control

An excellent question was posed at bible study Tuesday night. We were discussing how Jesus tore the veil that separates us from God when he died on the cross;  how we have complete and unhindered access to God.  However, we allow things to come between us and the Lord. Here lies the question… what veil have I allowed to be hung in my heart? What keeps me from drawing intimately close to my God?

We took a moment to be silent and ask Him to reveal the veils that hide our hearts. God was undeniably clear with me. It is my fear of losing control over my life, loved ones, and circumstances that keeps me from being ever-close and abandoned to God.

The Lord has brought me a long way from the self-protecting, self-sufficient, controlling person that I became in my teenage years.  While I have learned to let God have more and more control, I have not managed to escape the fear that comes when I do yield to Him. I still have to wrestle quite a bit to get to the place of letting go. The enemy pushes my deep-rooted fear buttons and tries to convince me that giving up control is too dangerous.

This morning, God revealed a breakthrough truth to me:

Surrendering and yielding to God does not mean that I am powerless.

It does not mean that I am completely lacking control in the situation. It is MY choice to surrender to God. It is MY decision to let Him have control over my family, finances, and future. Surrender is not a place of weakness or powerlessness. I am choosing to put my trust in the One that makes the best decisions for me and the ones I love. The One that knows the perfect solution to my quandries. The One who has a full provision for all of my needs. I am choosing to rest in the embrace of the One who cannot be moved.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

face down

Have you ever felt stuck? Sick and tired of your current position, too wise to go back, but too scared to go forward? Maybe you have the courage to move forward, but find it impossible?

That’s me today. Make that for the last month or more. I know that God wants to do a specific work in me. While there’s a part of me that wants Him to do it… most of me is scared to death.

The Lord showed me recently that this is probably the most significant work that He will ever do in me. That is why the enemy has worked so hard to keep me stuck. Until God does this work, so many of His plans and promises are on hold. It involves changing my “default setting” as I like to say.

Because of hurts in my past, I behave a certain way in relationships. I feel so powerless to change that about myself. I’ve tried making adjustments myself, but it never lasts long. I return to my old “setting” and I don’t experience everything that God wants for me in my relationships with others.

Lately, I have felt so stuck. So powerless to move forward. Even angry. In some ways, I am miserable and I feel like I can’t do a dog-gone thing about it.

Last night, I met with my small group and the Lord spoke two things to me very clearly. The first was that I am believing a lie. The enemy has convinced me that the change God desires for me is impossible. I have been saying over and over in my head, in my prayers, to my small group last night that I cannot change. God says that this is a lie.

The truth is that I don’t know how to change. However, God knows how to change me. I’ve been so busy believing that I can’t change and being mad at God because I can’t change, that I forgot to let God do His thing.

That brings me to the second thing that God revealed to me last night. The answer to my whole problem is surrender.

Maybe you hate that answer as much as I do. I had all of the responses you’d expect from a two-year-old last night… and even a bit this morning. But I know what I need to do.

What does surrender look like for you? For me, it means getting face down on the living room floor at some wee hour of the morning when the rest of the house is sound asleep. It means laying it all down, crying it all out, and falling in an exhausted heap next to my mountain of snotty balled-up tissues. It means laying face down before my God with all of my excuses, motives, and anger confessed. It means saying every last thing that I have stored up in my heart, and then being really quiet before the One who loves me from the top of my head, through the dysfunction of my heart and mind, all the way down to my feet that keep running away.

I need to get face down and surrender. I didn’t have the courage to do it this morning, but it’s coming. The Lord kept breathing Genesis 22 in my ear this morning. When I turned there, everything that God had been saying to me was confirmed. I need to lay my heart down as a sacrifice before Him. I need to entrust my heart to Him, knowing that He will give it back to me in much better shape. I need to hand Him my heart so He can change me.

I just have to find the courage get face down. I just have to surrender.