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Archive for the tag “Surrendering”

World Changer

Seven years ago this weekend, I had a major decision to make. I was given the opportunity to move into another area at work or leave my full-time job. It was a hard decision, but I chose to walk out in faith to do something new. I believed God had something else in mind. It had seemed over the last couple years of employment that circumstances made me more uncomfortable in that place. I felt God had positioned me to leave. Was it right or wrong, I second guess it every now and then. But during these last seven years, I think God did do something new – in me.

It’s not easy stepping out of full-time employment. Yes, I have had freedom to do what I wanted to do. However, with no real money coming in, resources are very limited as to what can be done. I made the comment a couple of years before I left my job that I just wanted to quit my job and write. Guess what? That’s the opportunity I was given when I quit – I started writing. I wrote two books within the first five years. I started this blog during that time as well. The last two years, I picked up part-time jobs to help pay the bills. Yet, I still feel like there is something waiting in the future that I just don’t see. After seven years, I really thought I would have the revelation by now. Here I sit still waiting.

One of the things God has been doing over these last seven years is work on me. He has changed my heart and changed my perspective on a few things. He has given me a greater thirst for Him and His Word. I have had a great opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him. I haven’t been perfect in my attendance or in my attention. However, He has been faithful to teach me right where I am. There have been many opportunities to grow closer to Him. I desire to be closer still. I need more of Him and less of me – I need to be emptied of my selfish desires. However, I struggle with it.

I just finished two books by the same author on Seven Great Men and Seven Great Women and the secrets of their greatness. Eric Metaxas picked men and women throughout modern history to reflect on what they did to change events in history. The men and women weren’t great because of who they were but what they did when they surrendered everything to Jesus. They emptied themselves of their selfish desires and totally surrendered their future to God.

Joan of Arc was the first woman the author introduced us to. I had read her story a couple of years ago – a peasant girl who changed France single-handedly led by the Spirit of God (her “voices”). George Washington was the first man and how he could have become king of this nation – it was his right to do so, but through providence he chose to begin something new. William Wilberforce changed his nation and the world by two significant choices – he chose to end slavery through legislation in Great Britain and he taught the world how to be kind again – it’s an interesting story and it changed the western world in both regards. Mother Theresa and Rosa Parks were two small women who changed their worlds. Jackie Robinson did the same when he broke the color barrier in sports.

We look back at how these men and women changed their worlds and wonder if it could be done again. These men and women didn’t set out to change their worlds. They just surrendered to Jesus and look what He did through them. They gave up their comfort to endure the storms and the battles that were waged spiritually in order to change the world. It seems impossible to believe that one person could do all that; and it was. There were many behind the scenes that didn’t get the notice, but supported the efforts and championed the cause. It’s not done alone. No one can withstand the storms or battles alone. We need each other. If there is a cause, it takes one person to notice; but it takes many to engage in the battle.

The last couple of weeks of December, I had this word before me. I don’t know what this word means for me or for my circumstances. Maybe it’s really not for me but what God is going to do and I can be a part of it. The word is multiply. What’s God going to do? How will God do it? Those are the million dollar questions, right?

I don’t know what 2018 will bring. But I do know that we all need each other to engage in the battle that God places before us. We may not get noticed by the world as world changers, but God knows what He has determined for us to join together to make a difference. Multiply. Maybe it’s the people He will bring together to change the world as we know it.

You know what it takes to do it? Surrender. That’s what these great men and women did. That’s what we are called to do for our generation. We have to finish what has been started and we need to finish well. This world is waiting for someone to step into the gap. Are you the one? Am I? How about we do it together?

As I began my journey years ago, God gave me this verse and it’s the verse I leave with you today. Let it encourage you for this year.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen
you and help you;
I will uphold you
with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

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Eye Problem

I have been struggling with an eye problem off and on for a year now. Not both eyes, just my right one. It’s very annoying and frustrating. I have often thought: “why has this been allowed?” I know this is very minor compared to all the ones really suffering from disease. It’s trivial, I know. But it’s still annoying me to the point of screaming sometimes. When it’s aggravated, it itches and nothing will lessen it. I can’t figure out the cause, and I’ve tried to find the root but nothing is coming close to understanding it. I have prayed for healing many times in the past. Right now, I am still suffering with it. I have to trust God will bring me understanding through it or use the lesson for His purpose.

As I have been considering this ailment, I recognize another avenue to explore and further consider. Is this an attack for a spiritual reason? I am at the end of writing my story, for the most part. I am done with the majority of the work. Is Satan using my eye problem to keep me distracted? I know when I am under the influence of this problem I have a real time trying to focus on what needs to be done. It has even gotten me discouraged at times. So this is a possibility that I am dealing with a spiritual warfare issue.

Another thought has come about through careful consideration. I have been focused on my “I” problem. I do too much focusing on my issues and not others. God has used this time over the last few weeks to show me how self-involved I truly am. This is not a good thing. I know people who are truly suffering with health concerns. I do bring their issues before God but usually it will be as an afterthought and not forethought. This is not who I want to be. Since the “I” problem has been revealed, it’s time to make some changes. I want to be who God wants me to be. I want to focus on others more than I do on me.

My pastor spoke about surrendering one Sunday morning. This has been a theme over the last couple of weeks. I have spoken to God about surrendering. Yet, I still have issues with this concept. I don’t consider the eternal purposes of God. Peter was rebuked when he didn’t have the right perspective about Jesus dying. I need to consider God’s viewpoint and not mine. I need to surrender to the plan of God. Does “it” glorify God or does “it” only concern me? How is what I’m experiencing reflect God to others?  When I finally “get it” maybe my eye problem will be finally resolved. Until then Jesus, keep after me until I have the purposes of God in mind before anything else!

 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25

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