When they brought their boats to land, they left everything they had and followed Him.
I am sitting on the balcony of my three-bedroom condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I am looking at the calm water of the Gulf as it hugs the white sugar sand of the beach. My spirit has been expectant for this trip for weeks. The last two days have been chilly with the brisk northern breeze whirling relentlessly in an attempt to steal the joy that a trip to the beach would bring. In the midst of it all, I feel God renewing my strength and I see God revealing His will.
I feel like God also has a love for the beach. Much of His ministry was performed around and on water; this word picture writes itself and calls us to greater acts of faith. God woke me early this morning; I know the beckoning of my Savior because that beckoning keeps me on track and serves as my Guide. I got out of bed and walked to the beach to walk and pray. I began my walk searching for seashells; many were doing the same and we greeted each other in a nice Southern way. I prayed and scoured the sand for a whole, un-cracked, un-tarnished shell to bring back to my kids. When my quest was unsuccessful, I turned my attention to seek the Lord.
I have felt God trying to work something out in me over the last couple of months with the kind of refining He knows that I need to purify my heart. I could feel in my spirit where my will and His will collided and knew He wanted to speak to me about the issue this morning. So I walked…and was quiet. I felt like one of the broken shells on which I was stepping. I felt like a shell that had been tossed and beaten by the waves and desperately needed to find refuge in the sand. When I became quiet, the whispering of God’s Spirit to mine became undeniable. He spoke a message of surrender to my broken spirit. In almost an instant, He gave me clarity and the His relentless pursuit over the last few months became apparent. After dealing with the issue in my heart, I felt whole again.
Surrender. This issue is not an option for the Christian walk. The first disciples had to literally surrender their livelihood to follow Jesus. Your desire and His desire for you is never the same because He wants to take you deeper than you are willing to go in your humanness. We are a nation that finds comfort in our routine and crutches of control while desperately desiring to be a part of something greater. Sex, gossip, money, comfort, depression, jealousy, bickering, judgment, and perfectionism are just a few obsessions that hinder our lives as vessels to be used. God wants all of you so that He can make you whole in Him. He is jealous for you and He will pursue you relentlessly until His will becomes your desire.
I wonder if you have felt the way. Maybe you feel that the Lord is a loving God that is seeking after you quietly, and you are feeling the pull but can’t account for the reason. Try one simple word — Surrender.