Posted by: alliehope | March 18, 2009

Happy St. Paddy’s Day (and other stuff)

I can’t help but think about our culture’s attribution of things that happen to either “good luck” or “bad luck”. Sounds kind of fatalistic, if you ask me. So, in the spirit of questioning “luck”, chew on this.

Needless to say, reading that has made me think about the whole question of sovereignty vs. free will yet again, and yet again admit that I don’t have any answers (at least none that could be defensible as a doctoral dissertation).

Deeper than that, I’m forced to admit something I HATE admitting: that I am dependent on God for everything I could ever need. This flies in the face of our culture’s self-sufficiency, which makes me think of something else: I’m also dependent on God to help me overcome my prejudices and intolerances. Without His Spirit working in me, I cannot reach the kind of intentional inclusiveness that Jesus modeled on my own. I might come close, but it would still be motivated by my own desire to get ahead, and would thus be manipulative and self-centered, and it would eventually backfire on me badly. (Thanks to Nancy Beach, the teacher of this message, for challenging me to see this, and to up the ante in terms of what I do, and my dependence on God to help me do it!)

Why is it so tough to admit dependence on God? I would think it would be a natural thing, since God meant for us to live in fully surrendered communion with Him. But a quick read of Genesis 3 reveals that our drive for independence started early, and it’s something that’s as inherent to us as our DNA.

Its consequences are obvious: we will struggle with each other, with ourselves, and with the earth itself, and we are cut off from God’s loving provision for us. But we can go home again: we admit that we are utterly powerless over ourselves, our sin, our brokenness (what the 12 Steps would call our addicitions), and admit that we can’t help ourselves. Then we day by day surrender ourselves to God’s loving direction, and when we choose to disobey, repent, and surrender yet again.

I don’t think it matters if we have to surrender 1,000 times in a single day. God honors our willingness to keep coming home to Him, beaten up, clothes torn, snot running down our faces. He sees us, even that messed up, and says, “This is My son, this is My daughter; in them I am well pleased”.

If you’ve never made the decision to surrender for the first time, I invite you to do so. It’s very simple to do. Just pray this, and mean it in your heart:

Lord Jesus, I confess that I’m a sinner. I know that I’ve messed up, and I can’t clean up my mess on my own. I need You to come into my life, to take away my sin through the blood that You shed on the cross, and transform me by the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Thank You that You gave Your life to set me free from the chains of sin, and having to depend on myself to live. I am Yours, Jesus, today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.

If you prayed that, and meant in in your heart, feel free to contact me, and I can help you get in touch with some resources that will help you grow in your faith. May God bless you on your new journey!



  1. Wow. What a powerful entry. I would love to continue the conversation around this going with you.

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