Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When Nothing is Changing (or everything is)



What do you do when life is terribly depressing and nothing is changing (or everything is)?
How do you usually respond when something unexpected or disappointing happens?  Tears?  Anger?  Excessive porn consumption?  Binge eating?  ...or immediate prayer?  calling your accountability partners and asking for counsel?  trusting that God has allowed this in His perfect wisdom (and even though you can't understand a reason for it, the Lord knows all things and is in control)?
Life can be uncertain and it has its ups and downs.  It's obvious that disaster can strike at any point, people die, parents divorce, friends move away, or it seems that everyone is getting married and you're still single.  It can be tough to deal with life without a support system or without having trustworthy and God-honoring friends or mentors to turn to for wisdom, conversation, and prayer.
I encourage each of you to surrender your entire life; past, present, and future to God beginning now - even hourly.  What better comfort than to know that your life in its entirety is in the hands of a perfect and loving God who only and always has your best interest at heart?
If you are anything like me, the idea of giving God full control isn't natural.  It's actually something we hesitate in doing or cringe at because we assume - and the key word here is assume - we know what God's will is and this scares us.  It's amazing how our fears become exaggerated in our minds the more we dwell on them and how we begin to believe our thoughts or the clear lies of satan instead of clinging to the truths about God found only in His precious word, the Bible.
Someone asked me recently how they can surrender everything to God and almost hinted at it appearing as though this was easy for me to do.  Wrong.  I explained to this dear friend that there were many times I said to God, "I don't want to serve You because I don't trust You with my life.  I don't even want to pray.  I'm afraid of what I perceive Your plan is and I feel like if I give You full control, everything I fear will take place and all that I desire won't happen..."  There were also many times I prayed, "God, please give me a willing heart toward You.  If You don't intervene, I will continue to harden my heart toward You.  Even if it hurts, please bring me to the end of myself and let everything in this world fade in comparison to me knowing You.  Please intervene because if You don't, I will literally destroy myself.  I obviously can't live this life on my own."
If you feel anxious at the thought of giving God full-control of your life, I encourage you to read God's word every day for the next week.  Read the Psalms and the Epistles, the Gospels and the book of Proverbs.  Pray that God would open your eyes to see His character Biblically and give you the willingness to place your life in its entirety in His hands.  And by all means, if you feel bitter, resentful, angry, hurt, or even downright disinterested in God because of how you have perceived Him to be for so long or maybe because of people you have known who claimed to serve God and yet were hypocritical, rude, or totally un-Christlike, tell God all of this from your heart.  Hold nothing back from Him in prayer.  I have discovered that one of the major factors in my closeness to God and my growing intimacy with Him is being totally honest with Him in prayer about everything; from my desires to burdens, worries to goals, feelings to problems.  Lay everything before the Lord and pray that He would intervene in your heart and life (and mind & desires!) and break you of all that is not of Him.
Giving Christ full control can be scary because you are venturing out and giving Almighty God full custody of your life to do with as He wills, but oh the freedom, joy, peace, and power of letting Him take the role of Master and Lord in all aspects of your life.


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