Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Holy Surrender

"If you love Me, obey Me."   

Are our prayers and petitions to God ever substitutes for our obedience? 

Take a minute to ponder the question. 

Do our prayers reflect your conduct? 

It is true that actions speak louder than words. 

Do we live in the flesh of willfulness or in the spirit of willingness? 

These are straight to the heart examinations if we allow them to be. And even if our conscience testifies to our innocence, our ignorance can no more testify as sinless than an infant who knows no better.

Frankly, it's easy to know the difference between my own will and God's, whether my will matches up with His will; our Father in heaven is not slow to provide all that we need to know and achieve righteousness.

Has He not given us His Word? His Spirit of Truth? 

[These] are power to know and to do His will. The power to overcome worldly temptations, the devil's schemes, even our own sinful nature that so easily ensnares us. The Word and the Spirit are divine and invaluable gifts.  

Do we always revere them as such?  

Or do we take for granted the "God is in charge" thrown-around-all-too-loosely slogan so to deceive ourselves that we have little to no responsibility in our relationship with Him & His commands? Is it too easy to rest in the truth that because Jesus died for our sin, past, present and future, that we sometimes forget our responsibility to submit to God and resist the enemy so that we can freely believe and obey His sacred commands and promises today?  

If we as Christians aren't actively seeking God's counsel & power through Jesus Christ to do His will, to sin less, to overcome the wretched old man, then I wonder,  

what's the point? 

Are we not, at times, the answer to our own prayers for God to move, to bless, to encourage, to change our own hearts, to be rid of habitual sin, to help keep another from sinning, to help ourselves be better at one holy habit or two...?  

I think so.  

All praises and thanksgiving belong to God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ, who meets all our needs to attain godliness, to walk in victory, to overcome. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

Because He loves us He does not answer our prayers in the way we selfishly desire. And many times we simply do not recognize that our prayers reek of self.  If we pray not in Spirit and in Truth, according to His will, are we not deceiving ourselves?

We must ask the Spirit to teach us to pray aright. 

And then we must act. We must pray. 

God's ways are perfect. 
His Word is perfect.

Do you, like me, quickly forget what your eyes have read or your ears have heard? I am even so easily deceived by my own understanding.  So how can I, we love God unto obedience?
My earnest prayer is for the Lord to teach us how to love and trust Him with all of our hearts, all of our  strength, all of our souls, all areas of our lives. We desperately need Jesus' help to do this.

We must accept and believe that His love for us is better than anything in this life.  His Word says so.

Read how David speaks of our God in the 63rd Psalm:

O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You;
     my soul thirsts for You;
my flesh faints for You,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
 So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary,
    beholding Your power and glory.

Because Your steadfast love is better than life,

    my lips will praise You.
 So I will bless You as long as I live;
    in Your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips,
 when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night;
 for You have been my help,
    and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy.
 My soul clings to You;
     Your right hand upholds me.

May we delight in the Lord as David did, to do His will and fight the temptations to ignore what He's already revealed. Whether through the Holy Scriptures or through the Voice of Truth, our beloved Holy Spirit, may we abide in Him through a willing obedience and deep gratitude to walk in His ways, to receive with joyful expectation the love of God that satisfies, exceeding all things.   

To walk in a shabby substitute is not only dreadful, it is deeply disappointing and destructive for the child of God. 

Trust me, I know.  

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it. If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:12-17