Sunday, September 18, 2011

Surrendering for Greater Things

God loves to send me the same message from different angles when He's trying to get through to me. Passages will jump off the page of Scripture, I'll read it in a book, hear it in a sermon, and even have songs that echo the theme. That's one reason I don't look at His will as a needle in a haystack that I have to dig around to find. Just staying in a place to hear His voice will put me in place for Him to make His will obvious. Even when I don't know the specific details, I will always be able to discern a general direction.

These days, that general direction is surrender. As in let go, give up control, and trust Him for where He is taking me. As my friend Pam Rosewell Moore says, "Let God write my story." (BTW, if you haven't read her book, Safer Than a Known Way, get it now! Learn the lessons of someone who surrendered to God - and found herself working with Brother Andrew and Corrie Ten Boom.)

Of course, since I've always loved to peek ahead to the last page, it's a little challenging to surrender the right to know what's coming down the road. Recently God spoke to me in my quiet time that He never asked me to seek a plan - just to seek Him. "The plan" is unveiled in the context of His revealed will which never comes apart from relationship to Him.

Then right on the heels of that came a new insight in worship one Sunday morning. I hope you pray for your worship team - the choice of music is so significant and it's fun to see God bring it together in different ways, not man-centered or human-orchestrated but God-centered and Spirit-led. So a couple of weeks ago we sang "God of this City" (the extended version) and right behind it "I Surrender All".

Wow - I wasn't expecting what came next. God overpowered me with the word that "Those greater things still to be done here will only be done through surrendered people." Suddenly the call to surrender - daunting by itself - became purpose-driven. God doesn't want me to surrender for the sake of surrender itself. He wants me to surrender MY will for HIS. He wants me to lay down MY plans, goals, dreams, for HIS plans, goals, dreams. Because He has greater things to do than what we've seen - glimpses of the kingdom to bring into a broken world. He wants His will done on earth as it is in heaven - but we have to be surrendered for that to happen.

So in my city, in your city, in far-flung corners of the world that have never heard the name of Jesus, God is asking for surrendered people who will embrace His vision of greater things. When He asks you to surrender something that is hard to give up, remember the purpose behind it. God has called us into this amazing divine partnership. Yes, He is absolutely orchestrating every bit of it. But when we join Him in what He is doing, the lesser things we surrender along the way pale by comparison.

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