July 1, 2011
There are many projects around the house which demand my attention. I love the thought of finishing these projects, enjoying the extra space and basking in the glow of adding value to my home. Yet, the renovations never seem to get done. My wife thinks I should possess the ability to fix these things with ease like those superstars with a saw she sees on the home improvement shows. This is why Ive contemplated blocking the Home and Garden Channel from my list of viewing options. Part of me cant blame her for having this perspective because they make the jobs look so simple on television.
Without breaking a sweat in their flannel shirts, these guys renovate a basement, expand a kitchen and update a bathroom. This, however, is not the reason for my disdain of home improvement shows. I dont like them because as they walk outside into a tent and use a laser level and compound miter radial arm saw as if it is assumed that an Everyday Joe would have these tools sitting around in his garage. I dont have a laser level, compound miter radial arm saw or even a tent for that matter. To get started on the project they are describing, it would cost me 10 times the amount of the project. I simply dont have the right tools for the job.
For many of us, another renovation project remains unfinished. This renovation is an inside job; one which deals with what is taking place deep within the heart. Reasoning we dont have the right tools, we resign ourselves into believing this is the way I am and always will be. But, this is simply not the case. Most of our problems dont require therapy. Instead they require we surrender them to the One who invites us to do such. The problem is we tend to forget this is the God we worship and resort to depending on our own strength to get us through. We need a tool which will help us remember to follow the invitation to cast our issues, burdens, cares and concerns to Him.
Without this tool, the normal chain of events will continue to take place. You are confronted with the facts that things need to change in your life. You realize the choices you are making are leading to frustration and pain. Taking it a step further, you even know what things you should change and the different direction you should be heading toward. With all the zeal and motion you can muster, you surrender your issue and concern over to God. There is a freedom you experience from this initial surrender, which leads you to assume the issue is done. Unfortunately, you quickly find out your assumption is wrong.
Surrendering an issue once is never enough. Surrender intervals are defined as the amount of time between points of surrender. Time is measured by our standard units of measure while the points of surrender were defined as those points in time when we muster up the emotion to surrender to God and mean it.
These gaps in surrender describe the pattern of life for many of you. You struggle deeply and consistently. Every week you make it to church and every week you surrender. Your surrender interval is 7 days and still you struggle with issues you thought you surrendered a long time ago. Maybe you have reduced your surrender intervals by attending small groups or Bible studies which cuts your moments of surrender down to ever other day or so. Then there are those of you who have a consistent daily quiet time. You wake up every morning and with all the zeal and meaning you can muster as you surrender your life to God.
What I have begun to realize is twenty-four hours is way too long of a gap. The truth is there are too many things which can happen between those moments of surrender. You surrender first thing in the morning and all seems to be going well until your kids get up, your spouse uses all the hot water or someone cuts you off in traffic. Twenty-four hours is way too long. In order to consistently cast your cares on Him you must position yourself to do so. What I need in my life is a very short surrender interval a moment-by-moment surrender which comes with every breath.
- How does one measure surrender? How do you know when you have fully given up control of a situation to God?
- Read 1 Peter 5.7. As it relates to your One Word, what is one area where you feel God is calling you to surrender to Him? How often are you faced with the decision to yield to Him?
Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2011. If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!