“quitting is not surrender”

Nearly ten days into the new year and I can’t come up with any new goals or resolutions.  This isn’t like me at all.  Usually, I start recording potential items in August for the upcoming year.  I have no idea why I don’t have a vision for the new year.

For someone like me, this is terribly unsettling…like waking up and not being able to see your face.

Today was different.  I’m starting to get some clarity.

For about a month now, the Lord has spoken to me about surrender.  I confess, I have a quitter’s streak in me.  I reach a capacity level in my emotional world where I just can’t do a certain thing anymore.  It’s not filled with high-drama, but the switch just gets flipped and I check out. Quit. 

One of the things the Lord has revealed to me is that I don’t always keep ‘quitting’ and ‘surrender’ in their own respective corners.  I mix them up to make ‘quitting’ look like I’m being noble to surrender and ‘trust the Lord.’   But He and I both know, I’m not trusting…I’m just refusing to allow the situation to be a part of my reality anymore.  I’m not laying it down to let God have His way with the situation, I am laying it down as a burial. 

Genesis 22 tells of God’s testing of Abraham on the promise He had made to him.  In the unimaginably uncomfortable retelling of Abraham’s journey up Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his son of promise,  God has taught me how I am to be a living the surrendered life.   Had I been required to walk up Mt. Moriah, I would have said goodbye and good riddance to all my dreams, aspirations, and checking-out on God’s promises.  I would have quit.  Second guessing I had heard God correctly about His promise. 

Abraham did not do this.  Instead, we see a man who despite the weight of laying down his son’s life is fully motivated by hope.  Hope that they will both return after worshipping God.  Hope that God will provide an alternative.  Hope that God will be a life-saver.

Abraham’s not only motivated by hope.

But also, conviction.  Abraham is not doubting that God will provide another way.  He doesn’t short-change his own need for obedience because God is apparently waiting until the last second.  Abraham is convinced, with raised knife in hand that the God who appeared to him and passed through the covenant pieces alone, will be the God who is present on that mount and will appear in time to safe-guard His promise.  Abraham is convinced that the covenant is not in jeopardy.  God has crossed His heart on the matter.

And belief.  Belief that God will still accomplish what He has promised.   There is no questioning of God.  Abraham knows that the God he has trusted up to this moment is a God still worthy of trust.   

Abraham’s surrendering of Isaac is filled with the vibrancy of life.   Abraham knows that this moment does not represent death, but a walking, breathing, active  trust in the Life-Giver.   Abraham is not quitting on God’s promises to Him; he is giving himself over to them!   

In this truth, I see how I have not been able set goals for 2010 because all the things I know God has asked me to do involves surrender and I don’t want to make goals to quit.  I see now God is asking just the opposite of me.  He is asking me to surrender more of me to Him so that I might have greater trust, conviction, and life in Him and in His promises. 

So, 2010 will be about surrender…being a living sacrifice…surrendering myself to live to the plans, purposes, and glory of the One Who Provides.  May the year close out and it be said of me that she was a woman who was motivated by hope, filled with conviction, believed unswervingly, and gave herself fully to the surrendered life.

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