Tag Archive: surrender


Last spring, I began to understand something that has proceeded to change a lot in my life. My friend related an analogy that her husband had told her attempting to clarify what happens when a person finds Jesus to be a treasure worth abandoning all other pursuits to pursue (as described in Matthew 13:45-46). Imagine a person driving a beater of a car. This old car has it’s benefits… it can often get you from one place to another, but driving the car is an unpleasant experience of jolts. The driver can feel every bump and uneven spot in the pavement, though he does not really know anything different. That driver continues on his way, enduring the ride, until the day he is able to test drive a new 2012 car. From the moment he starts the car, he can tell the ride will be completely different. He is in love with the new smell, the powerful engine, the smooth ride, and the leather seats. His affections have shifted and he is no longer satisfied with the old car. His desires are for the new. He cannot go back. This, she said, is what it is to see the Lord as treasure. I understood. Something made sense more than ever. Jesus is love. He puts longing inside that keeps Christians pursuing the knowledge of Christ. More intimacy. More of Jesus. This is a far cry from legalism… from staring our sin in the face in attempts to refuse it and stop our affection for it. Sin IS an issue of affection. It’s strong. Saying “no” to sin is weak in itself. The only thing stronger is desire for Jesus.

Studying the gospels to learn who Jesus really is, what he has said, what he did while he was here, and what his heart is truly like kindles a fire of affection. Affection overpowers affection, and the choice is made. No turning back. Why? Because I’ve found something (Someone) better. Though sin will always appeal to the flesh, it is amazing to find that God grows a desire in us that is seriously more powerful. Thank you God, because sin was a hideous master. “The Puritan preacher Thomas Chalmers, in his sermon, ‘The Expulsive Power of a New Affection’ said that desires for God and desires for sin will not [calmly] coexist in a human heart. They are two ‘opposing’ affections- one will always push out the other. So, he said ‘the only way to dispose [the heart] of an old affection, is by the expulsive power of a new one’ (see Galatians 5:16-17). You can’t just ‘stop it’ because the it is always more than behavior. It is always rooted in your affections, in what you love- what you worship. Chalmers points the way forward: we worshiped our way into this mess, and by God’s grace, we’ll worship our way out.” (Wilkerson, Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry, 38). “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13: 45-46, NLT).

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” (Jude 1:24).

Worry: Destructive and Disobedient

Anxiety or worry is the fleshes response to problems and trials in life. It’s easy to spend hours upon hours of my life worrying about a particular situation and trying to “fix it”on my own. But, if I were to truly follow the Bible, I would cast my anxiety on Jesus believing that he cares for me like he said. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT). “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down…” Pr 12:25(NASB). Worry can fill our hearts and leave no room for joy. Worry can take over a life and lead to dissatisfaction then depression. So, how do we solve this problem? One word. Obey. Obey 1 Peter 5:7 and turn worry over into God’s hands as prayer instead of mulling over the situation. Giving problems/desires/worries/situations to God is easier said than done, though, at least for me. Casting our cares on God doesn’t mean asking him for help so we can keep trying to solve it on our own and keep worrying. I need to surrender it to him and TRUST him to take care of me. You do too. It may not turn out the way we want, but we could waste a lot of time worrying instead of just letting God work without getting in the way. We cannot accomplish anything by our consistent disobedient worry anyway. It is only destructive… never constructive.

Do Not Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?    28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

(post written by Lauren, RBL’s blog writer)

On Grace by Dawn

Below you will find Dawn’s testimony of God’s grace displayed in her life through her struggle and freedom from an eating disorder. I hope that you will find hope in her story and peace in knowing that God’s grace is most assuredly sufficient for YOU!
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God Loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus that I may live… now and always by grace. How can I not sit back and look at my life and not just wonder, in shock, at what God has done and continues to do? I am so thankful that at the end of the day no situation or challenge can change the goodness of the Lord.

For three years I have walked with Him. Three years ago He held the end of the rope that pulled me out of the pit of death and into His shadow of light.  My testimony is posted on a website and this is part of a comment that someone left…. Like the “dawning of a new day” – your testimony heralds the beauty – the sheer wonder of being new in Christ – the old is past; behold all things become new – Oh what a blessing – may the LORD your King continue to use you mightily like a trumpet, to compel all to “Come, dance with our King!”

Use you …Use me….Hear I am, Lord….How many times have I said that to my Daddy? I’m always asking Him to use this Freedom Walker, to use this girl now three years out of brokenness and three years into the light. This past year has been different than the first two years, there were more days, than I have ever admitted to anyone, that I really didn’t want Freedom anymore, that I wanted to throw it all away and seek the guise of thinness. I know the answer to how all these thoughts started? Something so simple….busyness. I got so busy that I didn’t make even small moments of time to spend with my Daddy, He got pushed to the wayside and when the overwhelming feelings of life came I didn’t have the Truth to stand on to fight. Instead I decided I wanted to fight myself and fight my body for control over what I felt like was an out-of-control life. And let’s just say that putting my walls down to seek out the Truth, in the words of wise counsel, was really, really hard. But I had to do it. I had left that struggle in the past.

But hear me….it is a choice. In my life I had to change that I was Supposed to walk in Freedom to Wanting to walk in Freedom. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That’s what he wants for each of us. But we have to embrace the truth, so instead of fighting my body I wake each morning choosing to walk in Victory. Walk out my Freedom! I will not let the mirror or the world define me, but I shall speak the Truth of God’s Word. I WILL LOVE ME; I will surrender myself into the hands of my Father, who will equip me for battle. Too often I, still more than I want to admit, measure my beauty by a number. He has already declared me BEAUTIFUL, His chosen and beloved daughter, the one He intimately wants to know and love me beyond any love that I can seek here on earth. I will continue to fight the lies that tie up my thoughts, I know the TRUTH, and I can speak it! The real battle is making sure my Truth doesn’t fall on my own deaf ears and understand that it isn’t always about those around me hearing the Truth but I need to make sure I’m still hearing it myself.

“If you hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.” Psalm 91:14, The Message.

Dear Father,

What a journey this has been and I am truly in awe of all you are continually doing in me. One day with you is better then a thousand elsewhere. I know you are good and that knowing you intimately has transformed my life. Give me the faith to walk in freedom and victory.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

A friend of Speak Don’t Bleed by the name of Megan wrote this months devotional blog. Megan has struggled with an eating disorder for 15 years. Just recently she went into treatment and has come out stronger and more equipped to fight the temptations that Satan likes to taunt her with. She wanted to share her heart with you in hopes that it would be an encouragement to other girls who are struggling.

Lift Up the Hands That Hang Down

by Megan

I am coming to a place where the Lord wants to bring further healing. Therefore, the enemy is fighting all the more fiercely against that healing. I am finding myself facing temptation after temptation to slip back into old patterns. I have been so discouraged the past couple days as I have faced fatigue, feelings of frustration regarding food and body image, and feelings of depression and despondence. This is all my resistance coupled with Satan’s attacks against God’s next moves of healing.

Lift up the hands that hang down! I cannot evade this growth point in my life. I face this crisis of belief head-on, or I miss the healing that the Lord has for me at this juncture.

The Lord is no longer satisfied with where I am. It is time to move on and to step into higher levels of healing, to develop the hind’s feet that He has for me so that He can take me to higher heights. Those strong legs will not develop from these feeble legs if I walk around the mountain that He has for me to climb. This is where the rubber meets the road and where I choose which way I will go. I hate it when what was ok before is now disobedience. But this is refinement, sanctification, and maturity. Praise the Lord that He has done so much restoration and has more to do.

In my frustration tonight, I tried to go to bed early. I became horribly sunburned today, however, and could not sleep for the pain. I believe that the Lord used this sunburn to bring me to His throne. He will use anything I suppose. I opened up my favorite devotional, and it fed my soul in a way that was beyond perfect. This appropriate application of scripture doesn’t always happen, but it seems that God brings it in my crises of belief to call me and to convict me. The author highlighted Hebrews 12:12-13, which says, “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight the paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way; but rather let it be healed.”

The author of Hebrews calls us to lift up the hanging down hands. He calls us to strengthen lame knees. I think that this is where we “work out our healing.” God desires to heal me; however, I have a great responsibility in that process. Verse 13 says to make straight the paths of my feet and to go in the right direction. I have the glorious responsibility to choose to walk straight forward to the mountain that so frightens me. I must face the obstacle that depresses and frightens me in order to see God’s supernatural healing and power come in the face of it. My healing is not passive. It is active cooperation with Jehovah Rapha.

So many times, I have come to the crisis of belief, felt the pain of brokenness and surrender, and run away whimpering, back to my comfort zone of illness. This time, I am ready to face it head on, drive through it with hands stretched to the heavens, with strengthened feet, walking a path straight forward in obedience up the mountain of testing. The only way to see the walls come tumbling down around Jericho is to keep marching the entire duration of the seven days. What if they had stopped on day six? The walls would have never fallen, and they would have retreated defeated and discouraged. I am called to march forward, with hands raised in worship and feet set in obedience until I see the promise of the Lord come to fruition. I will plow ahead to see the waters divide, the Red Sea open, the walls come crumbling down, and my full healing take place.

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Let’s Go

Are you ready, beloved?

No, Lord. Not yet.

Ok, my love. I will wait.

Are you ready, dear child?

Lord, no, I am too scared.

Child, my love drives out fear, but I will wait.

You must come forth, precious daughter.

But Lord, I don’t know what will happen.
The mountain looks steep.
I cannot imagine climbing it without falling.
How can I ever get to the place of promise?

I have been waiting for you to ask, apple of my eye.
Lift your hands,
Surrender your feet.
Fix your gaze on Me.
Come forth, and we will go together.
Do not delay your healing any longer.

Ok, my King.
I trust you.
Let’s go.

Stand in Awe

 What I’m about to share I have wrestled with for weeks. I was afraid that by sharing this, my heart would become prideful. But as I sit here and write I can sincerely testify that none of this is a result of anything I have done, or anything I will do, or anything I could even be close to capable of doing but what I have seen is all a work of God, that in God’s awesome love and grace which I cannot fully understand, nor am I worthy of it, God has placed me here. As I wrestled with whether or not to share this today, I’ve been humbled and convicted. I am reminded that even the rocks cry out in praise to God, so how can I be silent about the awesome works that He has done in my life. (And I ask myself how could I have ever doubted Him?) How much more then should we be filled with awe at the greatness of God and tell of His glory. I think about the many people who God healed in the New Testament. I think I now see how much their hearts were ready to burst in awe struck wonder at what Christ had done in their lives. How could they be silent after encountering God Almighty?!?! That is where I stand now. I am at that place right now that if the rocks cry out in testimony of God’s greatness so must I!


God has taken a broken, hurt, torn up girl and performed an awesome work of redemption, restoration and healing throughout the short 28 years of my life. I can speak with the Psalmist as He says in Psalm 18..”The cords of death encompassed me. And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me; The snares of death confronted me.” That was my life. Full of torment, full of hopelessness, full of brokenness, full of disaster. But PRAISE GOD, that now I can say with the psalmist what is said later in Psalm 18, “THE LORD LIVES, AND BLESSED BY THE ROCK; AND EXALTED BE THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.” He delivers, He lifts up, He rescues, He shields us, He strengthens us, He lights our way. He conquers all, He hears our cries and because of this and ONLY because of this I “give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name.” What does God have to do in our lives for us to see that He is God Almighty, He is Sovereign Lord, He is the Most High God. He had to take me to the darkest of darkness and prove Himself more times than I can count. Don’t let that be You! Proclaim His work in your life to the nations, not out of selfish pride, but out of the depth of humility and praise stand in awe! Let Your heart be filled with wonder and let Him take you to heights you could never have thought up yourself! By the GRACE and MERCY of God He loves to take us to a place of complete brokenness and unworthiness to a place of staring in full view of God’s awesome greatness. In Philippians 2, it speaks of God the Fathers plan and purpose for the life of Jesus the Son. God plan, His sole purpose of Jesus’ self-sacrificing gift to us through the cross was “that at the name of Jesus at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow, for those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of Gd the Father.” His greatness extends throughout eternity! So I ask you, what is your victory story???? Let’s surrender it to God and let Him amaze us at how far He will take His awesome work and declare it to those around us if we will just allow Him to take the drivers seat!!!! Stand back, looking up to heaven, hands off the steering wheel, and prepare to be amazed. Stand in AWE!

Think about this…what are some things that you feel you couldn’t live without? TV, the Internet, a dating relationship, drugs, facebook or myspace, cutting? The list could go on and on. Let me tell you, there are so many things today that we can put before our relationship with God. Anything that we feel like we can’t live without and put our dependence on or trust in more than God is an idol.


Well…my blades was an idol that I held close for about 10 years of my life. I would think about it constantly, and sometimes would be so dependant on it that I would take it with me wherever I went. I was consumed by it. I put my trust in a worthless little blade. I trusted it to take away the hurt and to solve all of my life’s problems. Satan would use this little blade to convince me that if I just used it on myself and hurt myself that I would feel better, that I could escape life’s problems. Because as Satan whispered things in my ear like….you’re worthless, nobody loves you, nobody should love you, ect. I fell into the trap of temptation and sin. I decided to take matters in my own hands and punish myself. I started more and more to rely on what Satan was telling me about myself and my circumstances than on the ultimate, absolute truth God has promised us in His Word. I was sinning by trusting in something other than God and His Word. I also was disrespecting God because I was so self absorbed in my struggles and believing the lies in my mind that I failed to appreciate God’s gift through Jesus‘ blood that He shed on the cross. That blood was shed to cover my sin and yours. It didn’t need my feeble, sinful attempts at making up for the sinful person I was or the mistakes I had made. I didn’t rely on God’s love and forgiveness through the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross.


In Hebrews 9 and 10 it talks about how those under the old covenant in the Old Testament would sacrifice animals as an attempt to clear them of their sin. The high priest would go into innermost part of the tabernacle for worship (the holiest of places) once a year but He would take with him the blood from a slaughtered animal as a payment for the sins of himself and for the people. But in Hebrews 9:9 it says that these sacrifices were unable to make the worshipers perfect in conscience. Meaning the blood did nothing, it didn’t take away their sin. It goes on in Hebrews 9:11 though that it is different for us because we are under a different covenant which is the new covenant which sole basis is the blood of Jesus. He is our perfect high priest, to be the payment through His blood on the cross. He died so we could be in constant personal fellowship with Him and not have to go through anyone else but Jesus to be freed from the bondage of our sin. In chapter 10:8 it says that Christ gave an ultimate sacrifice and offered us ultimate forgiveness through His death on the cross, we only need to come to Him and accept that forgiveness. Which means I didn’t need to make myself bleed through cutting to pay the penalty for my sin because Christ already did that for me through His blood on the cross. Back in Hebrews 9:14, it goes on to say after speaking of the old payment for sin through the old covenant…”How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” God offers us forgiveness for every mistake we have ever made and every mistake we will ever make, but that’s not an excuse to just go and sin, but instead, if we are truly living for the Lord we will long for that close relationship with God through Jesus. His forgiveness should draw us into a closer relationship with Him so that we serve Him with our everything.


So I want you guys to think about your own lives, what do you put before God in your life that you need to put aside in order to fully be surrendered to God? Do you know what it is to have that relationship with Him? Have you accepted that you can’t pay for your sin on your own and that you need Christ? I challenge you to not to spend years of your life as I did, believing the lies of Satan instead of the infallible truth of God’s Word. Be totally surrendered to Him.

Surrender

What does it mean to follow God? What does God desire from us when it comes to following Him?  Are we willing to surrender to what God has for our lives, even when it doesn’t make sense to us?

These are challenging questions and I say challenging because I’m living with them! God has been showing me so much about what it takes to fully trust Him with our lives. I’m not the most adventurous person so risks are not fun for me! Trusting anyone is not my strong suit either which makes it even more of a challenge. But thank God for His grace in our lives! A story in the bible that has hit me hard in the past couple of weeks is the calling of Jesus’ disciples. They were fisherman, tax collectors, ect., each of them had their own occupation and I’m sure each of them had their own agenda’s for life. But in the lives of two fishermen, Simon and Andrew (two brothers), Jesus came and had a different plan. Jesus tells them to “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Now if I were Simon and Andrew, I would be like, “Who is the man, who does He think He is saying coming follow me? He is crazy!” However, the bible doesn’t say anything about Simon and Andrew asking questions or saying anything like that. The bible says, “AT ONCE they left their nets and followed Him.” Now that’s faith!!! That’s surrender!!! They left everything they had lived for and everything they had trained for, their sole source of income to follow Jesus! God expects the same from all of us. He doesn’t want us to give half our lives to Him, He wants all of us! Every ounce of our being! Following Jesus won’t always be easy, in fact, I think it seldom is easy, but IT IS WORTH IT! It takes denying of yourself…your wants, desires, your goals for something greater….God’s wants, desires and goals for your life.

In Luke 9:23 it says, “Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

Surrender requires faith! And true faith in God requires a willingness to give ALL! Are you willing???