How can we live a deliberate life and still live a life surrendered to God?
It is important for me to address this question at the very beginning. A life surrendered is not just the name of my blog, but it is the way I purpose to live every day. It was a way of life long before it was a blog title.
Yet, I mistook passivity for surrender. I thought if I lived intentionally and deliberately that it meant I was taking control of my life in a way that was sinful and rebellious. Therefore, it meant I was no longer surrendered. So, I waited for God to do something. All the while, He was waiting for me to do something.
I had it all wrong.
A deliberate life is not the antitheses to a surrendered life.
They are not mutually exclusive. They can work beautifully together, and God wants them to. Let us think of it a different way.
Imagine, we the parent, give our child a piece of paper and watercolor paints, water in a cup and brushes to use. We set those items before them on the table.
Would we be upset with them if they pick up the paint brush, dip it in the water, dab it in the paint and begin painting on that blank sheet? No, we expect them to.
Let’s say they do not. Rather, they just sit there and expecting you to do it for them. Disappointed, you question why. After all, you gave them everything they needed to paint.
It is because they are afraid to mess it up. Afraid they won’t do it right. Afraid they don’t know how to use it. Afraid that you might be displeased with them if they get it wrong. So, they do not take the initiative. They do not use what they’ve been given.
It seems silly, I know. But it is how I spent most of my life with God.
How much more pleasure would you have in the child who paints a picture without holding back, and cannot wait to show you it? It would bring both of you joy. And chances are you will not criticize them or their creation. You would be thrilled to give them more paper and paint. After all, they used what you gave them.
Consider what Jesus taught us.
There was a master who gave talents to three servants. Along with the talents, he gave them the opportunity and responsibility to decide they would do with those talents.
When the Master returned, there were two servants who invested their talents and gained a return, also gaining the Master’s pleasure. “Well done, you faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much.” Matt 25:21
There was one who buried his talents, because of fear — afraid of what the master would think if he chose to invest his talents and then lost them. He was the one the Master was displeased with.
Here is what you need to know.
God is waiting for you to use what you have been given He wants you to use what is right in front of you. Use what is in your hands. That’s why you’ve been given it. He has given you a creative and intelligent mind. He has given you gifts and strengths and wants you to invest them.
The posture of your heart is what matters most to God. We are to steward our life, yet remain yielded to God, willing to say at each turn, at each decision, at each step, “Nevertheless not my will but Yours be done.”
God has given you the privilege of leading your life. He has not made you as a puppet on a string. God has given you a whole lot more freedom to choose than you realize. Give yourself permission to use that freedom, trusting God is able to direct your steps.
What will the Master say when He comes to see what you’ve done with that paint and paper and creativity and intelligence He gave you?
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