You can’t make a deal.

Note: This post was drafted 11/2017, the reason for it’s delay should become evident shortly.

Most of us, at some time or other in our lives, will find ourselves in a situation that is so overwhelming we cry out to God for help. We are ready to offer up just about anything to avoid the catastrophe about to overtake us. It seems that often, even for those of us who profess to know the Lord, that cry for help takes the form of a negotiation. The things we will do or the things we won’t do if only God will deliver us or the ones we care about.

In general it doesn’t work that way.

Essentially it comes down to the fact that we have nothing to negotiate with. If we promise acts of righteousness we are just promising to do what we know we should already be doing (else how could we know what to promise, this ommision is sin James 4:17 ). If we promise to end acts of unrighteousness we tacitly admit we know better and therefore should not be doing those things anyway and our guilt merits the occasion.

God is not interested in a negotiated peace, He requires unconditional surrender. We do not get to preserve our pride.

But why? Why is our surrender so important?

I think there are at least two reasons. The first is tied to the condition that compels us to cry out for help. That condition is our lack of self sufficiency. Our powerlessness in the face of a reality we cannot control exposes the misconception that we are the masters of our fate. It is the stark reality of our limits that help us understand that we are merely mortal in contrast to His omnipotence.

The second, and more important reason is love.

Our God is a God of redemption, a God that can heal any hurt and restore any loss. The process of coming to terms with our suffering and then trusting God to resurrect a life lost to bitterness and heartbreak is painful. As this process unfolds and we open ourselves to it, we find  a Love not built on the shifting sands of circumstance but founded on the sure rock of the One from whom all good things proceed. A Love that truly believe all things, hopes all things and endures all things. A Love the never fails.

Apparently this is worth the price, II Corinthians 4:17

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