Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Give God all Your Cards

Typically, I don't like phrases that talk about giving God all the "cards" or putting all your "cards" on the table when it comes to your life because it makes life seem like a game, like something trivial. But that's how we live, isn't it? We happily hand a part of our lives over to God, like playing Go Fish, but when we want it back or something else back, we just take it. We treat God like the discard pile in a game of Rummy. We put cards down knowing that we can pick them up again. We strategize about how and when we can pick them back up and win the game. We plot and scheme to get our way because we don't want to fully surrender to God. We have ever so cleverly called this process "planning for the future" and in doing so have short-changed God of the surrender He asks for in our lives.

Now, I'm not saying to not plan anything ever and don't save up money for the future, quite the contrary, those things are good and necessary in this world. Save money, plan for tomorrow, ask for directions, get an education, and live your life. But don't do any of these things at the cost of surrendering to God. Love God and plan your life according to His will for you. Understand that if God wants to move you, you need to be ready and willing to pack up and move for His good purpose. He purposes to give us a hope and a future, not to lead us all over creation for His personal jollies.

Here are just 10 verses (my own emphasis added) on surrender and serving:

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)

"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor." (John 12:26)

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass ... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." (Psalm 37:4-7)

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your hand..." (Psalm 31:14)

"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad." (Matthew 12:30)

"I came to send fire on the earth ... Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division." (Luke 12:49)

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' And 'a man's foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34)

"... whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:33)

God doesn't ask for just part of your life in a few nights a week, God requires your whole life, every second of every day! He has given His only Son to provide a life for us, to provide that hope and future and what do we give Him in return? A few nights a week and a courtesy prayer every now and then when other people are listening. Would that make you happy if your son had died for someone? Doubtful. We are too selfish to even think about giving the lives of anyone we love to someone else, much less our own children!

If pleasing God isn't enough motivation for you, check this out:

Mark 10:28-31 (New Living Translation)

"Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.

“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

What have you given to God? Have you taken it back already? Have you really turned your life over to God and let Him have free reign over every single aspect of it? Have you let him dictate your days, minute by minute? Will you? Why not? Is it a trust issue?

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