Thursday, December 6, 2007

Plans vs. Surrender

Here's something I've been thinking about lately...

I've been reading The Saving Life of Christ by Major Ian Thomas. I'm too lazy to link to Amazon today. Go look it up if you want. :) The basic gist of the book is that we do too many things in our own strength - we even attempt to serve God in our own strength, so we burn out. He makes the case that the ability to inexhaustibly serve God comes only in surrendering ourselves to Him so completely, that it is Christ in us that does the work God has called us to do. He defends all of this marvelously with Scripture.

On the other hand, what about the gifts and talents and personalities God has given us? If they are gifts from God and we are sanctified by Christ, then they should be good gifts, useful for God's purposes. I've never been one who buys into the whole, "I'm a worm, there is nothing in me that is worth anything." Apart from Christ, that is true...completely true. However, if I am in Christ, I am a new creation, and therefore God doesn't see the worm...he sees me...redeemed by Christ's blood. So, following that line of reasoning, I should have something that I can contribute to the world, because God has given me things to contribute.

Do you see the difference in those two teachings? Maybe it's just two different ways of saying the same thing. Maybe both are true.

The place where this becomes applicable in my life, is in caring for my kids and my home. I can make my plan for the day, and FORCE it to happen, but you have probably also experienced what happens when you run your day that way: extreme burnout. But, I am an administrator by nature. What do administrators do? Administrate. So, why does it sometimes feel like that is constantly thwarted? On the other hand, I can say to God, "This day is Yours. Lead me where You want me to go." So, I start out with a great attitude, and then I get NOTHING done. I have no plan. I have no direction. I have no motivation.

I know the answer is somewhere in between these two things. God probably calls me to plan the day and then disregard the plan when something more important comes up. But that's the hard way to do it! I don't get the satisfaction of my plan, done my way, nor do I get to be lazy. :)



  1. initial thought is that you can't really live each day with the "Lord lead me where you want me to go" mindset. there is still stuff that has to happen, dishes need to be washed, diapers need to be changed, children need to be fed. Can you really surrender your whole day to the will of God?

    I think I can do my chores to the glory of God. Thanking Him for the children and the dishes and the laundry to fold. Being in constant prayer and conversation with him. But I am not so sure about surrendering

  2. Well, at least in theory, God wants us to take care of those things, right? If it's His will for me to take care of my children and my home, His direction would lead me to do the dishes and change diapers...

    Maybe I'm getting overly spiritual with this. Can you really do that? I don't know.