i give up...

Dear Jesus,

I    G  I  V  E    U  P .

I give up...on living safe,
on not taking any risks when Your Word clearly tells me that to play it safe and love my life is to lose it.  Nothing hinders my soul as much as being comfortable.  I want to love you more than my life.

I give up...on holding on too tightly to anything other than you, Jesus.
Things...dreams...expectations....opinions....the admiration of others...my own self-image.  If it's hard--painful even--for me to let it go, than it just might be what's keeping me from embracing the dreams you dream for me, the places you long to take me, the lives you want to love through me.

I give up...on excuses.
I've become overly accustomed to their ease of use.  When confronted with a flaw in my character, how easy it is to exclaim, "But God..." and to blame it on my personality or "the way I was made".  Yet you are the very One who created me and you know me inside-out.  And the goal of this life is not to become the "best version of myself" but to be full of you, Jesus-- to allow your life to be exalted in me--to become less as You become more.

I give up...on becoming so absorbed with my own problems, my needs, my wants, my insecurities...my self...that I fail to see what you're doing around me.
Your Word says it best, "obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.  Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing.  And God isn't pleased at being ignored.  But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about.  But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells - even though you still experience all the limitations of sin - you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!  So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life." Romans 8: 6-13

I give up...on trying to be good enough (trying to earn grace).
Grace is a gift.  And it's something I will never deserve and cannot ever earn.  It's not about rules or religion...."don't touch that"..."don't do this".  We love to make rules only to feed our pride in keeping them.  Jesus, you are never as concerned with our rules and rituals as you are with our relationship with you and with each other.  It's not about trying to earn your favor.  Your favor, love and forgiveness are freely given to me based on what you, my Lord and Savior, have already done and "all my righteous acts are as filthy rags" compared to the sacrifice you made.  It's not about me.  It's about what You've done for me.  It's about living life according to your Spirit, walking in step with You, and responding to Your leading, Lord.  It's about obedience.

"Obedience is better than sacrifice." -1 Samuel 15:22

And so I give up...give everything up to You.

And I give in...to life according to your Spirit.

"God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us - an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"  Romans 8:14-17

So, what's next, Papa?

I'm "adventurously expectant"!

Giving up is only a beginning.

Your girl


Kelly D. said...

Oh my Joye this is so good. i battle these same thoughts daily… I GIVE UP!

Barbie said...

Joye, this is beautiful. I'm giving up too!

Mary_Krause said...

yes! yes! yes!

Serena Lambert said...

Joye, I know how hard it can be to carve out a little time to write when you're a busy momma! I always love reading your post, they are always a lovely piece of God's word and truth!

Michelle Bruzas said...

I love everything about this post. Thank you for the beautiful encouragement. Surrender is where it all begins. Good word dearie, good word. xo

Otto Mann said...

Amen, girl - I looove that verse of John 12:25. I had some rough spots, still do, but if you read our blogs, you'll find this finite existence pales in comparison to eternity. Let's party-hardy Upstairs, girl! Love you.



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