Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. O’Connor

Sept. 18, 2003

 

Main Thought: To examine the Joys of surrendering all of our hearts

 

The Joys of Surrender

 

Have you ever given of yourself to a place of complete surrender and felt the joy of that experience? It seems that infants seem to find that place when they’re in their Mother’s arms. They just seem to drift off into a place of total rest and contentment. I think that when we look upon their faces while they’re in this place of total contentment we too ache to be there especially as adults having gone through so many aches and pains. Sometimes I think that we can only experience that place of surrender only by gazing into the faces of our little infants as they rest in our arms. But, there is a place I believe we can live that is continuously in a state of contentment just as a child at rest within his/her Mother’s arms. There is joy in surrender that only those who have experienced it know. It seems as we mature from infants and become more self-aware, so does our desire to become more independent. And of course, that is important, but what is sad is that we tend to lose touch with the joy of total surrender. I believe we were made to live in a state of surrender/abandonment and so as adults we look for those things that will take us there.

 

We’ll try finding this place of total abandonment by the giving of ourselves to others either sexually or to things like idolatry. It seems that we were wired to give of ourselves and we’ll do anything to get there even if it may be wrong and cause us harm. I think the only other thing next to surrender to Christ that seems to help with this void is when we surrender ourselves to our spouses. We experience the joy of not only surrendering ourselves to them, but also the joys of having someone else surrender themselves to us. Many people have found though that this covenant of matrimony is only as strong as those making it. The result has been many lives have had their hearts smashed and torn apart by the agonies of divorce. But as hard as some may try to fill this void through their spouse, it just is not enough. Thank our God though for One Who sticks closer than even a brother; Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Whole Chapter: Proverbs 18 In context: Proverbs 18:23-25) That One is Christ Who proved Himself worthy of our surrender and abandonment to Him.

 

I’ve been there in this life and know the heart wrenching pain of divorce and understand the heart’s reluctance to open itself again to another person once you’ve been ripped. It’s through listening that we learn and if we but look intently into Who Christ is and what He has done we will grow to Trust in this One Who laid it all on the line for us. He didn’t give up or give in when the going got rough but went all the way to the cross and bore our penalties of sin and satisfied the Father’s wrath to the sin we have all given in to. The more we listen to Who He is, the more we learn that we can trust Him. The more that we trust Him, the more we can learn to surrender our will to His. The more of our will we surrender to His, the more Joy will flood our lives. It’s amazing how much the physical lives we lead are like images of the spiritual life to come. Those who have grown to the point in their life where they’ve come to love someone to entrust all their hearts to them know the joy of surrender. But, there is someone who will never leave us nor forsake us and enable us to keep the vows we make to each other.  Hebrews 13:4-5 4   Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 5   Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

 

God knows that everything our eyes can see and our hands can touch are but a moment and are not life. Even our marriage partners that we’ve committed our lives to and so tells us not to covet those things that are not ours but to learn how to be grateful for where we’re at and what we have. Matthew 10:36-38 36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'[1] 37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. For Christ, who is all we truly need, will never leave us or forsake us. The more we learn how to delight our lives in the One from Whom we exist and to Whom we will return, the more joy our hearts will reap.

 

Our life here below is kind of like looking into a lake at an image. The image is not the actual thing that we’re seeing but just an image of it. So the many things of this life that we presently see are merely a reflection of where we’re going but pales in comparison to what it is actually going to be like. Our hearts now ache to be united with another person but even that ache is derived from the ache of our hearts to be united with the One from which we exist. We may feel pain when others hurt due to the compassion of the One from which we exist and to Whom we will return. We may find joy and fulfillment in labor and looking at the fruit of our labors like our Loving Heavenly Father who created all things. Too many times though we don’t take the time to realize that we were created for Him and so our hearts get all wrap up with concern and worry about the things of this life that are here and gone. The one we committed our lives to may have wanted out, the possessions we had may have been lost or even our own health lost – they all belong to Him.

 

May He ever teach us how to delight in Him, not only when our relationships are good, or are possessions are full, or when our health is great, but all the time! For the one who has learned to lose himself/herself in the beauty of God in the hard times is joyous indeed. Isaiah 64:8 Yet, O LORD , you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Whole Chapter: Isaiah 64 In context: Isaiah 64:7-9) If we can imagine clay in a Potter’s hands; can you imagine the joy of the potter to work with clay that’s very supple and easy to mold? Now imagine us as that clay and the joy our lives would be filled with by being supple and yielded to His leading and direction. After living with myself for 46 years now, I see things in me that may be considered weaknesses by others but that’s ok – now. For I’m beginning to learn how to accept me just as He created me, a very intense, focused (tunnel vision) individual. And I also realize that every strength to extreme can become a weakness and so am continuously learning how to grow into maturity with Christ. May our hearts never grow dull to the joy of learning how to grow and be stretched. I think that is one of the things I like most about my job because I’m continually being challenged with things I’ve never seen before. His Word is like that to our hearts for Hebrews 4:12 states For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-­edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Whole Chapter: Hebrews 4 In context: Hebrews 4:11-13) Instead of resisting change, our hearts should learn to embrace it for we’re all in transition if we’re learning to yield to Him.

 

It seems that only those things that are living are capable of being hurt. And so, the more life there is in a given area, the more amount of pain can be had at that point. Some people let every little look and word others speak negatively affect them. They have much concern about what others think of them. Let’s look at Christ and see what affected Him; Luke 9:5 If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them." (Whole Chapter: Luke 9 In context: Luke 9:4-6) and yet when the Father merely had to look away from Christ the moment He became sin for us it practically ripped His heart out thus He cried out; Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,[ 27:46 Some manuscripts Eli, Eli] lama abachthani?"–which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"[ 27:46 Psalm 22:1] (Whole Chapter: Matthew 27 In context: Matthew 27:45-47) I think that we need to learn how to die more and more to those things of this life that are meaningless in eternity and draw closer and closer to the One from which all things exist. We need to learn how to be tough and resistant to those things that are meaningless to Christ and extremely sensitive to His heart and desire for us. That only comes through submission. What develops this submission in our hearts to Him? Prayer and fasting; Mark 9:29 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer.[ 9:29 Some manuscripts prayer and fasting] " (Whole Chapter: Mark 9 In context: Mark 9:28-30)

 

Intimacy with our spouses builds closeness with them and the same goes with spending time with Him. Do we want our hearts to be fuller of Joy? Then I believe we need to learn how to be more submitted to the Master Potter Who is in the process of making something beautiful out of our lives. Do we want to be more submitted to Him? Than we need to learn how to spend more time with Him.

 

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Beautiful Loving Pure Love that You have for each of us. Teach us how to spend time with You that You may ever transform us into the image of Your Son – the express image of Your heart! In Jesus Glorious Name, Thank you.

 

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