through Him, crooked ways are made straight. Through Him, I gain clarity and sight. Through Him I become aware that He is establishing the way out of no way. Through Him, I recognize who I am in Christ. I am His child through adoption.’
The Lord is my strength, my refuge, and my helper, without Him, no thing is a good.
Without Him, I am weak. Without Him, I am engulfed in chaos. Without Him, I am lost seeking asylum at the wrong port of entry. Without Him, there is no peace.
“Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And, this peace will control the way you think and feel.” ~ Philippians 4:7, CEV
We were called before the universe was spoken into being. We were created by God and called to be His people. Our calling is a Holy Calling.~ Lisa Blair
“who had saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” II Timothy 1:9 NKJV
That is right, we have been called with a Holy calling, one that was made before the beginning of time. God envisioned this world and all in it before He created time before He created the universe. As children, many of us wrote stories about cosmos and its inhabitants, envisioning them to manifest our reality. We were enthralled by our own imaginations, but think, God created all that exists from His thoughts and being God, brought it in into being. Every minute detail manifested to become atoms, that became trees, land, water, nature, us. And, in doing so, He called us, giving us life and a desire to know Him better through His grace. To redeem us from the sin that destroyed Eden and His relationship with Adam and Eve who sinned against Him and stripped us, leaving us in a state of sin. We were called through His purpose to share that God sent His Son, Christ Jesus to save us from our sin nature and spread the Good News of our salvation. It is His gift of grace, not of our own doing.
GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE THROUGH THE DEATH OF HIS SON, CHRIST JESUS
Godly sorrow precedes Repentance.~ LISA BLAIR
For many years I felt the Lord was a punishing God. Words such as sorrow suggested that we were a hurt people. The truth is we are a hurt people, we are a sinful people who must come to a place where our sins are no longer acceptable as our guiding truth. Satan uses sin to capture and control us, to lead us to a hellish death. When we become remorseful and recognize the sorrow we have weighed down upon ourselves, and the God who loves and protects us, we enter into a state of Godly sorrow.
Godly Sorrow is only Mentioned Once in the Bible
Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. Paul uses this term to explain to the Corinthians that they once lived a sinful life that would lead to worldly death, hell, upon departing this earth but had successfully turned away in earnestness to overcome their sin and repent.
Godly Sorrow is an Acute Sense of Sadness
Godly sorrow is an acute sense of sadness we experience when we sin. We feel sadness because we know we have committed sins. We know we have saddened the Lord, just as the Corinthians knew after Paul taught them that God is the Way and the Light. Palm chastised the Corinthians for their dissentions against the church. He intended to cause them to think and having accomplished this task caused them to repent. Paul knew they were remorseful and regretful for their actions of falling back into disbelief, but he also knew that neither would lead to salvation without true repentance and restitution. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.
Godly Sorrow is a Kind of Wretchedness
“Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. Godly sorrow results from a heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin.” Our spirit grieves, and when Godly sorrow has its way, we resolve to stop repeating the sins, turn away from our carnal nature and pick up the cross and do good. We cleanse ourselves through prayer.
Results of Godly Sorrow
Doing good, is the result of Godly sorrow. It is through Godly sorrow that we can release the guilt and shame for our sin nature and actions, and repent asking for forgiveness and vowing to never return to them. Repentance is not an emotion, it is our decision to change. We have to make the decision to turn around and change our lives to truly repent. We repent and believe through faith. Faith comes after repenting and surrendering our life to the Lord. It is through God’s grace that we are forgiven and given new life to move forward. It is through God’s grace that we receive salvation.
God Sorrow, Repentance, and Salvation are Ours
Not all of 1 Corinthians 7 is intended for us. Some of it is intended for the Corinthians. However, repentance and salvation are for everyone who calls out to God to save them from their sins and believes that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to join God in heaven. God restored the discipline of the church of Corinth and sin, and He restores us. We sin through our (own) actions and complicitous approval of those sinning in our scope of influence. The church was complicit by not addressing incestuous behavior. We are complicit when we do not speak out against sin and do not address the offender.
Sorrow Cannot Merely Be Guilt through Discovery
“We must be very careful that our sorrow for sin is not merely sorrow that has been found out, but sorrow which, seeing the evil of the sinful thing is determined never to do it again and has dedicated the rest of its life to atone, by God’s grace, for what was done.” (Barclay)
Godly Sorrow, Apology and the Holy Spirit, Intercession on Our Behalf
When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes and helps us apologize to God and repent. This is accomplished through confessing our sins, not by denying them or defending them because neither is true confession.
Godly Sorrow is the Lining of Our Repentance
While Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in scripture, it is the lining of our repentance. Repentance separates godly sorrow from worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces true repentance. Worldly sorrow is not really sorrow, it is the only resentment that has been found out (William Barclay). If we do not feel Godly sorrow for our sinful actions, we are not able to truly repent and turn away from them with God’s help. Without godly sorrow, we would repeat the offense, given a chance to do it again. Godly sorrow not only hates the act, but it also hates the nature of the act itself. Without godly sorrow, we are bound by our sin nature and remain in the camp of the evil one.
God Separates Us From Our Sin Through Our Decision to Change
Like the Church at Corinth, we are growing (maturing) when we repent and turn away from sin. God can separate us from our sins and place them as far away as the east is from the west, but He is only able to do so when we are cleansed and convicted to the point of wholehearted confession and repentance. It is through God’s grace that we are saved.
Images – YouVersion/Bible.com; Google Images-Knowing Jesus.com
References – What is Godly sorrow? Gotquestions.org; Studylight.org: 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, Commentaries – Charles Barclay, Albert Barnes, Coffman, John Gill; Nelson’s Quick Reference by Warren Wiersbe; Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine; KJV Word Study; Youtube:2Corinthians_BrettVarner; 2 Corinthians_JasonJack