Get Into the Word: Romans 7:24-25
"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin."
There’s got to be more than this.
It was an ordinary day about two years ago when this thought floated through my mind. I knew Jesus promised life to the full, but I wasn’t sure I was living it. Life was good by all earthly measures. We were in a sweet season in our marriage, our little family was growing and God was opening new doors. I knew I was His and my eternity secured. Yet, something deep inside insisted there was more life to be experienced.
At the time I was completely unaware of my own pattern of striving and hiding, and blind to the fear that fueled it. I was too busy living my life to deeply examine it. In the thick of striving and hiding, I was even doing what I thought was God’s will.
How do these patterns pack down our hearts? When we operate out of a lie about who God is we continue to pack down the soil of our hearts as we track back and forth between patterns. The truth ricochets right off the path-like places of our hearts.
Only as I grew aware and increasingly tired of this cycle of striving and hiding did He show me the alternative: surrender.
Both striving and hiding promise peace, satisfaction and security but neither can actually silence the fear that presses on our hearts. No matter how far we run or how well we hide, we cannot escape it. Eventually, both paths lead to the same pit wallpapered with disappointment, anxiety, more fear, defeat, disconnectedness, loneliness, guilt, restlessness, shame, and discontentment.
What are we striving for and or hiding from?
Author of Freedom Session, Ken Dyck, explains that we are always answering three essential questions: Am I loved? Am I valuable? Am I enough?
Perhaps the striver is trying to prove they are. The hider is convinced they aren’t.
Both forget that Jesus already is.
Both paths are laced with lies. God is not a taskmaster or an accuser, but holy, compassionate, patient, faithful and loving. He is our all-sufficient heavenly Father who whispers quietly to our hearts an invitation made possible only by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Come to me.
This is the beautiful alternative to a life of striving and hiding: surrender. We are fully known by Jesus, and fully loved. He freely offers Himself to us as a free gift in the great exchange— His perfection for our sin. The moment you choose to entrust your life to Jesus, by grace through faith, He gives you His perfect life.
Surrender is this: In Christ, I have nothing to prove and nothing to hide.
Talk to God:
HE: What truth will you declare about His name, His kingdom and His will?
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8)
ME: What will you ask Him to give, forgive and deliver you from?
Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)
WE: What do you want Him to empty you of and fill you with His Spirit for?
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. (Jn 10:27-29)
Join the Conversation:
How is “life to the full” the same or different from what you are currently experiencing?
How does your perception of God change how willing you are to surrender to Him?
This post is an excerpt from Cultivate: 40 days of Preparing Our Hearts for Him. To learn more, or to sign up, CLICK HERE.