I started out this year sort of...unsure...uncertain...and undone.
Every year I pray about a word that will sort of define the new year. A word that will strengthen, encourage and renew me as the days quietly slip by.
So I began praying for this word. Praying for 2014. Praying for a vision. Goals.
And, sure enough in the quiet of the morning I heard it...and I started praying for a new word!
I didn't like the word I felt in my spirit. So I put that word aside and thought, "How about another word Lord?" And I gave him some great suggestions: "Joy...Hope..Health?!?"
All great words.
But I kept feeling that word.
I closed my bible and walked away thinking I'll pray about it more and see what else comes to me.
Well, we closed the door to 2013 and greeted 2014.
We are about 90 days into 2014 and let me tell you, it has not been an easy start.
And the thing is, despite my denial, the year has begun with that word...
It was even hard for me to type!
To be honest...and if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a little afraid of that word.
Surrender - "to abandon oneself entirely."
To abandon myself entirely. To abandon my dreams, my pursuits, my fears, my desire for recognition, my callings, my successes, my ministries, my relationships, my friendships, my passions...everything that makes me...me. The good, the bad and the ugly.
To abandon who I am entirely and give all of it to Jesus. Surrender it all...hand it over...give it up...and trust Him to replace me with Him.
To pour out everything I am in full abandon and offer myself up as an empty vessel; a jar of clay that the Potter created, purposed and intended for His use.
To abandon all those things and be poured out so He can pour into me. To be filled with His dreams for my life, a desire to pursue things that are not of this world, but are righteous; to be filled with courage and faith over fear, a desire to please Him and be recognized as His good and faithful servant. To be filled by His callings for me, a desire for His glory over my own, a desire that His name will be hailed above mine, so that I will minister in the ways He ministered...in love, gentleness, encouragement and righteousness without any need to be thanked or admired or exalted. To be filled with His divine appointments, relationships, friendships that will be used to further the kingdom, to uplift, encourage and point others to Him. To become broken over what breaks His own heart and to have a passion for all He is passionate about.
I want to be all that...I want Him to use me...to fill me...to create in me a pure heart...a heart like his...
But...Here it is... I like having a plan...a formula...steps to get to the goal. I like dreams that are filled with high ideals and cultural norms...like life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
And most times...my fears beat out my faith. Its pathetic. I've been a believer all my life...and yet I fear some of the same stuff since...forever.
I fear failing. The what if's...what if it's too hard...what if I can't do it...what if I totally screw this up? And maybe...maybe its easier just not to even try or obey.
But I can't just walk away.
Jesus is all I got. Jesus is worth everything and all of it.
And so I have surrendered like never before. I gave up all of me.
I can't control anything of this life. There is no formula for easy living. There is no normal.
There is ONLY God.
His grace, His mercy, His love.
That's what I have been given to live by and with and for...
So what if I'm scared? So what if I fail?
Jesus is worth it.
My hands are empty and my face is on the ground and I give it all up, because everything I've tried on my own doesn't work and isn't worth anything.
And so He has begun to fill me...overflowing.
And it's only just begun.
"Your teachings are worth more to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver. You made me and formed me with your hands. Give me understanding so I can learn your commands."
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