Tag Archives: surrender to God

(Joshua 11-15) Move Right In

All of those cities had been built and were inhabited by men, women, boys, girls, grandparent, aunts, uncles. Yet all of them refused to bow to God. They had heard about Him, how the Jews had crossed the Jordan, how the walls of Jerico tumbled. They just couldn’t let go of their pretend gods, even when faced with the truth.

Not all of them were killed at the hands of the Jewish soldiers. Some were merely driven out of their homes and towns. They lost everything they’d worked for, everything their parents had worked for. Their gods could not save them.

The Jews who knew God, walked right into those towns and went house hunting. They moved into homes they did not build, took over businesses they did not start, enjoyed the comforts they didn’t earn. Is that fair?

The big picture here is God. Any of those residents of those towns could have at any time surrendered to God and been dealt a different hand. It was their stubborn refusal that brought about that judgment. What they had built, using their own devices, could not withstand the hand of God.

The same is true today. Many people have built themselves a comfortable existence, worship who and how they want, refuse to submit to God, and are ok with that. But just as the people of the land had done, they have created a life that cannot last. Those ancient people had lost it all, as will any of us who refuse to surrender to God. Be warned.

On the other hand, the Jews who had submitted to God received blessings from Him they didn’t deserve. And so have I. I don’t deserve God’s grace and mercy, His forgiveness, His Presence. I haven’t earned a second of His favor. But He gives it to me because I have surrendered my life to Him.

The fair thing would be if I was made to pay for my sins, as the ancient people we read about today paid for their’s. I’m guilty. I sin. I’m no better than the rest. But Jesus loved me enough anyway to go to the cross, pay what I owe, and freely gives me Himself when I surrender to Him.

The reality is, the Jewish people moved right into the land God had given them. In a very real sense I did, too. They went through the water of the Jordan. I went through the blood of Jesus. But that which is on the other side is blessing after blessing.

My prayer is that you have surrendered to Jesus and know what it is to live in the Promised Land of His Presence and blessing. If you haven’t, I pray you will do that today. Understand that what you are building your life on apart from Him will not withstand the hand of God.

Surrender your life to the God who loves you enough to die for you. Then move right into to a relationship with Him and enjoy what Jesus paid to give you.

In Reverence for God (Nehemiah 1-5)

While leading the Jews to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah found out the nobles and officials had been overcharging the people in taxes, and charging high interest rates on loans people needed in order to pay those taxes and also to buy food for their families during the famine. When Nehemiah confronted them they didn’t even try to defend themselves. They knew they were guilty.

Nehemiah asked them an important question: “Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?” (5:9) Shouldn’t misrepresenting God to non-believers cause you to fear Him?

The guilty nobles and officials promised to reimburse the people they had cheated.

Nehemiah pointed out that former governors had placed a heavy burden on the people with high taxes, and demands for luxurious living for themselves. The people remembered how hard life had been under their rule. And as Nehemiah was using himself as an example of how to treat people fairly, he said in verse 15:

Out of reverence for God I did not act like that.

I feel God asking me this morning if I’d dare set myself up as an example of how to treat people. And if not, why not?

Shouldn’t I walk in the fear of God? Shouldn’t I live my life out of reverence for God? If I really did that, I would have no reason NOT to tell people to imitate me.

Nehemiah reminds me unsaved people are watching me. I believe non-believers judge Christians by the choices I make. I believe their opinion of God is influenced by how I represent Him.

This morning as I sit here and think about this passage, I am considering what living with reverence for God looks like here in 2020. I think it involves both love for God and fear of Him. It involves service and worship, kindness and obedience, honesty and purity and courage and humility and surrender. It means standing out in a crowd, and standing up for Truth.

I want to live my life out of reverence for God, and I want Him to get the glory. I want to live my life out of reverence for God, because anything else is not what He deserves.

June 2 – Everything

Song of Solomon

When I read Solomon’s Song I can get caught up in the flowery words between the lovers. Their’s is an intense, consuming love. But I have to admit I often chuckle at the imagery. Hair like a flock of goats? Teeth like ewes (but thankfully none are missing), a belly like a heap of wheat, and a nose like the tower of Lebanon? Not very flattering if you ask me.

If I get caught up in the details of this beautiful book, I miss the point. It occurs to me that the things the lovers used to describe each other are valuable things, expensive things. They are things needed to sustain a person, to bring comfort, to provide for every need and pleasure. The things they used to describe each other are, well, everything.

That’s what God wanted me to see today. The love these two share means everything to them. Literally everything.

God loves me like that. He loves me with every fiber of His being. He sees me as beautiful, and treasured, adored. He loves me with all his strength, nothing is held back. Not even His Son.

Can I say the same about my love for God? What makes Solomon’s Song so beautiful is that the lovers feel the same about each other. That love is the most important thing to both of them.

I am convicted as I consider what I might be holding back from God. Do I open myself up to Him and offer Him everything? Or do I hide a relationship behind my back, keep my finances out of His reach, hold on to my pride?

I want a relationship with God as intense and honest and complete as Solomon’s was with his bride.

My Loving Bridegroom, I am Yours. I recognize that You love me completely, totally, intensely. And I want to love you like that, too. So here I am, Lord. My arms are open. My heart is open. Nothing held back. It’s all Yours, and I give it with all the love I have. My family, my future, my past, my today, my finances, relationships, dreams, my health… everything I have or hope to have, everything I am or hope to be. It’s all Yours, Lord. I love you with everything.