Monday, March 7, 2016

Surrender...and being thankful for the fire of affliction

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. 

We must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?(Chambers)

This is the up my rights. My right to be heard, my right to tell my side of the story, my right to have people understand me, my right to a fair hearing, my right to stay angry about things I can't change, my right to hang onto unhealthy thinking, my right to keep poisoning myself with my obsessive thinking. 

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.(Chambers)

It is so is my pride that is the problem. That is the root of my sin. My pride was hurt....and I, in my sinful human thinking, believe somehow that I have a right to be relieved of that arrow to my pride. I believe that somehow it should be fixed. That I have rights and I become obsessed by it.

"Lord Jesus, I surrender this pride...this demand for a fair hearing while I am on this earth. To be vindicated. Oh gave me a burden to bear. It is heavy....but I must bear it because it is the test that will help me come forth as gold. To answer that prayer I lifted up to you many years ago....that you would make me into a godly woman..."no matter what it takes." You heard my prayer and answered me. You bent down and listened to me and then you placed me into the fire of your affliction. Do I have a right to argue the fairness of it to you, Lord? Do I have a right to choose what affliction I face? No. You are God and I will trust you. You give and take away. Holy Spirit, fill me up. Empower me against the lies of the enemy who seeks to drag me down...into the miry clay. It is all my pride. The enemy knows my pride and how it was wounded. He stabs at it regularly. Oh Jesus...I want to be victorious over this! How do I get the victory when I fail again and again? be thankful for it? Is that what I hear you saying? The hard eucharisto? Thank you for the trial you put me through. Thank you for the fire of your affliction. Thank you for the misunderstandings and the accusations and the pain....I hate thanking you for these things. I want to be obedient...but it is so hard to do. How can I thank you for it? ...oh Heavenly Father, bring me to that place of thankfulness and joy."

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you. (Chambers)

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