When I have a busy day planned but an unscheduled incident occurs and thwarts my agenda, how do I react? Such was my portion last week. I began the day with an early start, visited the grocery store and purchased all necessary items on the shopping list and loaded them safely in the car. Great! All going well so far, praise God! Placing the key into the ignition of my vehicle, I was ready to whiz off to accomplish the next item on my agenda…….or so I thought! The engine did not respond in the usual way and powerfully roar into readiness. Have you ever had a flat battery? If so, you will recognise the sound that no motorist wants to hear. I had neglected to turn the side lights off on the vehicle when I went into the store, resulting in a flat battery! Thoroughly irritated with myself, I called for assistance to jump start my ailing battery. As I waited for help to arrive, I was reflecting on the spiritual lesson to be learnt from my school of life, the school of the Spirit. Genesis 3 records the event of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the garden, after which their shame caused them to hide from the Lord. The Lord called out to Adam, “Where are you?”, (verse 9). God was not looking for information from Adam, He knew exactly where Adam was, and why. When God asks us this question, “Where are you?”, it is time to allow the Holy Spirit to give us a health check, and see where we have surrendered God’s peace to a situation. Irritation if unchecked can turn to anger and bring on spiritual decline. When we rein in our emotions and repent before the Lord, He enables us to walk through situations in His grace, instead of blowing it. In every situation, Jesus had His ear inclined to His Father, and He can enable us to do the same when things don’t go according to our plan. Be assured, God has another plan, and it will include revealing to us exactly how He sees us, how we really are, and not where we think we are. The trials of life are for proving God and discovering just how much, or how little, the resurrection life of Jesus is operating through us.
As I sat in my vehicle waiting for help to arrive, this thought came to mind: Here I am, my shopping bags are filled with my purchases and loaded into a big powerful vehicle where I am seated…….and going nowhere! No power! Flat battery! Is this a picture of me spiritually? Is there a lack of God’s power in my life? Knowing full well my birthright in Christ, am I walking in that? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we can learn from it if the Holy Spirit is teaching us something to apply for the future. Surrender is a theme the Lord is constantly reminding us of this year. So this is the challenge: Many know the words to the Christmas carol, “What can I give Him, poor as I am?”, the last line of which is, “I’ll give Him my heart”. Maybe we have sung the words sincerely, but then the testing comes in the school of life. All life is a test presenting opportunities to prove God. Surrender to the Lord is daily as situations arise, it is always in the present tense, current. As I die to self and my agendas, Christ lives and comes forth through me. When I withhold in any area, no power. No surrender, no power! Is this true? Surely it is worth testing. We cling to the rags of our rights, the ground we don’t want to give up, not understanding that we can never out give God. His plans far exceed beyond anything we could ask or imagine. The joy and peace God grants after surrender are far beyond anything I cling to.
Many in the world are fearful at this time, but am I fearful of abandoning ground to the Lord? Has He not proved His character to me again, and again, in His loving faithfulness? God puts the same question to us as He put to Adam, “Where are you?” My stubborn will prevents me from moving on, I need to change my believing and trust God with the wonderful plan He has for me. In all our trials we are “more than a conqueror“. We have missed the mark so many times, but the Lord Jesus has gone before us and He never misses the mark. When I am standing firmly on His foundation, there is that inner witness in the depths of my being that I can trust Him with my life, today, and all my tomorrows. He will lead me through situations, and not around them. God has a plan for our lives. We have a part to play in His divine plan. Our part is to let Him direct and lead, and for us not to take over. We have “come to the kingdom for such a time as this”.
The Christmas season is here once again. In the greatest demonstration of unconditional love, we reflect on how our Heavenly Father gave the greatest gift of all time to mankind, “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life”, John 3:16. Our beloved Lord Jesus surrendered His heavenly abode at His Father’s side and came to earth to carry out His Father’s will. Both Father and Son demonstrated what is required of us……surrender. As we do our part in surrender, God will most surely do His…….He makes the impossible possible!
To all our family, friends and fellow travellers, we pray you will have a peaceful and Christ filled Christmas.
Photo by Roberto Sorin on Unsplash