I think it’s time to get going on “God in the Yard” by L.L. Barkat. For info about what I’m referring to, please see my blog of 11/10. I’m not entirely sure how this might look, but let me share some thoughts. I’m going to grab my copy of the book and begin afresh on chapter one. I already answered her first set of questions here on my blog (see “An Assignment from God” posted 11/8). Those were pretty easy. I suspect things will get a bit more personal and edgy as we go here; I could be wrong though because I actually did what I promised and haven’t read beyond chapter one! I’m so proud of myself for keeping that promise but I have to admit it’s been almost tortuous to not want to peek at the pages beyond. I’m realizing that this confounded blog is making me ACCOUNTABLE! 🙂
So how about we get a conversation going here about what we’re reading and experiencing? If you happen to be a reader of this blog and are not reading the book with us, please stay with us. You may have experiences of your own to share with us on how you hear God, how you spend time with Him, and someone reading this blog (me perhaps!) might gain greatly from your sharing and insights on the matter.
My goal is to spend about a week on a chapter. Since today is Thursday, “about a week” will remain a random matter. Call me a rebel, but I just can’t seem to get myself into anything that resembles law here…I’ll move along at the pace that God will set or, if any one of you suggest that I might be lagging, I’ll take the kick in the seat and move into the next chapter. Sound good?
Last thoughts for today. From my reading in chapter one, “God in the Yard” appears to be a contemplative and experiential exercise. Something in me is crying out to God for more. The more covers a lot of territory. More alone time with God. More understanding of the spot I’m standing in right now. More consistent hearing of His voice. More direction. I just want more. I seem to be coming to a place of realization that there’s a flip side to this more and that would be surrender.
As I think about all Jesus gave up – position, authority, power – so that I might live as a Kingdom Kid, I’m impressed to give up too. Not give up in the sense of there’s no use going on, but in the sense that Jesus said over and over that He did and said only what the Father instructed. He surrendered…and He gained more, for our Father, for Himself, and for us. There was freedom in His surrendering. Oh this is heady stuff and I pray I’m making myself clear. For me, that means surrendering myself; my will, wishes, and plans. I want to hear my Father’s instructions too – that will only happen as I’m able to surrender to Him. And yeah, the good news, as I surrender, I will gain more too. That’s the example of Jesus Christ. Surrender so He might give us more. And more equals freedom in Christ.
Surrender. More. Freedom. Three words. How do I accomplish these? Lord, I pray that my friends and I will find You in our yards in the coming days and weeks. I pray for crystal clear communication with You as well as a desire to want more time with You and a willingness to lay ourselves down. In You, we can surrender. In You, there is more. In You, there is freedom. Help us Lord, to find this place of surrender, more, and freedom.
Romans 6:16-18 (MSG)
16 You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
Okay, I’m jumping in…don’t have the book yet but I’m going to try to keep up with the dialog. Basically I have only one comment…I think it’s interesting that this is about surrender when we’re coming up on the season of “Gimme!”. Hmmmm…It’s the paradox of the fact that God wants us completely and in our surrendering (becoming a ‘prisoner of Christ’) we are set free from all we were prisoners of. Like the disciples we have to give up our lives and follow Him. How fearful were they? What was going to happen to their lives? Could I go to absolute nothing in every way? Yikes! But, if I look on the other side of glory and can see what really counts it becomes easier. Not a done deal mind you, I am flesh and blood, but to know that I have pleased my Father in something He is requiring of me and that I go forth, not turning back…well, there ya go. Songs come to mind, “I Surrender All”, “I Decided to Follow Jesus” and on and on. So, here’s the beginning of a new path (one in my ‘yard’). I, too, want more Linda. Most of all I want to be able to be confident in the fact that God delights in me, little ol’ me! Okay, enough carrying on, I’m going to find a copy of the book and get the first chapter done.
Thanks Rene for your input! I realize as I read your post that I miss you…our days go WAY back, eh? Your take on all this is quite profound and yes, my flesh gets in the way also. But God! Through His help, I’m making progress, inch by inch, some days and other days, well the battle rages! There is one thing I KNOW though and that is God DELIGHTS in you…not because of anything you’ve done, but just because He loves each of so much. Won’t it be grand to talk this phenomenon over with Him one day? Blessings and hugs to you, my friend…L