My Grace-Full Life

10.28.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Submit, Draw Near, and Be Humble

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’ve told my Mom—and I mean it—she is far braver and stronger than I am. Almost 30 years ago, she sent me out as a brand new driver without (GASP!) a cell phone. Or any way to communicate with me. Or any idea where I was.

Flash forward. I have a 21-year-old who I stress out over more than anything/anyone else in my life. In fact, the biggest lie I ever told myself is that I’d stop worrying about him once he turned 18. HA! I worry more now than ever!

As I’ve contemplated my mom’s attitude versus mine, much comes down to the very phone I hold in my hands as I write this post. We are so dependent on these smartphones for everything. On one hand, we feel empowered by them. The internet and social media are within our grasp at any given moment. Power!

But on the other hand, we feel disconnected by them and confused when our illusion of control is shattered into disillusionment. Because while I have a smartphone and my son has a smartphone—he’s very adept at hitting the ignore button when I try to call him and he’s not in the mood to talk. And it’s not just him! If my mom or husband don’t respond to me in a timely fashion, I may or may not, but probably have and definitely will—blow up their phones with “hurry up and answer me!” texts.

It’s not a lack of trust in them. It’s a very overactive imagination that has watched way too many episodes of Dateline and Forensic Files.

I went to bed thinking about this last night. Then, this morning, the Dave Ramsey book I’m reading referred to this verse from Job: “Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine” (Job 41:11 ESV).

Basically, God told Job that everything is His. Money. Homes. Even relationships. 

Gulp.

Money and stuff—fine. I can easily say, “Absolutely, God! It’s all yours!” My relationships with my family though? That’s a bit harder for me to let go of. 

I’m fiercely protective of my family. But I am very aware that as protective as I am, I can’t really keep them safe. I have to surrender them to God and trust Him with them. Sometimes, I’m better at it than others. And sometimes, it’s a moment by moment matter of trusting.

And I go back to my smartphone. If it wasn’t crucial for my business, I’d be tempted to go back to a standard flip phone. A phone that didn’t feed my self-delusion of control, but a phone that reminded me of my limitations.

Because that’s what we need each day—a healthy reality check that everything we have is His and nothing we have is within our control. It’s an ongoing, lifelong lesson of surrender and trust.

Let’s turn to one of my favorite New Testament books—James. I love his straight shooter style! We’re looking at James 4:7a, 8a, and 10. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (ESV). There’s some other important stuff in there and I’m not discounting it by cherry-picking from this passage. But I want to focus on James’s words—submit, draw near, and humble.

When we submit our wills, our fears, our need for control… when we draw near to God, and when we humble ourselves—look at what He does! God draws near to us and He exalts us!

The only thing we can control is our own decision to follow Christ and surrender to Him and humble ourselves before Him. He alone has control and it all belongs to Him.

Today, as you pray, thank God for being better at being in control than we are. Thank Him that He has a plan and it’s safe to trust Him with it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust when it’s the hardest to trust. Ask Him to help you surrender, draw near to God, and humble yourself before Him.

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