I was recently having a conversation with someone who was struggling with some areas of captivity in their life as well as struggling with a lack of intimacy with God. He had been wrestling this captivity with human strength and when that did not bring the freedom he desired, he would back away from God in defeat.
During this conversation he asked me, “What does it look like to walk with God? What is my part?”
Immediately an answer came forth from His Spirit,
“Intentional surrender. You must daily be intentional about surrendering your life to God.”
Ultimately, all transformation is a sovereign act of grace that comes by the power of the Spirit, but we have a part within this grace…it is to yield or surrender willingly and intentionally to Him. God will never violate our free will, therefore our growth and change comes from the posture that Mary took in Luke 1:38,
“Be it unto me according to your word.”
That is intentional surrender!
Just as we must be intentional about nurturing intimacy with our husband or wife, the same is true with our relationship with the Lord. We are invited into the deepest intimacy a person can ever experience but it is an invitation. God waits patiently for our response; not withholding His love but never forcing relationship. Like the father in the story of the prodigal son, he watches and waits, although when he saw his son coming home he ran to him!
Today the Lord is once again inviting us into a deeper surrender. Our response is an intentional one where we yield in faith to the One who loves us more than we can comprehend. We long for the manifestation of Ephesians 3:20–the “more than you can ask or imagine”—and yet this is only realized in the posture of intentional surrender. It is in that posture that a love beyond anything that we can ask or imagine begins to be experienced.
My prayer for you today comes from the Book of Ephesians,
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
Intentionally surrender to the width, length, depth and height of the love of Christ.
The Lord led me to read out of 1 Kings 18. This chapter tells the story of when the prophets of Baal challenged Elijah as to "who is God?"; Baal or the God of Elijah. They both set up offerings and then called on their Gods to send fire upon the altar.
As I recounted how Elijah made his altar impossible to be consumed by fire (by pouring water on it, putting water trenches around it, etc) I thought of all the "impossibilities" that are even now upon many of the lives of God's people. Maybe we are in a time that God will prove Himself to every false god and false prophet.
The prophets of Baal shouted to their god, they cut themselves until blood gushed out, they pounded their chests and yet their god did nothing. But Elijah drenched his offering with water and then prayed this prayer,
"O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”
Then after his prayer, fire fell and consumed his offering