I attended the Ignite Men's Conference this weekend in Layton and was overjoyed at the outcome of the conference and the level of speakers that were brought to the event. I thought I would share a few tokens that I received while attending.
The most relevant issue that was discussed caught me off guard. I've been on a journey with Jesus for quite some time but have constantly struggled with the act of surrender, giving every portion of my life to the direction of God. The question was asked, "Did you accept Jesus as your Savior AND as the Lord of your life?" There's a huge difference there. You've accepted Jesus and have solidified your eternal life but we don't give the reigns to Jesus and let Him have complete control of our lives. We believe in the miraculous story of Jesus dying for our sins but we don't put our complete faith in His guidance of our lives. I don't believe that we will ever understand true peace and contentment in our live until we do this.
Simply put, untended fires will soon become a pile of ashes. Stay on fire for God and let go of your life. You, my friend, are not in control and when we assume that we are we are putting faith in ourselves and not in God, solidifying a true form of idolatry in ourselves. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord" Jeremiah 17:7. Too often we see God through the lens of our circumstances, putting our circumstances and issues directly in front of our face and responding to God's word by dealing with these issues first. Put God first, in front of your circumstances. See your problems through God's eyes, then, in turn, your problems and circumstances have to go through God first.
What will it take to keep your focus on God? A simple question to ask is...would I rather deal with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Following Jesus is not always going to be easy, but the pain of discipline leads to a life of rewards. You will reap the benefits.
So what do we do to encourage this life of complete and utter faith in Jesus Christ? Here are a couple ways to continue your life of surrender:
1. Read the word --> We have an owners manual called the BIBLE that will lead you through anything in your life. Dive into it...or cannonball into it, making a huge splash on all of those around you.
2. Pray --> Schedule it in your life and come to the Lord in prayer. Like anything in your life, it's not going to come easy until you make it a habit. Talk to God continually, but also fall to your knees and bow down to the King.
3. Praise & Worship --> Pour yourself out to God. If you're a parent, think of how good it feels when your child comes to you and sits on your lap because they know that you take care of them or when they whisper, "I love you", out of nowhere. The feelings you feel from that do not even compare to what God feels when we praise and worship Him.
4. Community --> Don't go it alone. Community is where we find strength. We are to bare each others burdens. Find friends who are rooted in the Word of God and ask them to ask you the "tough questions".
We CAN do this. We can put Jesus at the center of our lives. Let's not build shrines to appease those around us. Let's not draw closer to ourselves and further from God. Let's surrender our lives, today!
God is saying, "I love you. My plans are good. Stay close to me."