Last year I started something new. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, which I never keep, I chose a word to focus on. Last year I picked the word, change, and if there was ever a word to describe a season of my life it was that one. I leaned into the Father and the changes He sent my way and was all the better for it.
This week as I was heading to work it occurred to me that I hadn’t picked a word for this year.
I wasn’t sure I was going to. I mean the last few days of the year are upon us and I haven’t given it much consideration. Then I began thinking about all the work God has in front of me.
Beautiful, beautiful work.
And I almost had a panic attack because I felt wholly unqualified for any one of the tasks.
Does that ever happen to you?
Do you ever look at the job, the work, the calling, or the diaper that need changing in front of you and think, “God you have picked the wrong person.”? (Yes? Oh good, I was hoping I wouldn’t be alone in this corner of the room.)
I promise you that I have never been able to look at something God has asked me to do and confidently embraced it.
Here’s what my modus operandi usually is:
· I argue with God that He’s picked the wrong person and that surely someone else could do this work better.
· I procrastinate in any way possible to avoid the work and the Father.
· I willfully disobey Him by putting other things in front of the work He has given me.
· I make excuses about why I cannot get the work done.
As I considered how I operate in the presence of the Father I began to wonder what might happen if I stopped fighting Him? What would my life look like if I just SURRENDERed?
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m choosing to
And that’s a big word friend. It scares me a bit because it carries with it the knowledge that I can no longer accept only the work I find comfortable and convenient. That’s not how this word works.
I have accepted that word SURRENDER knowing full well that whatever work God asks of me I’m just going to bend into Him and do it.
No arguing. No excuses. No procrastination.
Complete. Total. Without regard to the Consequences.
As I mulled over this choice I was reminded of Saul’s transformation to Paul on that Damascus road over 2000 years ago,
“…. Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 26:14
And dear hearts I could teach a class on how to kick against the goads. I’m an expert at pushing back against the Father as He tries to guide me in the paths He wants to journey with me. I will willingly choose the pain I am familiar with rather than face the unknown that comes with God’s work.
And I don’t want to do that anymore.
God is right. It’s hard pushing back against Him. It’s exhausting to forever be shoving against Him when He’s trying to pull me forward. It hurts to know that in my own way I am persecuting the Father through my defiance and disregard of His wishes.
My own selfish desire to hide can no longer be allowed to reside within the same fleshly dwelling that He has seen fit to share His Holy Spirit. The righteous and the unrighteous cannot abide together.
Perhaps you are an expert at pushing back too? Maybe SURRENDER isn’t on your bucket list of things to do with God.
You’re afraid. Me too.
But I’m going to do it anyway. You can too.
I’m going to take off my shoes in that carpeted closet where I pray and push my forehead to the floor while I pray for SURRENDER. I’m going to turn that small space into holy ground and listen for the Master to move in. I’m going to remember what my Savior said about His SURRENDER,
“No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” John 10:18
And I am going to follow Him, without protest, into the depths of that kind of SURRENDER.