Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dangerous Surrender - Chapter 2

I am doing an online book discussion on Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren - the host of the book discussion is Angel - check out her AWESOME blog here. For the first chapter I put my thoughts in the comments section of her blog, now that I have this space I will have her link her readers to this post.

It's so cool that in the midst of doing this book discussion I had the opportunity to hear Kay Warren speak. Much of what she spoke on was from the book, but there is something about seeing someone in person, hearing their voice and seeing their tears that makes it that much more personal and real.

The title of this Chapter is "The Kingdom of Me". This is the critical part of the concept of Surrender. Am I going to live for God's Kingdom or My Kingdom. Of course, if you were to ask me who I am living for I would give you the answer I think you would want to hear. Kay challenges me to truly look at my life and see by my actions, values, priorities, motives and schedule, which Kingdom is ruling! One of the main passages is Mark 8:34-37 about denying self, taking up our cross, and following Jesus. I have always been fascinated by this passage, because when I think of taking up my cross, I think of Jesus dying on the cross, but the disciples didn't have this in their minds, because He hadn't done it yet. What would have been the disciples understanding of that? If someone had to take up their cross, it meant that they were going to die. It meant that they were going to give up their life. In fact the next part of the passage says "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world , yet forfeit his soul?" I am realizing more and more all the things I do to "save my life" - to make it more comfortable and convenient and to make sure I come out best in all situations. As I become more and more aware of the needs of others and the pain and suffering that others are enduring, I realize that all the effort I put (with or without realizing it) into keeping control of my kingdom is a waste of my time and energy. I want God more than I want my comfortable life. In fact, my comfortable life often keeps me distant from God. How much more real are God's promises and words of comfort to those that are suffering than to me in my comfortable world? Not that I am asking to suffer, but am I willing to enter into another's suffering? Might that cause suffering to enter in my life? Maybe what God is asking me to surrender is a fear of suffering? But maybe that is the very thing that gives me more of GOD!
Angel's two questions to answer:
1. What are the main reasons you don’t want to get too involved with people in dire need? Oh, I think I just kind of answered that. Will it be uncomfortable or inconvenient for me? Will I have to face suffering of my own, or how will I comfort someone who is suffering in a way that I cannot relate to?
2.Kay explains that her growing understanding of God’s sovereign design created an expectation that God would someday use her for his good purposes. Describe your current sense of the purposes God may have in store for you.
I have kind of answered that as well. I am feeling that my purpose lies in the realm of being a voice for oppressed children that have no voice. The waiting child, the orphaned child, the foster child that lives in my neighborhood? God is unfolding His plan for me and I am learning to surrender and to simply follow!

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