Friday, July 15, 2005

"Hands Up!"

(posting early for Saturday...)

“Hands Up!”

Are there things in your life that haven’t worked out, no matter how hard you’ve tried? I mean, you’ve really knocked yourself out to make something go right, but it just doesn’t. If so, it’s probably time to surrender some person or circumstance to the Lord. Does surrendering mean giving up? Sometimes, but not always. True surrendering simply means doing things God’s way—and then trusting Him to work those situations out.

Remember the old-time westerns? The sheriff caught the bank robbers and yelled, “Hands up! You’re under arrest!” Most of us have as much trouble surrendering to the Lord as those thieves did to the sheriff. It looks dangerous—putting yourself under someone else’s power to control you. Even though the Lord loves us dearly, we often think of surrender like that. We’re afraid of what will happen. Even with the Lord, we fear what He might ask us to do if we truly give up our independence.

Luke 9:23 says “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Denying self means to surrender. But how does that look, in practical terms? Is it throwing up our hands in resignation? No, it means surrendering to doing things God’s way.

**In personal relationships, it might mean giving up that hot flirty guy and letting God bring His special someone into your life in His own timing. That can mean choosing to be without a date on Saturday night instead of being with the wrong guy.

**With your money, it might mean giving at church or to some hurting individual when you really “need” to buy that new sweater or bracelet for yourself.

**In making a career choice, it might mean having faith to be an artist or musician instead of something “safe” you could accomplish, using your own strength and willpower.

**With your clothing choices, it might mean wearing different clothes than your friends, things that are fashionable, yet modest and godly.

Luke 9:24 says “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” Surrendering to the Lord’s desires for your life might feel at first as if you’re losing out, but you won’t be. There are huge rewards for surrendering to God’s plan for every area of your life. Stop worrying and fretting, trying to figure out everything on your own. “Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.” (I Peter 5:6-7 NLT)

If you’re not experiencing the life you’ve always dreamed of—if things just never seem to work out—check to see if you’ve truly surrendered yourself to the Lord. A life entirely ruled by God is a life that He can powerfully use.

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