Monday, January 24, 2011

Surrender....Even If It Hurts!

 "...a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, 
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?” 
Isaiah 44:20

Saturday morning I met as usual with the ladies who gather weekly for prayer, the Word and fellowship. These ladies have literally carried me through the past few difficult weeks. As leader of this group, it is my responsibility to have a plan, or at least a guide-line for each week. My original thought for the new year, was to talk about New Year's Resolutions and how for most of us....they never work. But due to the accident, I was in Texas when the first Saturday came around, and though I was home for the second Saturday, they spent that morning just loving on me. 

Last week, as I began to think and prepare for Saturday, I kept coming back to the Resolution thought. My initial thought was it was too late in the month to follow through with that (don't ask me why I thought that); but Friday night as I lay in bed, I couldn't get away from it. I finally had to get up and write down the thoughts and scriptures that were coming to my mind. And I knew we were supposed to do communion....

I've never led communion before.....

In a nutshell...the New Year makes me think of a "new start". Resolution means "determination". That makes me think of "I can do this"...a me mentality. We can do nothing in our own strength. The word I felt the Lord kept giving me was surrender. What is it that we are holding onto so tightly that He wants us to surrender to Him this year? Our finances, our marriages, our fears, our failures, our "me-me-me" thoughts and actions. We spent some time in quiet prayer, wrote down those things on paper and have made a commitment to search the scriptures to see what His Word says about them...and to hold one another accountable. Then we sealed it with communion.

It was a holy moment...

We know the enemy will come against us in these matters. He doesn't want us to let go of the chains he has been holding us down with. He will tell us that we can't do it...we can't live without this thing we are holding onto. It's our right to hang onto this. You know what?

It's a lie!

Saturday morning, we made a covenant with God to let go of these things, and we made a covenant with each other to pray for each other. This morning, as I was in prayer, I got this word picture...I don't see visions or anything, I get descriptions.

I was asking the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide each of us through our day. Be our eyes and ears; guard our mouths...and protect us from the enemy. But then this thought came to me.....have you ever bought a really tough piece of meat? It has all these tough fibers in it that you just know will be really hard to chew on. So you lay it out flat on the counter top, get one of those big metal meat cleavers....and start pounding! The cleaver breaks through up tough fibers and loosens up the meat. Then, if you are a really good cook, you find some yummy marinade to soak it in, usually with a vinegar base in it, which aids in the tenderizing process.

Sometimes, our hearts are like that...we know we need to surrender, but we have hung onto it for so long that we have become hardened. And the Holy Spirit has to come and "tenderize" us...sometimes it hurts. But when He is through, He will cover us in His sweet presence, a healing balm, to aid in the tenderizing process and bring healing.

Yesterday the choir sang a song that says,

Holy Spirit, come and fill us
Touch us, change us, rearrange us
Heal us, free us
Lord, we seek Your face.

Wash us, cleanse us
Please forgive us
Mold us, make us
Come and shake us
Lord, let Your glory fill this place.

Some of those things might be a little painful...changing and rearranging, molding, shaking,  Those will change our "composition" so to speak. A little like breaking up the fibers in a tough piece of meat. 

So, what are you holding onto that He wants you to surrender? Usually it is some lie of the enemy that tells us we must hold tight to it. Isaiah 43:18,19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" Letting go can hurt, but as you surrender that thing you have held onto so tightly, and you feel the pain it may bring to let it go.....recognize the work of the Holy Spirit and be thankful.....His healing balm is right behind it!

Love you all!

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