Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Surrender the Safety-Net

You did it! You took that large leap of faith and went for it. You know this is something God has always called you to do and now you have positioned yourself to embrace it fully. Or have you?... Why do you feel like your drowning and barely keeping your head above water? So much time and sacrifice went into this decision and you know that this was God's will for your life, but why does it feel like it's not?

Have you ever been there before? You finally start writing that book, you take that job, you start that business, or you move to that new city, but...it's not what you expected. In fact it's hard. You already want to give up. This isn't how you imagined it would be. You have stepped so far out of your comfort zone with the mountain of uncertainty before you that you are overwhelmed and you crave for the comfort of everything familiar. You want to go back to that routine you had crafted so perfectly, you wanna go where everyone knows your name, you want to retreat from the difficult task for fear you might mess it up.

I can't help but wonder if Ruth from the Bible was probably there. To get up and leave her pagan homeland of Moab and go with her embittered mother in law to Bethlehem- a place where they worship the living God-has got to be a bit of a daunting task for Ruth. We all know her from her bold proclamations of faith she spouted in chapter one to Naomi in verses 16 and 17:
"But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

I have always imagined her standing before her mother in law speaking with confidence and boldness. But was she uttering those words at first with her lips trembling and tears streaming down her face? Did she have an encounter with Naomi's God that revealed to her she should continue on with Naomi? Did she know there was nothing left for her behind in Moab or perhaps a cruel family that couldn't care less if she came back? Despite the reason, she pressed on and stated to Naomi a courageous conviction that might have been simmering in her heart for a while now. She tells Naomi she is determined to go, states her faith in God (turning her back on her pagan lifestyle) and then she does something incredible... she removes her safety-net. 

See up until this point she had one foot in Moab and one foot in Bethlehem. Holding on to what she knows and what she is comfortable with. Perhaps she keeps looking back and estimating how far she may have to travel back by herself if she decides to go back like her sister in law Orpah did. 

After she makes these seven vows to Naomi, what she is inherently doing is taking her foot out of Moab and placing it next to the other so she can proceed forward in full faith and confidence that what is ahead of her is greater than what she left behind. 

"May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me"

Here is where she removes that safety-net. Here is where the vows turn from Naomi but to God. She is saying if "I don't do these things whole-heartedly and follow the will God has planned for me, then I deserve to get what's coming to me." The wrath of God in the early bible days is something I would never want to test. 
Apart of obedience that no one ever thinks about is SURRENDER. Fully surrendering our agendas, our families, our finances, our hearts and our emotions is never calculated when we say our yes to God. We have a tendency to hold tightly to the things that we know we can control when we are in a season of transition. 

Let go, surrender, don't get in your own way. Pick up both feet and move them in the same direction- FORWARD. You can't go anywhere if you have one foot in God's will and one foot in your comfort zone. 

When Ruth came to a place of full surrender, she was able to etch her name into the lineage of Jesus Christ! If God can use a widowed pagan Moabitess to accomplish His will, He can use me and you. If we let go, things greater than we could have ever imagined may lying before us.

What do you need to surrender today to fully embrace God's will for your life?

"I Surrender" by Hillsong

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