..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Farther Down the Road to Complete Surrender

I woke up to a swirl of emotions and conditions
all vying for top billing. Hope. Fear. Excitement.
Vulnerability. Determination to go forward.
Uncertainty. Faith. Peace. War. You name it,
today I'm probably feeling it.

My "old" self makes a typical remark: "Feels like
farther down the road to 'completely out of control'."
I laugh. A good sign. No, I decide, this is going to be
"Farther down the road to sweet and complete
surrender to Jesus." I've decided that these two
ideas look alike on the surface but are of two vastly
different origins and destinations. Out of control
"bad" is when I trust myself and rely on me to
navigate my life. Out of control "good" is when I
completely, surrender myself into the loving arms
of my Heavenly Father.

I am sure that you can identify with one,
or the other, depending, like me, if your
heart's Global Positioning System is set to
find "Faith" or not.

Let's face it. Life is not ours to control.
We spend a good deal of time kicking
against this truth. "Man can makes his
plans," says the Proverbs, "but it is the Lord
who determines his steps (Prov 16:9)." How true!

If you haven't looked at the news lately
God bless you! It is all about life careening
quickly down the road to the war-ravaged Land
of "Out of Control." I never was one much for roller
coaster rides. Not the big adrenalin seeker am I.
No sirreee. I don't quite get the idea of the thrill of
climbing Mt. Everest in sub-arctic conditions
with a rope and and an ice-pick for back-up.
Don't quite get the idea of free-diving to
see how far I can dive into the ocean and
back up without having my lungs explode.
Or implode. I am not looking for adventure
for adventure's sake.

But I am already on a massive adventure that
nothing can change and from which I cannot
turn back: I am on the inward journey
of faith.

I love the epic novels: Dante's, Divine Comedy,
"Midway upon the journey of life I found myself
within a forest dark, For the straightforward
pathway had been lost"
kind of stuff, hardly
comedic, I know. I prefer the Bilgo Baggins on
the worst (or perhaps, by faith, the best) day
of his life kind of stories. I am a hobbit dragged
out the comfort of my hobbit hole to begin an
epic journey.

Do you know what I am saying?

Dear friends, you are called likewise. There
is no avoiding it. You should not want to avoid it.
You will experience this life adventure as the
dangerous "Road to Crash and Burn Out of Control",
or the safe but radically demanding "Road to
Complete Surrender." It is trust that determines
how you will see it and live it out. It is faith that
will determine where you will end up: wrecked over
the side of some precipice or "called safely home."

Do you ever read that line in obituaries?
John Smith, "called safely home." It makes
life seem like a scary passage that needs to
be gotten through before one can be truly
safe. John Smith is kind of sending a phone
call back to his worried family, "I'm finally
really safe, just checking in so you don't
have to worry." The thing is, only God
and John Smith know for sure if he did actually
arrive safely. That is his journey. I am not
saying that life is without great danger--the
danger I certainly sense, but I want to sense
both my present and future safety in God ever
more deeply!

What if I am safer than I know? I know that
I am safe in my head but I want to know it in
the center of my bones, in the pit of my stomach,
in the eternal inner space where I live.

My sense of safety starts and ends in my
relationship with God. I must know
that I am held and kept by God. To think
that I can somehow keep myself strikes
me as absolutely ridiculous and foolhardy.

My life, my faith journey, starts and ends with
my trust in Him. I want to really know
that height nor breadth nor depth nor things
present, nor things to come, nor life, or death
can separate me from Christ Jesus my Lord
(Romans 8: 38 & 39). I don't want to know that
just a little bit, I want to know that soaked all
the way through. Don't you?

I can view life as series of scary, unpredictable
events or I can trust that My Father is with
me every step of the way, protecting, guiding,
sometimes allowing me to be buffeted, sometimes
allowing me to feel abandoned, or be hurt in
some way, but always holding me eternally safe
in His everlasting arms.

Jesus said, "I have kept all that you have given
to me and have not lost one of them" (John 18:9).
Do I really trust that? If God does not want me
to be lost, and I don't want to be lost, do you think
that something is going to blow in that sends all of
God's good plans for my eternal soul careening
out of control? I suspect not.

If I don't feel safe, then perhaps I have believed
a lie about God's ability to protect me. Perhaps
I have watched too much t.v., taken in too much
of the world's view of things, scared the pants
off myself when I could be, like Jesus, asleep in
the boat amidst life storms, resting in My Father's
ability to care for me.

Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's
(Romans 14:8). If I belong to Christ then
I am safe when I feel it and safe when I
don't. I will not be turned back
from the fact that I believe in God's ability to
keep me safe. Don't you be either. We've both
seen each other on day's when we've had
our "game faces" on.

I'm tired of fear,and tired of "hanging on
for dear life" when I don't have to. Truth
is, God's dear Life is hanging onto me! I
am going to get down to the real inward
journey , the great adventure, of trusting
our Great God! I'm going farther down the
road to complete surrender. Won't you join me?

1 comment:

Armen said...

My first visit to this site, and I can totally understand where you're coming from. I am there too!

A few years ago I knew the anointing of the Spirit (not the tongues type) after a deep, long struggle of surrender to God.

Sadly, I fell away (not into gross outward sin) into the old rut of the Christian 'existance', but I am really seeking to get the anointing back again. I NEED that power for service.

I suggest you download Tozer's 'Path to Power and Uselfulness' (at least I think that's what it's called) from sermonaudio.com

May God bless you!