I hope you had some deep and brave conversations as you studied Anything Week Three dealing with the reality of suffering. As Christians, we’re in a war and needn’t be shocked when we take hits from our adversary. If you haven’t joined the conversation already, please do! Leave your comments on the Anything study pages because we want to hear from you!
For Week Four, we’ll:
- Watch the video
- Read Chapters 8-10 of Anything
- Study 1 Corinthians 15:12-32
- Answer the questions and projects on pages 225-231 in the Study Guide at the back of the book.
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Have you ever had the experience of being someplace grand and luxurious, like a beautiful hotel, a swanky restaurant, a deluxe spa, or a tony retail mall and realized that in that moment, in that fancy place you felt awesome. Not awesome as in Wow! This place is beautiful! What a privilege to be here! But, personally awesome. The kind that crows I totally belong here. This place is for me. I was born for this level of elegance.
It’s completely embarrassing to admit that I have.
As Jennie described her “bathroom floor moment” in Chapter 8, it immediately brought to mind the devastating and transformational day that I finally acknowledged before God what I already knew was true… Even though I was involved in ministry, I was just checking off that box. Work for Jesus — check! At the core I was wasting my life focused solely on my own stuff — mothering, wifing, difficulties, joys, needs, busyness, duties, vacations, heartbreak, happiness, and troubles — all the while not doing one bit of effective, dynamic good for the Kingdom of God. How foolish and careless!
Mine was a “shower floor moment”, but never mind that. So many wasted years had already passed when we only have so few that Jesus’ half-brother James calls life a vapor or a mist it’s so fleeting.
As a fallen human being, I still contend with the same frustrating me-orientedness, but that shower floor moment marked a shift. It was the day that the truth that I was squandering this one precious life hit me on the head like a 2×4, and I wept and repented before God.
I am so sorry, Jesus. No more, Lord. I don’t want to misuse another minute.
That was the day I made my contract with the Lord as Bill Bright did (page 84). I’m yours God. I’m not in charge anymore. So, You say, I go. You direct, I follow. You speak, I do it. Anything.
Have you had a bathroom floor moment? The moment when in one encounter your life vision, your heart direction, your focus, and your faith changes and you couldn’t even go back again if you wanted to? It takes surrender – which may be terrifying – but praying God, I don’t want to live this average, fruitless, self-focused, tepid, comfort-oriented, vanilla life anymore lets God out of the small box we’ve put Him in to feel “safe” and “in control”. Surrender is our invitation to the spirit-led life, no holds barred!
Merriam Webster describes it this way:
Surrender — verb sur·ren·der \sə-ˈren-dər\
- to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed
- to to give oneself up into the power of another
- to yield
For extra credit, get out your Bible and a notebook and write down your thoughts as you dig into these epic moments of surrender from Scripture:
Jesus’ teenage mother, Mary — Luke 1:26-38
A girl named Hadassah — Esther 3 & Esther 4
The Saul who became Paul — Acts 9:1-22
Ruth, the Moabite — Ruth 1:1-17
Simon Peter, James & John — Luke 5:1-11
The first Samaritan missionary (The woman at the well) — John 4:4-42
Matthew — Matthew 9:9-13
The Woman who anointed Jesus — Luke 7:36-50
Those stories of the heroes of the faith when they chose to set aside their old lives and run flat-out for Jesus inspire me! How about you?
Considering surrender, go back and read the couple of paragraphs Jennie shared in Chapter 8 (page 81-82) excerpted from Katie Davis’ blog.
Write your own definition of surrender. What is it? Have you ever had a “bathroom floor moment”? (page 77). Join the conversation over on our study page this week.
If you’re feeling inspired, join me today and write up your Contract with God. My renewed contract reads:
Father, I give You all of me. My hopes and dreams are Yours. My future is Yours. The finances and possessions You have put in my hands are Yours. The children You have entrusted to me are Yours. Whatever You want. I stand palms-open and declare that nothing belongs to me, not even myself. I trust You. I’ll go anywhere. And, I’ll do anything.
Because, really, we’re here on Planet Earth for such a short time. We’re just a vapor. (James 4:14) We might as well run flat-out for Jesus while we can!