Monday, February 7

Surrendering Your Heart

"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.--1st Chronicles 28:9

This verse reminds me of a dream that I had about 5 years ago. In it I was standing before Jesus, asking him what I needed to do to be saved. Later, I wrote down what had happened in the dream in a form somewhat like a poem, describing what had happened.
I offer up my heart to you.
Though it is bruised and broken, somehow it's still beating.

Ashamed for you to see it, I turn away as you look it over.

You take my heart in your firm but gentle hand.

As you turn it over and examine it from all sides, you slowly close your eyes and I see a tear slide down your cheek.

"I'm sorry." I whisper.

You open your eyes and look right at me.

Your eyes see through to the very core of me.

I know you see everything I've ever done, and so I turn away.

I can't bear that look you're giving me.
It's as though you feel as much pain as I do.
Again you direct your attention to my fragile heart.
"I can make it whole again," you say, " but it will take time..."

You pause to look at me and I hold my breath as I wait for you to continue.

"You must let me have your heart...will you let me have it? It's the only way."
I know I can do nothing for myself,
so I fall on my knees and say:

"Lord, take it. It's yours. Do as you see fit."


In my dream, just as I had done in real life, I surrendered my heart. I decided to relinquish my control so that God's will could be done in my life. It is tempting to think that I am in control of my life. It is easy to think that good things happen because of the choices I make, and not because God is the one at work behind the scenes. Whenever I start to make decisions based on my own motives, I am reminded that no decision I make escapes God's attention. There will be a day when I have to own up to everything I have done.

Humans are stubborn creatures. We think that we can hide from God. We sometimes forget that he sees through us, and he sees all parts of us, including our hearts, our souls, and our minds. Surrendering is counter-intuitive. How is it that we are able to gain anything by giving up everything? It doesn't make sense. Maybe that's what I like most about God. Just because his ways don't make sense, it doesn't mean they aren't real.

I cannot think of words strong enough to describe how critical it is that we let God into our lives. We can claim to love him, we can go to church every week, but unless we offer him our hearts and let him refine us, we are miserable. God desires a relationship with us--he pursues us but doesn't push us. He is easily found, but just as easily forgotten when we let our own motives get in the way of what we want out of life.

Surrender. That is a difficult word to understand, especially in today's culture. God wants to give us everything, but first we must give up everything. Surrendering is something that many of us struggle to put into practice, but if we truly love God, then we will do it. We will give him everything we hold dear--our secrets, our dreams, our hurts, our longings. We will lay all of it before him and allow him to do with us as he sees fit.


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