It’s a few days before Thanksgiving. The day we in America set aside to remember our roots and to give thanks for all we have, all we’ve been through, and all we will go through. Many here no longer believe it’s right to celebrate the original meaning of the day and I’m certainly not here to debate it. If you want to debate the whole topic, get your own blog and debate away. For the purposes of this post, I’m simply going to say we should willing jump at the chance to spend one day in reflection and be thankful for all we have. My nation is a blessed nation.
Personally speaking I have a lot to be thankful for, I have been blessed abundantly more than I could ever hope to deserve. My greatest blessing is life in Jesus. I am alive because of Him and only because of Him and His life lived out for me.
When I sit back and reflect on my life, I am amazed at His faithfulness, His grace. He is not just in my life; He is not just a part of my life. He IS my life. Even just sitting here, as the winter sun is setting out my window, reflecting on Him, I feel the quick sting of tears.
When I was a little girl, I never dreamed about what I wanted to be, because I never thought I would live to be ten. Why waste time dreaming when surviving was more important? But when I allowed myself a few stolen moments to think what I would want to be if I lived to adulthood, a crybaby never made the cut. I never had the aspirations of being a crybaby, but here I am. A crybaby. But I’m His crybaby.
A few days ago I was chatting about the will of God, what it was, how we could find it, know what it is. The will of God was honestly not something I had ever spent a lot of time thinking about. And even less time trying to figure out what His will for me was. I didn’t concern myself with following His will.
Most of my life it was out of ignorance and selfishness. I really didn’t care all that much what His will for me was, I was sure it was nothing good and nothing I would ever want.
In the chat I realized one thing. My view of God’s will has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. It’s not something I sat down and studied out. I didn’t study verses pertaining to the will of God, I didn’t look them up in the Hebrew and Greek to see what was originally meant by those words. I didn’t read commentaries on the subject.
I simply surrendered. Sounds intrinsically simple and it kind of is.
I used to think if I only delighted in Him, whatever my heart wanted He would be obligated to give me. I mean, that’s what it says right? At one point I matured enough to know I could not claim to delight in Him just to get what my heart desired.
” Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
My thinking was skewed. No, it wasn’t skewed, it was wrong. As we walk surrendered to Him and in Him, He becomes our delight. In this His will becomes our desire.
It is only when we surrender ourselves fully to Him that we find the answer to His will. At the risk of sounding crazy (and really when has that risk ever stopped me before?), let me say, I don’t “follow” His will. I live surrendered to Him. Do I mis-hear Him? Yes. Do I misunderstand Him? Yes. But His will is not some some cosmic game of hide and seek.
He is not sitting up there in heaven with a rubber mallet just waiting for us to pick the wrong door in trying to discern His will for our lives. He isn’t going to bop us on the head when we mess up. He isn’t waiting to zap us with lightning for choosing the wrong door.
Because we don’t choose it! He is THE door! He knows exactly what He wants me to be for Him. I don’t have to worry and fret about it for one second. Do I have a lot of options? Maybe. I’m not that talented so probably not actually. But it’s not up to me to figure it out and then do it.
The only thing I can do, is surrender. I die to self, I deny myself and He lives in me, working for His good pleasure. His will? He puts that desire on my heart.
We are so quick to see and believe that Jesus is some cosmic killjoy. Just waiting for us to want something so He can pounce on us and say, “NO! You got it wrong again!” He’s not like that! He is faithful to teach and prepare us for His will.
Please know, I struggle like everyone else. Surrender and trust, both are a must if we’re going to obey Him, are not at all easy for me. I can honestly say, however, that I am fully engaged because I’m fully surrendered.
We have cleaned my filter and I’m hearing His voice. It has been a long, long process to come to this point. The past 2.5 years have been hard as a lot of heart work has been done as He has worked in me to bring to the place of a full-nothing-held-back surrender.
Please hear me, I have not arrived with Jesus and He does not owe me anything. There is something so sweet about our relationship now that I would not trade for anything. I didn’t have this sweetness of relationship before when I was trying so dang hard to please Him, to do everything right, to walk in His will, be perfect, my life was a wreck. He has freed me from so much self and self-effort.
Maybe you’re like I was, striving, straining, trying so dang hard to be all we think we’re supposed to be. We think we have to delight ourselves in Him by our own force of will. We can’t. His life isn’t about straining to please Him. It isn’t about picking the right door, the right job, the right vocation.
His life is simply about being His.
So surrender yourself to Him.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it. Psalm 37:5