Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sweet Surrender

There is much that has been on my heart the past few weeks as I have thought and prayed about my own spiritual life and have been examining different aspects of it, realizing ever more that I am not where I should be. I was seeing how I had become complacent in some areas, and how various things in my life that I was struggling with, while seemingly unrelated, stemmed from a similar root: self-focus. Self truly is an enemy to be continually fought and defended against! I find that it likes to rear its ugly head when the busyness of life creeps in or when I am tired or am struggling with my emotions.

The struggle to overcome it when tried in one’s own strength is wearisome and unfruitful at best. (speaking from experience here. :) Yet resting in Christ’s lovingkindess and in His strength and love brings such a change! Simply changing my focus from self and earthly things to my dear Savior, showers down the peace and the joy that were lacking. Through a heart and mind “set on things above” one’s outlook is so different! When looking at things through a heart of surrender to Christ with the desire to serve Him as opposed to a heart of self, how different is one’s love and service to others!

It is amazing how swiftly the change to resting in Christ can take place – yet it is through an effort . . . and a continual, conscious, and persevering effort. That seems a little contradictory doesn’t it? Effort and rest at the same time? But the two seem to go hand in hand. As we put forth the spiritual effort and make the choice to surrender ourselves and to rest in Christ, then He can fill our hearts with Himself and His rest . . . the Holy Spirit and the “impulse of His love” will be what moves our hearts, our hands, our feet, our words.

As I read in my Bible yesterday morning, so much was speaking to my heart. Yet one particular passage especially so as it held in it the beautiful example of the Lord Jesus. It is speaking of when Christ will return and when He has “put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25.) And then it goes on to say . . .

When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:28

Christ Himself, the Son of God, the Savior, Redeemer, the Lamb, the One who is holy and true, the Perfect One, the Alpha and Omega . . . subjecting Himself to the Father.

What an example . . . what a humbling example our Savior is to us. Can we do any less than to surrender our poor, sinful (yet redeemed!), weak beings to Him?

Sweet surrender . . . it is indeed that. Not always easy, but the fruit reaped is without a doubt, very sweet.

15 comments:

  1. It is very easy for 'life' to creep in, to wind its way around our hearts, for worries to overtake us....when all we have to do is to rest in him, to let go and 'let God'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much Sarah for these very convicting thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen! Very sweet indeed. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh how I needed to hear this, Sarah! The last month has been so focused on 'life' and not as focused on Him. My heart and mind certainly haven't felt as full. Thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your heart. I have been doing some of the same thing (examining my own heart and life) lately, too. It is so very easy to become focused on the wrong thing. And it does seem like being too busy really makes it more difficult.

    I'm getting that feeling again, that something is going to have to go in my life. I'm just so busy!

    I've been doing a Bible study by Teri Maxwell called "Sweet Journey," and it is so encouraging to me. It's kind of like an older woman mentoring a younger one, in the spirit of Titus 2.

    There had been some days where I was reading my Bible but not really thinking too deeply about it. With Teri's counsel, I have come to a place of having my mind more focused (even though my surroundings make that very difficult much of the time!). I really love Teri's heart and writing.

    I pray that you will be blessed as you surrender your life to Jesus!

    ♥Joy

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is indeed, Elizabeth . . . though sometimes I wonder why it is so easy for us to slip into, as resting in the Lord is so much more restful and peaceful. I like the phrase you used “to let go and ‘let God’” . . . it seems to summarize well what leads to true rest in Christ: denying self, abiding in Christ, and letting Him work through us.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You’re welcome, Julianne, and thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, indeed, Mrs. Anne!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so glad that it was a blessing to you, Renee! Praying for you that your heart and mind would be filled with His sweet peace and joy as you seek to place your focus more upon Him.

    You’re welcome for sharing, and thank you for sharing your heart!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you so much, Joy, for your comment and for sharing all that you did! I was blessed to read your heart and how the Lord is working in your life in this.

    Yes, being too busy does make it more difficult as all that is going on in our live can be so distracting. It makes it harder to keep our focus where it needs to be, but how much more peaceful and restful our lives are if our hearts and minds can be stayed on Christ! Even if the busyness doesn’t decrease in the least bit, simply resting in Christ makes all the difference.

    I will be praying for wisdom for you to discern what it is that needs to “go” in your life . . . I/we have been there before, too.

    What a blessing that the Bible study you are doing has been able to minister to your heart. I have read books/studies like that as well that as I read, I feel like I am sitting at the feet of a godly older woman and learning from them. Even though we may not have may older women that we know in person, we can learn so much from them through their writings!

    That is wonderful that you are able to have your mind more focused while you are reading your Bible! It is interesting that you should mention that as this is something I am working on as well. Lately I have been taking smaller portions of Scripture (say a chapter or two) and reading them through slowly, pausing as I go to really think about what is being shared. I’ve also been picking out a verse or two from the reading to meditate on throughout each day which has been so helpful. Recently, one of the verses was “let all that you do be done in love” . . . a perfect verse for the very busy day I ended up having!

    Thank you again for sharing, Joy, and may the Lord bless and guide your footsteps and rest your heart as you continue to seek to walk closely with Him!

    ReplyDelete
  11. A beautiful post indeed and one that I understand oh so well. Esp more so in the last few months. :o) Thank you for your transparency my dear. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for your sweet comment, Nabila. I am glad that it was a blessing to you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sarah,
    thanks for this post. I have said to myself recently how I feel like I've been so selfish with my time and really not using it wisely. I needed to hear the comment you made about "self"...it does seem to be my enemy! I am thankful to have found your blog, it's been an inspiration to me so many times. Thank you!
    Shannah

    ReplyDelete
  14. You’re welcome, Shannah. And thank you for sharing your heart! I am so glad that this post was a blessing to you.

    Thank you also for your sweet words! I, too, am glad that you found my blog, as I have enjoyed the comments that you have left. :) Thank you for them!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sarah, I just had to respond to your comment to me! :)

    What you said you are doing for your Bible time is exactly what Teri suggests. I read a chapter (I'm still reading through the New Testament using the plan I mentioned at the beginning of the year, and then I read Psalms and Proverbs on the weekend), and I pick out a verse or two to meditate on throughout the day. I write that verse in my Bible reading notebook (I'm using a leather journal the children gave me for my birthday that they found inexpensively at the local discount grocery store!).

    After writing the verse, I summarize it in my own words, and then often I'll write out a prayer concerning how I want the verse to be true in my own life, asking for the Lord's help, etc.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd share that we're doing a similar thing!

    ♥Joy

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)