Open Hands

Earlier this month I reviewed Laura Story’s book I Give Up (  I Give Up by Laura Story–Book Review ).  Laura is a musician and songwriter, and she mentioned a song she wrote about her surrender to God.  It’s called Open Hands and I think you’ll find it moving.

Laura Story – Open Hands (Lyric Video) ft. Mac Powell – YouTube

For another song by Laura Story see:

Blessings

 

Whose Slave Are You?

Many people don’t like the idea of being a slave or a servant, even if God is their master.  They may not say it, but they have their own agenda.  God is okay if He stays in His own space — preferably Sunday mornings. They will serve Him one day a week, but the rest of the time they’re on our own.  Face it, we all behave this way sometimes.  However, the bible tells us that God demands our full surrender:

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”  Matt. 6:24a

My husband and I recently watched a film called The Irishman.  It is the true story of Frank Sheeran, who became a hit man for the mob.  He became so inured to this life, that by the end, he killed a man who had been his good friend (Jimmy Hoffa).  When he was old and in a nursing home, he confessed to a priest, who asked him how he felt about the crimes he had committed.  “I don’t feel anything,”  he said.  His heart had become hard.  He was a slave, not to God, but to sin.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him (Jesus) in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” Romans 6:6

When we surrender our lives to God, we free ourselves from a slavery that leads only to death.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans :22-23

So chose which course you want to take — the one that leads to death, or the one that promises life?  Whose slave do you want to be?

 

Elisabeth Elliot on Surrender

“Do the ways of God seem strange to some who are honestly seeking only to be good and faithful servants?  There are strong winds, silent years of stress, deaths to be died.  The One we serve has not left us without inside information as to the why.  All who would bring their souls to God must do so with surrender and sacrifice.  This is what loving God means, a continual offering, a pure readiness to give oneself away, a happy obedience.  There is no question, ‘But what about me?’  for all the motivation is love.  All interests, all impulses, all energies are to be subjugated to that supreme passion.”

Elisabeth Elliot

For more about Elisabeth Elliot see:

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn–Book Review

Empowered by Catherine Parks–Book Review

Master of Your Own Destiny?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surrender to Be Strong?

Charles Gore (22 January 1853 – 17 January 1932) was the Bishop of Oxford, and one of the most influential Anglican theologians of his day.  Here is what he had to say about how surrendering to God actually strengthens us:

“We are conscious of our own weakness and the strength of evil;  but not of the third force, stronger than either ourselves or the power of evil, which is at our disposal if we will draw upon it.  What is needed is a deliberate and whole-hearted realization that we are in Christ and Christ is in us by His Spirit;  an unconditional surrender of faith to Him;  a practice which grows more natural by exercise of remembering and deliberately drawing by faith upon His strength in the moments of temptation and not merely upon our own resources.  ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I will do thus and thus.’  So we too may form, like St. Paul, the habit of victory.”

Charles Gore

And here’s how Saint Paul expressed the same idea:

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.                    2Corinthians 12:7-10

So exercise and grow strong — practice surrender!

For another quote by Charles Gore see:

The Power of the Holy Spirit