Hello friends and family of Coastal Bend Grace House! It is a great pleasure to be writing to you again after a short break during the banquet season. I love being able to share my heart with you and I pray this finds you living in the grace and peace of God, feeling His great love being lavished upon you.
Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend about the parting of the Red Sea. The actual translation of that particular word from Exodus 13:18 is “Sea of Reeds” so there is debate about which body of water the Ancient Israelites actually crossed. I had emailed one of my professors and confirmed the fact that scholars have different theories on where they actually passed through on their escape from Egypt. Shortly after the response came, I was driving on a beautiful sunny day, meditating on the facts I had discovered. To me, it did not really matter what part of the Sea they crossed. It did not matter the size of the body of water.
The details of the day are not as important as the miracle. I believe by faith it happened and since I cannot part any body of water and dry it up, I chose to surrender to the Sovereign God who can. Surrendered to the Sovereignty. Then it hit me and it was as if a light was actually shining around me. I felt a surge of the Spirit throughout my body and tears began streaming down my face.
I believe there are different stages and areas of surrender. We must first, surrender to Him as Savior. Fortunately, this one cannot be taken back as many of the other things we surrender to God can and we try to take them back into our control. Sometimes it is a battle for us. One day we may surrender our children or finances or marriage and then something happens, a circumstance we cannot control, and we get angry with God and/or the situation and we try to understand why we are going through this and we try to fix it ourselves. I used alcohol and other things in my reaction to difficult times that happened in my daily life. As many times as I tried to stay sober and even had a great amount of desire to change, a circumstance would happen, and I would fall to the same pattern of drinking I always reverted to. The Lord revealed to me in that moment that the reason I was different now, the reason I could have the intimacy with Him that I do, is because I had surrendered to His Sovereignty.
The Sovereignty of God means that there is nothing in all of creation that is out of God’s control. He has ultimate power and authority in the seen and unseen realms that exist. He not only has power and authority on the situations that happen around me but through the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, I am empowered to change my reactions to those situations. Surrendering to His Sovereignty was the key to freedom from trying to take things back into my control. The freedom from trying to change my drinking. The freedom from trying to change other people. The freedom from questioning and asking “Why God?” every time something difficult happens. It moved the eyes of my heart from the seen realm to the throne of God in the unseen realm. It is the freedom that accepts discipline and responds to conviction. It is the freedom that lays down my burdens at His feet and lets them stay there.
Just like the story of the parting of the Sea of Reeds, the details of my life are not as important as the miracle. They are not as important as the truth that I have surrendered to a sovereign God. This truth is what keeps me strong and helps me walk through the difficulties of this life without getting burned by the flames or overcome by the deep water. My first line of defense now, my first reaction, is to speak out loud the truths of who God is. I no longer focus on what I think God is supposed to be doing for me, what I think I deserve or question why He is doing what He has chosen to do. My first reaction is to praise Him and remind myself of who I belong to and who is fighting for me. It is this truth that strengthens me to become a warrior for the kingdom of God because I have an enemy that is set out to destroy me and my children but I have surrendered to the God who has complete power, authority and victory over him.
My world is not rocked by the enemy’s attacks as it once was and the pruning of the Lord is not as unpleasant because I trust in His purpose for all things. I am forever grateful to Coastal Bend Grace House for being the starting place of my new life. It is a powerful ministry that continues to influence the relationships in my life and has forever changed the journey for my children as well. It has been instrumental in my surrender to the sovereignty of God, to His truths and to becoming obedient so that the Holy Spirit can reside in my innermost being and change me in the depths of my soul and spirit.
There is no greater peace than I have ever known than the peace that comes from surrendering to the sovereignty of God. It is shaping me into His image and into becoming one part warrior, one part worshipper, by His grace and for His glory.