The Joy of Surrender

Written by Julie Hayden

October 30, 2017

Saturday is a hard day to get up and go to the House of Prayer.  It is the one day of the week I don’t have to rush.  I can stay in my pajamas and drink coffee.  No place to be.  No hurrying.   Just rest.  Sunday I’m up and going for church so prayer time isn’t a struggle.  But Saturday prayer time is a week by week decision.

Lately though I’ve been feeling like I just NEED to be there on Saturdays …..and I want to!  Each Saturday is amazing!  I guess God knows it is a sacrifice for each one of us after the long work week to get up again on that one day of rest.

This Saturday was no exception.  I knew on Friday night I was going to get up and go.  Good news is that Saturday is a little later – 9am not 6am.  WOOT! WOOT!

As I arrived we were talking about our plans for the day.  I had planned to clean out some closets and get rid of some clothes I haven’t worn in a long time.  I need to purge things I haven’t used in decades.  I’ve been in my home almost 20 years and accumulated a lot of STUFF!   I’ve been wanting to clear out stuff I don’t need to  make room for whatever or whomever God would bring across my path.

It started as just another prayer meeting.  Pastor Mike shared that it was Day 97.  We have been praying for 97 Days!!!!  WOW!  Our theme for the day was FREEDOM!  2 Corinthians 3:7 – “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”.  Galatians 5:1 speaks of standing fast in our liberty and not being entangled again in a yoke of bondage.  We can be so easily entangled in things – bitterness, strife, hatred, unforgiveness, debt, addiction, bad relationship, and the list goes on and on.

A song was played that talked about the Joy of Surrendering to the Lord whatever He has asked of us.  That true freedom comes in abandon to God.  During that song, God reminded me of something I had buried in the back of one of my closets.  It was something very precious to me.  It represented a past season of my life.  Something I held very dear.  Something that cost me a lot of money.  Something I loved.  Then He asked me to sacrifice it.  To let it go by burning it.

I stood in the prayer room dumbfounded.  I’ve made lots of sacrifices over the last 97  days (remember we pray at 6am each weekday), but nothing like this.  The battle was on in my heart.  I had no idea I was attached so much to a thing.  Tears streaming down my face, I told God “Yes, You can have it!”

So after prayer, I quickly came home. To delay would have meant disobedience for me!  I grabbed the fire pit out of the garage, placed it in the back yard and lit the flame.  Then I walked in the house and went to the back of the closet.  I pulled out that one item I had saved for a special occasion and I prepared to burn it.  With tears flowing again I placed it on the altar in my backyard.  And I cried “Till all that remains is You.   Consume me, Lord, till all that remains is You.  Consume me like you are consuming this till all that remains is You. No turning back.  No turning back.”

Once the item was on the fire, there was no going back.  There was no turning back.  “ALL IN!” It quickly was engulfed in flames and was unrecognizable any longer.  It was just a black blob that was quickly becoming ash.

 

It had been a cloudy morning.  The skies were ready to rain.  Yet as the fire ended, I was suddenly struck with light.  I looked up.  The sun had broken through the clouds and the brightness surprised me.  I had to take some pictures!  Light breaks through the darkness when we surrender.  There is freedom in surrender.  There are surprises of joy in surrender.  God loves our obedience and shows off!  He delights in our surrender.  He delights in His children walking in freedom.

In the House of Prayer we are all being called to step up in new ways in ministry.  God is stretching us, taking us deeper in Him, and opening doors of opportunity for the Kingdom.  I was reminded of when Elijah called Elisha to step up in ministry.  Here is Elisha’s reaction in 1 Kings 19:21: “So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.”  The oxen and the equipment represented his livelihood.  It was now his past.  His future lay before him.  With this burned, he was free to step forward into what God had for him.

He didn’t know what God would do.  He didn’t have a plan.  He didn’t even have a promise other than a “follow me”.  But he went.  He burned the path back to his past.  He stepped into his future – FREE.

What do you need to lay aside today?  What needs to go on the altar of your heart?  What is He asking you to surrender that you might walk free in Him?  He longs to pierce your darkness with His glorious light.  He doesn’t need your stuff- but He desires your freedom.

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

 

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