Friday, July 13, 2007

“I had been praying for something I wanted very badly. It seemed a good thing to have, a thing that would make life even more pleasant than it is, and would not in any way hinder my work. God did not give it to me. Why? I do not know all of his reasons, of course. The God who orchestrates the universe has a good many things to consider that have not occurred to me, and it is well that I leave them to Him. But one thing I do understand: He offers me holiness at the price of relinquishing my own will.” Elisabeth Elliott
The man or woman who believes in the sovereignty of God finds a peace no one else finds. This person rests in both the love and power of God, and submits the will to God's. Romans 8:28 says And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. To know this, we must know that God has the power to work all things together for our good. He has the power to direct every situation. Many who claim Christ do not believe this. They are subject to a form of Deism. They think God made them, but does not either have the power or will to make things happen. But, the Bible is clear He does. Not a sparrow falls to the ground outside of His will.
Once we know God has this power, we must know he uses it to work for our good. We cannot always see it, as Elisabeth Elliott notes. Who would know better than she, who lost a husband doing God's work? Yet, she trusted Him who sees all.
She is right about the will. Part of being a disciple is surrendering your will to His will. So, there is no holiness without surrender. Even Jesus did it. He prayed "Your will be done" in the model prayer. And when it was personal, in the garden, when he did not want to go forward, he still prayed, "nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done".
There is no peace in the self directed life. The price of peace, just like the price of holiness, is surrender. Justin Van Deventer wrote: "All to Jesus I surrender; all to him I freely give; I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all. "
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