How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Bow My Life

It never fails.  EVER.  It doesn't matter which study is chosen for the Women's Bible study at church, which book ends up as our Bible study book through the summer, what message I listen to at my church or even when visiting another while out of town...EVERY TIME He gets me.  Every time it is something new.  In Hebrews 4:12, the writer explains this phenomenon very well:  "For the Word of God is living and active..."  

I've read Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austin, AT LEAST a dozen times.  I KNOW the storyline...Elizabeth and Darcy will fall in love even though Elizabeth is stubborn, Darcy is stuffy and pompous, her sister, Lydia, makes things look pretty impossible through her ridiculous flirtatious stupidity, and Elizabeth's family is "beneath" the illustrious Darcy; but, in the will conquer all:).  I love this book.  It is so familiar to me I can quote the dialogue.  But never once in all the years I have read this novel has it "changed" me.  Entertained?  Absolutely.  But the same Cherri closes the last page that opened the first.

Not so with this Bible we hold in our is living.  I can read one verse and it can slay me or at the very least slay something in me that needs slaying.  This study is no different...not at all. 

I began this chapter "I Bow My Life" with anticipation.  I love writers like Linda.  She's practical.  I love that fact that she points in a direction and then gives you practical ideas on how to get there.  Nothing is more frustrating than to have a teacher give you profound principles of...whatever...parenting, finances, or Christian living and then drop you like a hot rock.  I can't count how many times I have read a book or listened to a speaker and agreed with their thoughts and was left now what?  How do I get there?  What should I do?  When should I start?  I NEED the practical.  And Linda delivers.  In this chapter it was more than I was anticipating.  

I was blissfully reading along when I came to "Lorraine's story."  Lorraine talks of giving herself 98 percent to God.  She had saved that small 2 percent back.  I mean, really, 98 percent sounds pretty darn good to me.  Many times I was thrilled with a 98 in school.  It looks good on paper...98%...WOW!  Except not in the area of living life for our God. Lorraine mentioned her life "box" of 2 percent.  I, too, have a "box" stuffed to the brim with (at the very least) 2 percent of my worst fears and anxious "what ifs." He had been pealing back the lid on that box before I got into this study, this week He pretty much kicked the lid clean off.  Lorraine's words, "God, I am sick of holding onto this 2 percent.  It's making me miserable.  I give it over to You, Lord. My life is yours, nothing held back. Do with me as You wish," terrified me.  Was I ready for this?  Shouldn't you be ready for this kind of surrender?  What if I'm not ready...then won't I just fail?  Maybe I should wait until I'm ready.  Really?  Was I ready to get married?  to have a baby?  Heaven knows the answer to those questions is a resounding "NO."  If I waited until I was ready, a childless spinster would be writing this post.  And if I wait until I am ready to surrender ALL of me life, I can tell you exactly when it will I take my last breath.  I don't need to be ready; I need to be obedient.

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I, too, will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21)

What commands are His????

Thank goodness Jesus, Himself, answered this question so it would be crystal clear...

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.  Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked of Him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one is this: 'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)

Last time I checked "all" meant ALL, everything, 100 percent.  Anything less is not "all."  Including almost 98 percent.  

Lorraine ends her story with these words:  "Relief washed over me.  All my anxiousness was in my Two Percent Box...and that box was now gone.  Oh, the sweet peace that comes with complete surrender to God, the joy of releasing my wrestlings to Him.  To this day, I've never regretted surrendering my life completely to Him."  Don't you love that God allows us to be beacons to others?  Lorraine is a beacon to me.  

This week I have prayed every single one of the prayers of surrender that are in this chapter.  I have written them out in my journal...including the words of the beautiful hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be."  I will surrender my life over and again if I have to.  The benefits to complete surrender are too magnificent.  I love how The Message interprets John 14:21:  "The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that's who loves Me.  And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him." How I need Him to be plain to me.

Surrender...the hardest easy thing we will ever do. "God helping you:  Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering." Romans 12:1~The Message. Let's surrender it all as an offering to the God we love.

Love to you, my friends!



  1. Ok, this chapter left my toes really sore. Stomped them good it did! I would like to say that I too was giving God 98%, but I am not a liar. I don't know what my percentage would actually be, but I know my box is probably pretty big. Ouch! I am so thankful for this book, and thankful that my sister-in-law invited me to this group. Thanks Lynn! I needed this. I had never considered how much there is that I haven't surrendered to God. And of course after reading this chapter, I had to face facts. My sweet Lord deserves nothing less than my total devotion and obedience.

  2. Jenny,
    I am so glad you joined us! I love your transparency and your heart to grow. It is inspirational:)


  3. Last night before bed, I read this chapter over again for the third time!!! I can relate to Cherri's comments and to Jenny's comments. Some studies to me are easier than others.... Total obedience and total surrender are not easy or comfortable to me. Jonah was a hard lesson and so is 100%. I have been so let down and disappointed by so many people in my short lifetime that it is very difficult for me to trust. But this is God, who has never let me down, lied to me or disappointed me. Am I ready for this? I asked the same question. Like Jenny, I need to surrender more than 2% I suspect. I do know that God loves me and knows what is best for me. I want my life to count for more than just myself and the here & now. Sunday, David made the comment that everybody serves someone and that most people, if honest, were self serving. I never realized how self absorbed I could be. This has been a serious wake up call for me. I surrender all. Lord, help my unbelief!!!!

  4. Jenny... I am so happy you decided to go through this study with us. I love you so much and I'm so proud of you!!! My brother is one lucky dude!!! ( OR blessed!!! )

  5. For me total surrender is also scary. I like having control over part of my life. Ironically, it makes me feel safer...another crazy lie of the enemy! The more I get to know my God, the more clearly I see there is no safer place than in His arms:) I, too, want my life to count for more than "just myself and the here and now." I agree, Lynn. We have this one life to live, we need to do it in such a way that it is used for God's good purposes!


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