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Monday, August 6, 2012

Already triumphant…(inspired by a Sunday’s sermon)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

I surrender and trust Him.
His plans are better,
and I am grateful
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You’re probably familiar with this scripture. Research suggests that it is among the most popularly quoted scriptures in modern religion. According to at least one writer, “It has been used as a motivating rallying cry for those who want to believe that God will help them do whatever they want.” That’s not exactly the point. Once again, it’s not about what we want. 

According to Rev. Bill Sullivan, pastor of Tulsa Christian Fellowship, “We often live our lives thinking "If Only," and this attitude foils the contentment God wants us to live in daily.” I think we may be on Disney overload.  Rather than wishing upon stars, the lesson in Philippians is about praising Him in advance. Instead of musing about what’s next…with Christ as the secret to our serenity, we are already triumphant. We are already Here.

Hold on, because we’re going back to go forward. Just a few days ago, I began to fully appreciate the sweetness of Surrender. A consistent practice of surrender puts you out of God’s way. If we can praise Him through all of our circumstances, we’ve already mastered the most difficult challenge life can put before us, not because we’re so smart or so resilient, but because our strength is not our own. We are already triumphant because the battles are not ours. Take my advice, and Paul’s….get out of the way.

Sunday morning in worship I felt like I was hearing the rest of my personal message (I know Lord, when it comes to the work that is me, You’re just getting started…). You were telling me that I am already Here. You have always been waiting for me. I am already triumphant, even though my victory may look nothing like the happy ending I imagined I was heading for. Jenni Mullinix, writing “Living Where God Has Placed Us” said it better, so I’ll let her …“God changed my plans. Because His plans are always better.

So I surrender and trust Him. Because His plans are better, and I am grateful.  I’m getting out of the way, praising Him Here in advance, knowing God is good.

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