from Rachel: Surrender

If God is stronger than everything, and He is, then why do so many believers still live in tragic weakness?

“Some are more comfortable there, others don’t have because they don’t ask, and still others try but struggle with the ‘trust fall’ of surrendering their power and control for His.”

Beside each of these… steps, write a word or two to remind yourself of a time when you took that particular step.

Believe – “Easter 1984”

Surrender – “(Maybe ’96 or ’97 – Joel 2:20)” give or take a verse or two

What about you? Have you prayed for strength that seemingly did not come?

“Sure, in little things often where, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t entirely want to be stronger and change.”

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – “Great verse to memorize”

Do you think that statement could be true? How might we refuse the strength God provides?

“Like in my previous answer, I often pray for strength to overcome temptations that I don’t really have any desire to fight. Maybe I’m asking Him to override my free will.”

Can you think of any biblical examples of believers wanting God’s strength only on their own terms?

“Perhaps the Hebrew people wanting the Promised Land to be a cakewalk to take over, rather than a series of battles with God leading them; maybe Gideon leading a big, powerful army; perhaps Peter wanting to erect monuments to the Transfiguration.”

My ________ + God’s strength = God’s glory

“Weakness, shortcomings, inadequacy, needs, cowardliness, indecision, mistakes, fears, powerlessness, addiction, timidity, failings, lack, deficits, imperfection, poverty, struggles.”

Dearest Rachel –

As always, I know that your self assessments were never meant to be shared with the wider world. But because of that, you allowed yourself to be that much more honest about yourself, and why you couldn’t let – or wouldn’t let – God take over within you as much as you might want or need. Again, this isn’t something unique to you – we all resist Him at some level, at the end of the day (or really, at any point in the day) – but the candor in admitting it always strikes me.

Maybe it’s just that the last I’ve seen of you and heard about you have been where you’ve been held up as an example to others. With that in mind, I wonder if I haven’t idealized you in my mind over the course of your absence. I need these weekly reminders that you didn’t have it all together – and more to the point, you knew you didn’t have it all together.

But that was okay, since God doesn’t need us to have it all together. In fact, if we thought we had it all together ourselves, we’d be of no used to God, now, wouldn’t we?

Meanwhile, I keep looking for answers from Him, but I suppose I need to acknowledge that I’m probably seeking them on my own terms as well. I’m no better than you are in this respect, in that I want Him to spell out the answers for me, and soon.

But I don’t have the right to dictate that of Him. Oh, He will respond soon, just like He is coming soon, but his definition of ‘soon’ is different than mine, and I have to understand and accept that, and not get bent out of shape when we disagree about that word.

You mention how the Hebrew children were not allowed to take over the land all at once; that was so the land wouldn’t be overrun with wild animals as Israel spread out thinly over the land. Maybe I still have a lot to learn before He grants me what I need (and maybe, too, that will be considerably different from what I want).

Anyway, I do remember some of the things you didn’t want to give up. After all, I filled several dumpsters with those sorts of things. But I would still treasure them for you if I knew you were coming back for them.

I’m not sure about that reference in Joel that you make; when I look it up, it talks about the Lord feeling sorry for the nation of Israel, and His plans to restore them after the punishment of the locusts. The land would grow crops again, and in great abundance. Not sure what that has to do with your moment of surrender – and I don’t recall what happened at that point in time, in any event. But I suppose the passage indicates that we need to surrender to Him in order for Him to bless us fully in the way that He wants to.

Here’s hoping that one day I will be able to. Until then, keep an eye out for me, and wish me luck – I’ll need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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