I surrender to the conjunction.
IF I am willing AND obedient, the word says. It’s not enough to be willing. It’s not enough to be obedient. I must be both IF I am to eat the best of the land.
Even before Pastor Kenneth began preaching about boundaries this morning (click here for the awesome series called Puzzled), I had a clear thought of this verse in Isaiah followed by a mental picture of myself. I was sitting down in the dead center of a large rectangular area that I knew God had drawn for me. As I was sitting, I was drawing with my mind another rectangular area somewhere else. My mind…my thoughts…were occupying the rectangle that I had drawn, while the rest of me sat on my butt in the middle of the rectangle that GOD had drawn. I was obediently sitting inside God’s boundaries, but I certainly was not willingly sitting inside God’s boundaries. No wonder I have not been eating the good of the land! I’ve been so busy trying to mentally occupy a different place that I have not even begun to fully occupy the place which He has made for me. I’ve just been sitting in the middle, pouting because I wanted to be somewhere else! Ouch!!
It seems to me that more people have a problem with the “obedient” part of that verse in Isaiah. For me, it’s the “willing” part. I have been obediently following after God’s will for my life, but I have not been doing it willingly. How do I know? Because I have said out of my own mouth, more than once, that if it wasn’t for God, I would do such and such. In other words, God is keeping me from what I will for my life. It’s God’s fault that I don’t get to do what I want to do. Now, I have never come right out and said that I’m blaming God for this, but I didn’t have to.
I thought I was surrendered to God’s plan and purpose for my life, but I realized today that I was not. Not fully. Surrender involves completely turning over all of me to His will. That means not only my spirit and my body, but my soul as well. To truly be surrendered, HIS will must become my will. Not MY will be done, but HIS.
Now, I know we “know” this… but I think if we were all honest with ourselves, we would recognize certain areas in our lives in which we have not fully given ourselves to God. Thankfully, God makes it easy to get it right. It’s called repentance. It’s called surrender.