I made a decision to give something to God that I hadn’t done before. How could I have skipped this part?
I learned from my teenage daughter’s recent trip to summer camp. She said that one of the decisions she made was to give her life to God. Over the next few days, I realized that I had not done that. I knew I was saved, that I loved serving the Lord through discipleship and that people need Jesus. I knew about surrender, but I couldn’t think of a time when I knew I was giving my entire life to the Lord.
I asked God to show me any missing pieces in prayer. Here is what He showed me in the next seven days, starting with a message I heard preached at a Reformers Unanimous meeting.
God wants my whole life. Give God my best. This meant to hold nothing back from God. The Ladie’s Bible Study was studying Romans 8. Verses 16-18 revealed an amazing truth, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (KJV)
A child of God? This means that I have FULL PERMISSION to do my absolute and unbridled best for the Lord. He’s alive, expectant, interacting, involved. This verse lifted inhibitions I had about goals in my life. I was reminded that there is nothing too big for God. And as a daughter of the Lord, I HAD TO explore the full, earthly potential of my gifts and talents. Go big until I go home!
Give God the things I can’t handle well. This included my debt, which consisted of student loans, a car loan, medical bills. This included any and all guilt I had in my life for not finishing my college degree, for mistakes I made about my money and even not being an elite pro at keeping my home immaculately clean and for not being a gourmet chef. (If any of the moms out there share this guilt, can I get an “amen?”)
Give God my undivided attention. I knew about Jesus being pre-eminent in my life. But I also had damaged perspectives on relationships. There were times I just felt sad over the 25 years of wasted effort of going through relationships, determining if another person genuinely wanted to be with me. I had to face a deep-rooted belief that relationships, to me, were utilitarian because I lacked examples in my life that held the Biblical definitions of love. The Lord showed me the need for sanctification in new friendships. A good percentage of my long-standing friendships are with unsaved people.
The Lord gifted me with Psalm 42:5 to answer my emotion at the moment, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” and verse 8, “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (KJV).
A relationship with God isn’t a system. It’s a daily, dynamic walk because God is alive. When people fail, God is still right.
God wanted other things from me. To my surprise, I didn’t think I was holding on to them too tightly, until I realized I STILL didn’t give it to Him. Stay tuned for the next post on this prayer journey.
What have you kept to yourself? What is it in your life that you thought you’d handle for yourself before letting God get involved? Is there an area in your work, home or community that needs your best effort?