Minister Dona (a minister at my church) recently said, “As you transition from this job an entrance will be open to you. However, God is saying there is something dear to your heart that you must lay down.” I pondered the words she spoke: ‘What is it that’s dear to my heart?!’ The first thing that came to mind was a desire for marriage but then I reasoned it away as it didn’t make sense for God to place the desire for marriage there and then tell me to surrender it.
A week after we’d spoken we spoke again and she made it plain, “The thing that’s dear to your heart is a desire for marriage.” She went on to say, “Its not that it consumes you or hinders your service; it was God who placed the desire there but He wants you to surrender it to Him. Its not something you can release mentally but you must ask God for the grace to surrender it. And when you surrender it He’ll give you the desires of your heart and He will exceed your expectation!”
I was reminded of the late Elisabeth’s Elliot’s journey of love in her book, “Passion and Purity.” God placed Jim in Elisabeth’s life and gave both of them a strong desire for marriage. The desire to be joined was birthed by God yet God said, “Okay, now surrender your love life to me. I know you’re both burning with desire to be together but now is not the time.”
When they were permitted to be together he only lived for 3 years. Jim was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca of Eastern Ecuador. You see the surrender prepared Elisabeth for Jim’s sudden death, the surrender caused her to become closer to God so that when the man who was dear to her heart died she remained close to God. She wasn’t bitter and that’s how her ministry was birthed.
Elisabeth later spent two years as a missionary to the tribe members who killed her husband. Returning to the United States after many years in South America, she became widely known as the author of over twenty books and as a speaker. She toured the country, sharing her knowledge and experience, well into her seventies.
Does this sound familiar?! This was the same journey Abraham had to take. God placed a desire within his heart to be a father and then He told Him to sacrifice the son he loved. What would have happened if Elisabeth had not surrendered her love life to God? What would have been the consequences if Abraham had disobeyed God’s request to sacrifice his son? It would have been tragic beyond the telling for both! Elisabeth would not have become a sought after speaker and renown book author. The Bible wouldn’t have included Abraham; God would have found another man to Abraham’s own detriment!
What is it you desire that God is asking you to surrender? Taking up our cross and following Jesus is a death journey we must all take; no one is exempt!