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Surrender

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“Commit your actions to the Lord,

    and your plans will succeed.”

Proverbs 16:3

I grew up believing in my teen years that to be doing something for the kingdom of God, required me doing something (and I’m being completely honest here) huge and something that got people’s attention.

I needed to be impacting the thousands and no less. I needed to have a huge platform, and to be ministering publicity on a consistent basis. Boy, was I  wrong.

I look at my life now and realize that I’m still making an impact on this world, and just because it doesn’t look the way I thought it would, doesn’t mean it isn’t as important.

God blesses faithfulness, and if we can’t be faithful in the small things, we definitely won’t be faithful in the big things.

So commit everything you do to the Lord, because it’s important.

From wiping a snotty nose in the nursery class, to picking up kids on your church bus route.

From raising your kids, to taking a lost and struggling young person under your care and guidance.

From worshiping every service with your whole heart, to supporting your pastor.

Whatever this season of your life  requires of you, commit it to God and you will succeed.

God, take what I have today and use it for Your glory. Some days I don’t feel like I have much to offer, but I surrender it all to You today.

Then the Lord called Samuel.Samuel answered, “Here I am.”And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
1 Samuel 3:4–5, NIV.

Samuel, at this moment, did not know the voice of the Lord, but it is important to note that he had a spirit to listen. Samuel ran to Eli without hesitation because he was submitted to his authority. This story reminds me to have a willing-spirit and a servants-heart.

It all began with “Here I am.”

The voice of the Lord continued to call out to Samuel in the night, but it wasn’t until the forth time when Samuel could differentiate the voice of Eli, from the voice of the LORD.

1 Samuel 3:10 explains, “The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

How Can I Hear God’s Voice?

Many people ask, “How can I hear the voice of the Lord?” Well, it may be that God has been speaking to you, but you have not known the tone and cadence of His voice just yet. This takes time.

Repetition is not always a sign of disobedience. Samuel was in the house of the Lord when he heard God’s voice, but it took time for him to realize who was speaking to him.

Many times God is trying to teach us how He speaks. For me personally, God speaks to me when I am surrounded by nature. However, you may hate being in the middle of the woods, so it is very possible that God will speak to you in another place and in another way.

Repetition in a written narrative is a literary device to emphasize a certain point or to help a reader remember a key lesson. In the story of Samuel we can learn that God is patient when He is trying to teach us how to test and prove His will. Also, it is important to focus on Samuel’s willingness to answer the call by saying, “Here I am.”

Today, maybe you desire to learn how to hear the voice of the Lord. If that is your aspiration, then reply to the Lord, “Here I am. Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Prayer: Lord, I desire to be a willing vessel. I do not want to make decisions without Your direction in my life and I pray that you would help me hear Your voice. I know that You are speaking to me, but there is so much noise around me that can be a distraction. Lord, here I am, use me for Your service.

“And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

When reading the Bible, it is sometimes easy to skim right over a key phrase. It’s so familiar, we just hurry on past without stopping to consider the full meaning and how it might apply to our lives. When I read the above scripture, I paused and asked myself, “So how do I take up my cross daily? What does that really mean?”

I’ve talked about the cross, read about the cross, and sung about the cross. I understand what the cross did for me and the incredible cost Jesus paid to give me life through His death. But I’m not sure I’ve really taken time to contemplate the “daily cross” and how it impacts my life.

The cross was not pretty. There was nothing desirable about it. It was cruel, shameful, and completely abhorrent.  It meant one thing: death.

As it relates to my life and yours, I think the apostle Paul sums it up for us in I Corinthians 15:31 when he said, “I die daily.” Galatians 2:20 gives further insight.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

To die daily means each day we must consciously relinquish control of our lives to the Lord. We die to our desires, our ambitions, our choices, our “rights.” Our old self is dead; it is Christ now living in us. His desires become our desires. His will becomes our will. We lose our identity and take on His. When we die daily, we live a life of total surrender. Is it easy? No. The cross is never easy. Dying to self takes great determination. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

When we give ourselves completely to God and His will, our lives are transformed. We are never the same. And that’s a very good thing!

Prayer: Lord, dying to self is not easy. Giving up what I think of as “my rights” and allowing You to take control is difficult, yet it is what I need to do. Help me to live each day in total surrender to You. When I do, my life will be blessed and I will be in perfect fellowship with You.