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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Sacrifice of Submission

“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
For what I do is not the good I want to do;
no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.
What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Romans 7:18-19, 24-25 NIV

Today I have come to the garden with a struggling heart. I know what I should do but I don’t want to obey. I am overcome with anger because of my situation. I want to be the one in control, not God. It’s my life, why don’t I get to call the shots? Why do things keep happening to me that I have to struggle with and work through? It seems at times that God is setting up there in his beautiful heaven while I am here on earth making all of the sacrifices. So today with more than my fair share of anger bubbling up within me I come to the garden and go directly to my cooling down spot. I love this precious little waterfall that trickles down the rocks and splashes into the pond. Here I am surrounded by the soft gentle ferns and the striking hosta that is displaying many beautiful shades of green. I have been to this cooling down spot many times before. Believe me, this place is very familiar! There are no surprises here; I know exactly what is coming next. Two words immediately flood my mind. Those hard to swallow words are sacrifice and submission.

When I think of sacrifices I immediately remember the Old Testament sacrifices and Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation. As believers we are also told to offer up to our God and King sacrifices of praise and worship. But today I am faced with yet another sacrifice; it is the sacrifice of submission. God’s will for my life, not my will.

For me the sacrifice of submission is very difficult because it involves the personal relinquishment of the very thing that my heart and my will tenaciously cling to like moss on a tree. It is the people, the relationships, and the circumstances in life that in my own strength I am unable to surrender to God. Satan battles with me on an extremely high level regarding those issues that I must surrender to God in order to live victoriously. Satan fills my mind with lies, he fills my heart with fear, and he straps burdens on my back that I must carry all day and even as I sleep!

It is true that I will never be perfect in this life, but it is also true that God wants me to experience victorious living on every level while I am alive. This victory comes to me when I am able to relinquish my will to God’s great power and authority.

You may be terminally ill, or you may live in constant pain. You may now be putting your life on hold in order to be a caregiver for someone you love. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one. Your finances may be a matter of deep concern. Perhaps you have lost your job and are at your wits end looking for another one. You may have a difficult child or an adult child that is a prodigal. Perhaps war has separated you from a loved one. You may be someone who has experienced a broken relationship or maybe you are involved in a marriage that has gone south. Perhaps you have been separated from a loved one due to false accusations. Maybe you have suffered abuse. You may be uneducated, unemployed, unmarried, childless or unfulfilled. You may feel that you are alone in your circumstances but trust me, God is there!

The truth is that we are surrounded by trouble on every side. BUT GOD… has overcome the world and he gives that same power to each of us who belong to him. Jesus has opened the throne room of God and given us direct access to the Heavenly Father. Through prayer we petition the Father, Jesus also intercedes for us, and when we pray, God’s power is released to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. With God’s help, becoming a person who overcomes the adversity and the heartache that is found in life is a very real possibility.

I am here in the garden today because this is to be a day of letting go! I want to do what is right but I struggle to do it because I am a slave to my sin nature. Poor wretched woman I am, who will sit me free? Jesus Christ will set me free one day at a time. No matter what I have been through, or what I am going through, or what I will go through in the future, God wants the sacrifice of my submission. God wants me to hand him the “what if” the “what is” and the “what will be”. God wants my faith response to be, God, I trust you completely with my life and with the lives of those I love.

I am so grateful that my righteousness is not based upon my immediate obedience to submission. When life knocks me off my feet I must spend time in the garden. I must either return to the garden or stay in the garden until I am able to relinquish my will to God’s will. I am not any different than Jesus. The struggle of the flesh vs. the spirit takes place in my garden of Gethsemane just as it did for Jesus. It is my faith and trust in Jesus that is accounted to me as righteousness in God’s sight. It is having faith that believes that God is able to work in my behalf and that he will work in my best interest no matter what the results in this life may look like. In this present world God chooses many times to bless us, but eternity is always his priority! Our eternal good always overrides this present life. Because of God’s great love for me, today I choose to let go.


Is there anything in your life that you need to let go of and give to God?

Are you experiencing a struggle of your flesh vs. the spirit?

Are you feeling anger or fear regarding your situation?

Are you afraid to let go?

Do you want to experience God’s peace and victory in this struggle?


Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before you today and readily admit that I am angry and I am afraid! But the fact is there is no where I am safe from this torment except in your arms. Why is it so hard for me to trust you? I know you love me. I know you love those I love more than I do. Yet, I am so afraid! God I need your power and your strength to fill me so that I will have the courage to trust you. God, I know that you are looking out for my eternal good. I have been told that hard times and brokenness are used in my life to make me into your likeness. Oh to be like you Lord, pure and sinless as you are. Today Lord, I am going to take a leap of faith. I know full well it could go either way. I could gain or I could loose. But this day I will choose to let go and say, “…the LORD gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Lord I also know that the sacrifice of submission is necessary for my peace. I also realize that sometimes I must “let go” before I can “have”. Either way Lord, today I release my tight grip to you as I choose to let go of _________________.

In You Name I Pray. Amen.