Devotion for April 26, 2023

The reality of this world is that I was born into Someone Else’s kingdom. My life came to me as a gift I did not choose; it is suspended from a slender thread that I did not weave and cannot on my own sustain.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19: 21, NIV)

So I will need to resign as Master of the Board. The Bible’s word for this is “surrender.” I crown another to be Master — Lord — of my life. I offer my gifts, energies, resources, and heart to Him. Surrender is not passivity or abdication. It is saying yes to God and life each day. It is accepting the gifts He has given me — my body, my mind, my biorhythms, my energy. It is letting go of my envy or desire for what He has given someone else. It is letting go of outcomes that in reality I cannot accept anyway. I surrender my ambitions, my dreams, my money, my relationships, my marital status, my time, and my desires to God. Surrender means I accept reality.

Surrender means giving up ultimate mastery of my life. However, I am not called to do this grudgingly. A person may yield to a stronger person, or an army to a stronger army. One may yield to God because He is almighty. None of this is full surrender. Only if one experiences that God is good is it possible to surrender to Him unconditionally one’s whole heart, soul, and being.

Because I am a creature and not the Creator, surrender is actually a better way to play the game. I am not Master of the Board. Surrender opens me up to God’s blessing.

Materialism is for most of us God’s main rival. And it is possible to get increasingly free of it. Sometimes when I’m speaking, I try a little exercise in dethroning the idol. I ask people to take out their wallets. (You can do this right now if you like.) Hold it for a moment. Look inside to see if anybody’s home. It looks like a piece of leather. But it’s really the temple of the twenty-first century. Most people in our day believe that their ability to experience happiness is directly associated with the contents of this little container. This is where the god Mammon lives. We give this little piece of leather the power to make us feel secure, successful, and valuable.

It is very hard for us to surrender control of this little piece of leather. The real issue: Who’s in charge? Are you holding it or is it holding you?

We are actually receiving greater power by surrendering. There is only so much that willpower can accomplish.

Prayer

Lord, help me to surrender my life to Your hands and care. I thank You for daily providing what I need, and for the many other blessings You give each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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