Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 10 of Living on Purpose

If worship is an attitude or way of living that makes God smile what is at the heart of this? Rick Warren begins chapter 10 with this verse “Give yourselves to God…Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes.” Rom 6:13 TEV.

I have to agree with Rick Warren too that surrender is not a popular word and the word has such a negative connotations attached to it…and it is scary sometimes to think about surrendering even a small part of our lives—let alone our whole beings.

And I’ll admit with my background of abuse and not at all understanding God’s desire for my body to be used for righteous purposes; I have had to rely on God and trust that He would both heal and transform my mind and enable me to grasp this idea (I’m still not sure I can completely wrap my mind around this). As I have learned to surrender and trust bit by bit, He has continually revealed His sweet love and made known things to me, in only ways that He can.
Yesterday, I had a girlfriend remind me of Psalm 123, she is studying Beth Moore’s Psalm of Ascent. Psalm 123:3 states, “Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt.” Beth Moore makes reference to Eph 1:18; a verse I have cherished, memorized, and prayed over myself and those I love “…that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which he has called us.”

I think this ties into this chapter today; we need to surrender; yet it is hard sometimes when we feel and may very well be justified because we have suffered like the Psalmist…endured much contempt…or in my words, endured feelings of being rejected, unloved, disrespected or devalued. I think this tied into what Rick Warren states, that “There are three barriers that block our total surrender to God; fear, pride and confusion because I know when I am hurt by someone it can bring up all kinds of emotions…leading to confusion in my mind.

I think we tend to hold onto these moments in our lives either intentionally or unintentionally where we have felt disrespected; first because we are often in shock (how can something happen to rock our beautiful wonderful world?)…since the majority of the time we are in relationships to some degree with the very people we feel disrespected by and then we try to rationalize it somehow. Desiring to either ignore the issue or want it to get fixed on its own and let the feelings fade away by not thinking about them—knowing it will take emotional effort to talk about our feelings in a constructive manner; and really sometimes just not knowing how to go about it. When has this been modeled for us in our lives???

Bottom-line; I think this is something that we all deal with at one time or another and the key here I think is taking all of our emotions to God first and allowing Him to heal and sort out and open our eyes to what is going on and then…and only then can we truly approach someone else with love, forgiveness and grace.

We need to embrace and allow God’s love and grace to fill us continually. I agree with Rick Warren in that our natural response to God’s love and mercy is to surrender our hearts, minds, souls…our entire bodies to worship. Isn’t this our natural tendency to love those that love us…we will love God because He first loved us—hallelujah!!!

I know I need to go to God and relinquish any hurts or pent up feelings of disrespect to Him and allow His love and mercy to enter into my heart. Just as I am going to fail…others are going to fail me and I need God to mend the gap and allow grace and forgiveness to cover the situation on both ends.

Praise God for His Word…in particularly Psalm 123 right now which gives us permission to come to Him when we feel disrespected and at our wits end…and God can so handle us coming to Him and hearing us cry out, “I’ve had enough; I feel so betrayed and hurt and disrespected…I’m surrendering to You…and I need You to help me walk through this.”
I’ve done this in recent years…even months and know I will continually need to be at the feet of my Savior…giving Him an earful of what He already knows. Then, and only then, can I give myself fully to God…not holding back anything—I don’t want to be a 95% girl!!!

Then maybe I can even love those He brings into my life that may be a little less than loving…because we all need people in our life that will encourage us to surrender and point us to Jesus...we all need a safe, loving place to surrender our whole being!!! We have that in Him!!!
Oh Lord, please continue to make me and my family, my friendships, my marriage…all that my heart entails a safe place for others to see You in some way…or in the least, may the see my whole being surrendering to You and give You Glory!

Help me Father, to surrender as often as I need to--surrendering 100% of my being, so that I may be used for Your righteous purposes….oh, this is the life I desire!

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