“Our spiritual ear will never be sensitive to His voice if we have a personal agenda to which we are already committed. God leads and speaks to the humble who have surrendered their plans and want to do His will. With an ‘open heaven’ and a surrendered will, we will be able to clearly hear God’s voice in our hearts.” Jim Cymbala
All of us are prone at times to hold on too tightly to our own plans, ambitions, relationships, expectations, hurts, unhealthy habits, wrong attitudes, and even our successes, long after God has instructed us to let them go.
Often, in the moment, letting go does not make any sense. We insist on carrying these obstacles, around for awhile – perhaps a lifetime – no matter how they may limit or short-circuit the benefits we could otherwise enjoy in taking the necessary steps in letting go of those things which are only binding us, entrapping us, and holding us hostage to our own self centered ways.
When we choose to have thoughts in our minds towards others that we know are not loving, we must take swift action in taking heed to ask the Holy Spirit to enter into these areas, allowing the work of Christ to be the change needed in our minds, so these thoughts do not become wrong attitudes rooted in our hearts.
This way we do not store up bitterness, resentments, anger, or even hatred towards others and we can come before the Holy Spirit asking to create clean hearts in us, so we can be the God Hearts of transformation that Christ calls us to be in and by His ability.
This is the perfecting work of Christ in our human self ways for His ways to cleanse us internally in our thoughts, minds and hearts so we can be the people who walk in an authenticity in being doers of His word, as His love is always at work in us, changing us nearer to His likeness, when we give up and surrender our ways to Him, moment by moment in our faith walk.
Hearing from God and enjoying the freedom that results from being doers of His word, along with following through with walking in the direction He leads, often requires us to empty our own hands, letting go of people, activities, habits, attitudes, and behaviors, so we can move into the better plans He has in store for us.
Our faith walk takes intentionality on our part. We must plan, have a strategy, adhere to an accountability with God and with others, all in a determined commitment towards living a life in obedience in walking this narrow road Christ calls each of us to walk in, being followers of His ways.
As we practice intentionality, God gives us His grace, His Spirit infused in us, His mercy to be all of whom He desires us to be and in this way it is His work in us, but it is our surrendering to Him, that allows His Spirit of love to be this radical difference and change within our lives.
Otherwise, if we choose to hold onto those things which are only holding us to our own self ways, we become slaves in our wayward emotions, and these will betray us into clinging to things out of rebellion and personal comfort, from our own insecurities and we will miss this place of joy, peace, and fulfillment that comes from living a life in obedient servitude to our Fathers’ desires for us.
The road we take in walking in our faith, being doers of choosing the Christ way above our own desires, above what others are doing, and moving into this place where our desires become an automatic response in saying Yes to responding in a loving, genuine, sincere way with others in all our relationships, we are moving nearer to being Christ like.
We discover our response to Christ in surrendering all He requires changes our inner being to align with our outward profession, and we enter into the union of being in the fellowship of the Godhead in whose union we are called the beloved.
We can thank our Father in the fact we are always arriving nearer to being His love in our thoughts, words, deeds and behaviors, but never having arrived to any state of perfection until He ushers us into our eternal dwelling place with Him in the heavenly realm.
I am also reminded as we journey in our faith walk in our struggle and angst in this ‘letting go’ process, in our failed attempts, in our weaknesses and in the midst of all we are as humans, each day, our Father offers us His forgiveness, mercy, compassion, grace and His sustaining love, as our ever steady faithful God, in whose truth we were birthed as His children.
We are not meant to be in any state of perfection, nor are we supposed to quickly arrive in this ‘giving up of our self’ process, as we are all a work in progress as the Christ Spirit in us, is the change agent, helping us to evolve into any ever closer desire to be more like Him in all our ways.
So, as He offers mercy, let us remember to offer mercy, grace and love to others, realizing we are all on this journey together, no one better than another, but we walk in love, holding one another up in this struggle in becoming more Christ like, in the midst of all life’s challenges as love is the greatest gift we can offer one another.
We count the cost as worthy of no longer resisting His leading in obedience as we discover, the cost of letting go of self ways become a far better life in entering into knowing our God is enough.
Each day we rise to be in Him, taking opportunity to be still in His presence, bathing in His goodness, centering ourselves in His love and our life becomes one that is lived from His fullness as our source of all we could possibly desire or need in this life and we find He fully satisfies our every longing.
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister
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