This hit home! My daughter found an envelope last Sunday. She handed it to me. I rolled my eyes and put it in my Bible. This morning as I was cleaning, I found that the envelope had fallen out of my Bible and under the couch. It hit me yet again but harder today. AM I GIVING GOD MY BEST or what is left over after I get “the goody” out like a stick of chewing gum? He deserves my first fruits because anything (this is not just money and things but time, talents, etc-anything) HE ALLOWS me to have is HIS ANYWAYS!!! God bless!
Self-confidence is overrated! Way overrated! This may sound like a very strange statement from a mom of three, grandmother, and seasoned middle school teacher, but it is true. We can do nothing without God. Can we even make our own hearts beat? No, the One who created us does! Who allowed us to awaken from slumber this morning? Who has blessed us with our cognitive abilities to reason?” The answer to these questions is certainly not us frail humans. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
“It is God that works in us, both to will and to do His good pleasure.Phillippians 2:3
Before surrender, there must be humility, faith, and trust that God is more than able to meet your every need and use you for His honor and glory as He created us to do.
I was a total control freak for 44 years of my life, and I was miserable trying to take care of everything! 🙂 I was carrying so many loads that God never intended for me to carry. It took my then, 8 year old daughter being diagnosed with bone cancer, grueling chemotherapy, more surgeries and blood transfusions than I care to remember. We were told on two different occasions that she had relapsed according to those fear invoking scans every three months.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior on my knees on the floor of my bedroom at 10 years old. I know I was saved, but I struggled with anxiety and depression. I finally surrendered all control and began totally to trust God. The surrender was again on the floor of a room. This time it was the restroom next to the scan room where I prayed every scan that the scans show no evidence of disease. Exhausted and laying on a cold and dirty floor crying, God told me that I was praying the wrong prayer. (No, I did not audibly hear His voice, but I sensed it in my spirit.) I knew I had to pray that whatever the scans showed, whatever happened that He was to be exalted-that all glory was due to Him-that He was in control! I thank God He showed me. I surrendered,. Lord, whatever those scans show, I will be faithful. I will accept. I will quit trying to manipulate the situation the way I want it to go. I will trust you, Father, and I do, and I pray that everyone will have the Peace of Jesus. What a gift it is! I am so thankful for what He has done for me so that peace, joy, and contentment are mine everyday no matter the circumstance. It is so freeing just to trust in Jesus.
We trust Him with our salvation, so why did I want to hang on to the little things in this life for so long.
One moment I was lying on a operating table with those awful bright lights over my head feeling as if I were being blinded, while the kind OR lady put an oxygen mask over my face saying, “Karen, Karen, Karen,” and Karen was getting fainter each time she said it.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was in the recovery room with a staunch veteran of her field who was scolding me pretty sternly, “Breathe,” she kept demanding.
I was utterly confused and asked, “Is it over? Can I see my husband? Can we go to my room on the floor?” I want to see my husband.” (Yes, these are the “covid” days when our loved ones cannot go with us all the way during surgery.)
“You ain’t going nowhere ’till you breathe!” continued the short, stout, stern nurse.
I was so utterly confused, “Ma’am, I am breathing, or I would be dead!”
Well, you ain’t going nowhere till you breathe more than six times in one minute. Oh…now I understood..I was not breathing enough?!”
I must have finally passed the “breathing test” because I did get to go to my room and see my husband, and he day after my neck surgery, we were able to leave the hospital for home but not without the spirometer to help “strengthen my breathing skills.”
He will wipe away every tear from thir eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.Revelation 21:4 ESV
Days later, I still can’t shake what the recovery room nurse kept telling me to do, and I keep hearing the words, “Breathe on me. Holy Spirit, breathe on me. Take thou my heart, cleanse every part, fill me with power divine,” from Edwin Hatch’s song in the old redback Southern Baptist hymnal.
Breathe on me. Yes, Jesus, Breathe on me. I want to be so full of the Holy Spirit that it spills out of my being with every breath that He allows me to take and into this noisy, chaotic world to give Him all praise and glory, for without Him, there would be no life.
Christ imparts His Holy Spirit upon us once we repent from our sins and surrender our will for His. I am quite greedy and “want more” as my two-year-old grandbaby will say. I believe that it takes work on my part to get “the more” of the Holy Spirit. I believe that I must stay in His Word, the Bible, obey His words, and pray to my Father in Heaven daily. When I don’t rely on God and His Word, I have found that I make a true mess of everything. I often have to be reminded to breathe in Jesus.
Everything about God is good and worthy of our worship. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He breathed into Adam’s nostrils in the garden of Eden, and Adam had life. John Piper in his article, “Holy Spirit in the Old Testament,” wrote that every breath we take and every chemical transaction in the cells of our bodies is sustained moment by moment by the work of the Holy Spirit.
His Spirit is always with me providing confidence. It teaches me, comforts me, and encourages me. His Spirit allows me to hear and be heard, and I pray that I fully understand and take action for every good deed that He has prepared for me to do. He gives me power to do extraordinary work and to never be fearful while holding on to righteousness because of what He did on the cross for me.
“Do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”Mark 13:11b
Like the nurse in the recovery room had to remind me to breath, I have to daily take up my cross and follow Jesus. Let’s all turn to the Savior who gave His life for us, rose on the third day, and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. One day, He will set up His new kingdom on Earth, and there will be no need of anymore surgeries or nurses who must remind us to breathe, for we will be completely whole with the Father of the universe who has redeemed us from death. Until then, I am so thankful that His Holy Spirit dwells in me. Salvation is forever. Praise God!
“And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Luke 9:23 ESV
“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”Mark 16:19 ESV