"He who seeks God must be prepared to make a full
surrender of all worldly prospects, pleasures, and benefits,
and give himself wholly to God. We must be willing to give
Him all the affections of our hearts." ~ I.C. Herendeen
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. ~ Luke 9:23-24
Graceless: Sir, I perceive by the Book in my hand that I am condemned to die and after that to come to Judgment; and I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second.
Then said Evangelist, "Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?" The man answered, "Because I fear that this Burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave; and I shall fall into Tophet [hell]. And, sir, if I be not fit to go to Prison, I am not fit to go to Judgment, and from thence to Execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry."
Then said Evangelist, "If this be thy condition, Why standest thou still?" He answered, "Because I know not whither to go." Then he gave him a Parchment Roll, and there was written within, Fly from the Wrath to come.
~ John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (Banner of Truth)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:20
Surrender At The Feet of Jesus
All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do—Hebrews 4:13
The literal translation of that phrase in Hebrews is, "all things are stripped and stunned." Such is the force of the Greek words. The figure is that of an athlete in the Coliseum who has fought his best in the arena, and has at length fallen at the feet of his adversary, disarmed and broken down in helplessness. There he lies, unable to strike a blow or lift his arm. He is stripped and stunned, disarmed and disabled, and there is nothing left for him but to lie at the feet of his adversary and appeal to him for mercy.
Now this is the position to which God wants to bring us, where we shall cease our struggles and our attempts at self-defense or self-improvement and throw ourselves helplessly upon the mercy of God. This is the sinner’s only hope, and when he thus lies at the feet of mercy, Jesus is ready to lift him up and give him that free salvation which is waiting for all.
This, too, is the greatest need of the Christian who seeks a deeper and higher life-to come to a full realization of his nothingness and helplessness and to lie down, stripped and stunned, at the feet of Jesus.
~ A.B. Simpson
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ~ Galatians 5:24
Giving up, denying self, mortifying the flesh -- this is merely a work if it depends on me. It is a hollow and vain righteousness and an offense to God for its attempt to replicate or replace the perfect sacrifice of the perfect lamb. As long as I cling to my own wisdom and strength, I fail in foolishness and weakness.
But He makes me able to let go. His powerful love loosens the grip on my talismans and treasured rituals. He pries them from my grasp, and they are discarded like empty masks and denuded idols. Very simply, I cannot succeed at improving my lot in life one iota. Period. He does it all for me.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? ~ Romans 6:3
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.~ John 15:5
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption ~ 1 Corinthians 1:30
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
~ 1 Corinthians 2:2
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’"
~ Luke 18:9-14
If God cleanses us in some measure, and puts into us some good liquor, some grace of his Spirit, yet we can make use of nothing when we have it, if God but withdraws himself. If God leaves us one moment after he has bestowed upon us the greatest gifts, and whatever abilities we can desire, if God should say, 'I will give you them, now go and trade', we cannot progress one foot further if God leaves us. Does God give us gifts and abilities? Then let us fear and tremble lest God should leave us to ourselves, for then how foully should we abuse those gifts and abilities. You think other men and women have memory and gifts and abilities and you would fain have them-but suppose God should give you these, and then leave you, you would utterly spoil them. ~ Jeremiah Burroughs
Go to God alone for your grace liquor. Drink deeply from His spiritual well. Refrain from formal works of religion and hollow righteousness that dare to trivialize the sweeping act of regeneration accomplished by the Cross. Abide in Him and He makes all things new.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
~ Colossians 3:1-17
Laura Miller aka mrsdkmiller
Looking for a list of articles published around the web?
Looking for posts written in response to 5-Minute Friday prompts? Click here:
Her March Isn't Over
Across the River
When God Pries My Fingers Off My Children
Life's Defining Moments
To the Christian Wife Who Berated Her Husband in Front of My Daughter
Zeal and Grace in France
An Unconventional Love Story
Seeing What's in Front of Our Eyes
Remembering Why I Called You Hannah
Love Your Sister.
Because He Came Home
Go Valiantly! A Prayer for New Homeschooling Moms
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
2015-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to #thereyougothinkingagain, lauraenglandmiller, or Laura E Miller with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.