I’m sitting in my living room, feet up in my favorite recliner with my laptop on my lap. My business and a lot of my life revolves around my faith, and all of that is run on this little pink MacBook.

I’m waiting up for my teenage daughter to get home safely for the night, so I have a good hour to sit and open God’s word and write.

“I’m a little chilly,” I think, so I wrap my fuzzy red robe a little tighter.

“I can’t focus because I’m not comfortable” passes my mind as I begin to scroll through facebook, mindlessly passing the time until I can find myself in the “right frame of mind” to focus on what God is saying and write it down.

Pretty soon 40 minutes have passed, and I’m still scrolling, wasting this precious quiet time alone where I can do my best work.

Why do we often mindlessly push our precious moments with God aside? 

There are days where I don’t pray at all. Not because I don’t want to, or because I don’t think it’s important. It’s simply because I become too distracted and make too many excuses. Period.

Ugh. I hate admitting this. I’ll lay in my bed in the wee hours of the morning, unable to sleep, praying and confessing to God that I’ve squeezed Him out of my life, feeling so guilty that I allowed another day to pass like this. I go through this cycle many nights during the week, doing the same prayer of sincere regret, hoping that God isn’t sick of hearing my lame prayers again and again and again…

But then, morning comes. It’s a new day full of new choices. 

It’s important to remember that the regrets of yesterday don’t have to shape today.  

That each new day that God gives us is a new chance to live for Him. A new chance to surrender our time and some of our attention to Him.

But daily surrender is something that you have to choose. It’s an action you have to take. No one else can surrender for you. (Although it would be great to have some sort of app to remind me when I get too sucked in to social media…right?!?!)

Colossians 3:2 says: 
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 

It doesn’t say “your mind is set on things above…it’s an active  verb telling us that we need to CHOOSE to set our minds on the things above. That we need to choose not to get too caught up in earthly things that we can’t see what God’s up to.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:7-8

When we choose daily to surrender,  we choose to give God the best part of ourselves, so that we can walk more in line with Him. And the closer we walk from Him, the further the devil will have to flee. So choosing to surrender new each morning is a vital part of our spiritual health.

What happens when we backslide?

It’s inevitable. As human beings, we are riddled with sin tendencies. And because of that, we are GOING to fall short, even when we don’t intend to. Just like me, you’ll likely wake up several nights in a row, each night knowing you ignored God too much, each night telling Him you need to do better, only to find yourself back there the next night. 

So you wake up and surrender again. 

You try harder. 

You forget the shortcomings of yesterday and surrender to today. 

Don’t look at tomorrow, just surrender today.

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”  Luke 9:23-24

The good news is grace covers all of this. God has patience with us that we can’t even BEGIN to understand. When we absolutely STINK at life, He’s still there when we turn to Him. But you can’t live being comfortable with God in the background. Take up your cross daily, and surrender each new morning. 

The good news is, this topic came to me as I’m sitting here realizing just how much I’m illustrating this point. But when I focused my eyes on what God was saying and used my time to honor Him, I’m shocked with how efficient the time spent was. Because God works through us in His strength to do the things we don’t think we are capable of. But we have to give up on our own agendas and distractions and invite Him in to take a hold of our hearts and minds. You’ll be amazed at what He can do. Enjoy the daily surrender, friend. It’s a wonderful thing!

 

 

Bible Journaling Prompts

Apply what you’ve learned

***If you are new to Gathered & Sown and Bible journaling, watch this short video first***Use these verses this week to surrender a few moments reading God’s Word. Read each of these passages, maybe even reading the chapter around them to get more context if you have time. Write down in your journal what God is saying to you through His Word.
  1. Philippians 2:5-8
  2. 1 Peter 5:6-10
  3. John 15:1-7
  4. 2 Timothy 1:7
  5. Galatians 2:20
  6. James 4:10
  7. Matthew 6:33

If you need more help surrendering each day, consider getting a small calendar that you can carry with you. Make it a goal each day to write down when you pray and what you read in God’s Word. Those empty boxes on the page might just be a good incentive to open up your Bible and jumpstart your time in His Word. 

 

PRAYER: 

God, today is a new day. Tomorrow is forgotten. I’ve made you less that you are in my world. I’m so sorry that I have forgotten to spend time with you. I don’t want to live a life separate from you, I want to walk alongside of you where the devil is afraid to step. I want to rest in your strength rather than work against it. I pray Lord that you will prompt my heart to turn to you throughout the day today. Don’t let another day get between us! Lord I seek you knowing that you are there, and excited to know that you are waiting for me. I’m grateful for all that you are. In your name alone, Amen

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