The 9-12 Project: Day 7 & 8

Day 7

I surrender my plans, my control, and my life to God.

God created you.  He didn’t just throw you together at the last minute.  He didn’t just use random parts that He had lying around. You were not an afterthought.  You were made with a specific plan in mind.  His plan.

A potter chooses the clay He will use to make the pot He is making.  One type of clay is good for tall pots but will not make good short pots.  One type will make a smooth pot; a different type will make a rough pot.  God chose your clay to make a specific kind of pot.  And then we do one of two things:  We complain that we weren’t made like that pot over there, or we do whatever we want with what God made.  Neither one works.

The truth is that God put specific talents in you.  He gave you those talents for a reason—His reason.  Some of us downgrade our talents because they don’t fit with what the world values or we frantically use our talents for our own benefit.  These will never work.

The trick to a victorious, holy, successful life is to do what the boy with the loaves and fishes did—give what we got back to Jesus.  If you notice, that was the extent of what the little boy did. He didn’t take classes on how to feed a multitude. He didn’t go to the library and check out all the books on “Having Baskets of Bread Leftover.” He simply gave what was his to Jesus, humbly and trusting.  Then Jesus took it, blessed it, had it distributed, and with it fed multitude. But what do we do? We horde what we’ve been given—yes, materialistically and financially, but even more so with our talents.

But God’s truest Kingdom is comprised of people who are willingly surrendering their gifts and talents back to Him.  His plans become our plans; His ideas become our idea; His life comes into ours and the design is brought to fruition in the Father’s Plan.  We begin to trust Him with the process and the outcome; the journey and the destination.  Because He may want to take us somewhere we never expected.  He may want a situation to turn out differently than we had planned so that our ultimate good might be realized. If we have not given over control to God, we may call these failures and cry out that God is being unfair.  Letting your agenda fail so that you can see that His way works and your way stinks is truly the most loving thing God could do because the truth is:  His way works.  Your way stinks. (If you don’t believe me, read The Our Father carefully.)

Dear Lord, I have used what You gave me for my own purposes and plans.  I have seen how limited life is when I’m going on what I know.  I have decided to give my talents, my plans, and my life to You.  I hold them up to You.  Take them to use as You will. I want what You want.  I trust that You will lead me to my ultimate good.  Show me what You want as I take the steps You are asking me to take, and help me to remember to let You work out Your Will in the process and in the outcome.

Now take a moment to listen for God’s voice speaking into your life.

Please record your thoughts.

As we begin a new week, I want you for a moment to write down a few of the lessons you’ve learned about God and His love for you this past week.  What have you learned?  What messages had God spoken into your heart?

Day 8

I will stop and listen.

Busyness.  It is one of Satan’s most valuable weapons against us.  We are running so fast, filling our lives with more things, more activities, more of more.  We believe happiness is found in the bigger TV, the cooler vacation, the nicer car.  It’s right down there and just around the corner.  We can feel it. So we strive—for things, for the promotions and the educations and the jobs, putting them before God, yes, but too often crowding Him out altogether.

We run, and we race; we strive, and we compete.  Oh, do we compete.  We compete with things that have a score and with things that do not.  We compete for the best and brightest children.  We compete for more success.  We compete for more money.  And at the end of the day, none of these bring more than getting up and doing it again tomorrow.  They are empty.  Meaningless.  And the longer and more we let our lives go down these drains, the more hopeless, helpless, and powerless we feel.

So, today I want you to take a stand against the world’s answer in a rather remarkable way.  I want you to stop.  Put “stop and listen” at the top of your to-do list today.

I do two chants with a group of women I pray with.  The first goes:  “Relax, release, breathe.”  The second goes:  “Trust, surrender, believe, receive.”  Take some time today to get quiet (and instantly you are going to think of all the reasons you can NOT do this).  If you can’t, the world has overtaken your spirit, so it is not just important to do this, it is critical.  (You might also go back to the beginning and pray the prayer against Satan as he will throw everything at you… and the kitchen sink to get you to not do this one.)

Today’s prayer is to sit and clear your mind for five minutes.  Go somewhere quiet, and let God talk to you.  But don’t limit your listening to these five minutes.  Stop and listen all day.  Breathe.  Go deep.  Let God speak to you.  That is your prayer for today.

Record your thoughts.

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008

About Staci Stallings

Staci Stallings shares her heart for God with her novels, articles, and conversations. She loves making new friends, writing, and playing piano and guitar.
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