Surrender...it's a word that is used a lot in our Christian life. I think before this week I didn't really understand the word or actually understand how to practice it.
In the past, I kepting thinking that surrender was giving up some desires -- and still getting to enjoy some dreams and desires for a "someday." But while reading the book "Crazy Love," Francis describes a lukewarm Christian. He gives several examples of what one can look like...it's really hard to read over those descriptions and just do nothing. I mean, there are sometimes that we read the Bible in a way that it really doesn't impact our lives. There are times we can read books that don't really push us to a change. But apparently when reading those descriptions of a lukewarm Christian...I was at a point in my walk with Christ that I needed to REALLY examine my relationship with Him.
I saw areas where one could consider that I was lukewarm in my relationship with Him. Do I go to church? yes. Do I sing worship songs to God? yes. Do I clean the church as a service to Him? yes. On the outside it does look that way...but what is in my heart? That's the key to our relationship with Jesus.
We can "do" things for God and for the church...but what is our attitude when doing those things? Are we flippant about it? Do we really have a heart of worship when singing those songs...and doing those deeds? Do we really love Jesus enough to give up our desires...ALL of them just to have Him in our life.
A question that was posed in that chapter of the book was...if you were in Heaven and had all the people in your life that is with you now, had all the stuff you wanted, had any type of food that you desired, but if Jesus were not there...would you be okay with that? Living in Heaven without Jesus, but having all this "stuff"? It sounds like a crazy question, but in reality that's how sometimes I live my life here on earth...that these "things" are what makes me happy or able to live here.
Our relationship with Jesus needs to be our blood running through our bodies...needs to be the air we breathe to continue to live. Jesus is all we need. We don't need cars, televisions, books, magazines, etc to fill those desires...we just need Jesus.
After taking that look into my own life...I began to realize areas that I waste money. Think about it...do you really need to read a magazine about some movie star that you like to watch??? Do you really need to buy that new release DVD that is on sale for just one week??? Do I really need to see this movie ... even if all my friends are going to it??? Do you really need to go to the video store and rent a DVD just because they don't have the one you really want to see??? I have found this week that I don't need a lot of stuff that I have bought in the past. I haven't bought a lot of stuff because I have asked these questions...I have chosen to not go to the movies because the movie wasn't the best way to honor God.
I'm not where I need to be yet in my relationship with Christ, but I'm moving forward. Which leads me to a YouTube clip I'd like to share...
I love the first line..."I'm not going back...I'm moving ahead." That is what our life in Christ should be...a moving forward...always closer to Him.
Something that I realized about surrender this week...is it's easy to surrender...when I take my desires out of it. When I take my desires...there is nothing left...Jesus is the One who can fill it. He makes ALL THINGS NEW.
Until next time...