July 23, 2020

Scripture Readings

Surrender. In the ever-competitive, win-at-all-costs world we live in, surrendering is not a word viewed positively. However, today's passages show us the power of surrendering.

Reading through the Old Testament often leaves me feeling frustrated with the Israelites. "How could they continue to forget how good God has been to them?" Truthfully though, my frustration with the Israelites quickly turns to frustration with myself as I realize their story is my story. 

We find ourselves in the book of Hosea, as foreign idols and gods have replaced the true God on the throne of the Israelites' lives.  Hosea prophecies that their selfish, evil ways will only lead to destruction, which seems to be a theme for many of the Old Testament prophets. 

Paul reminds us of a similar threat to our lives when we allow our sinful nature to control our hearts. In Romans 8:5 -7, he highlights the path of destruction that surrendering to our sinful nature will lead us on.

Last but not least, Solomon highlights the danger of the wicked and foolish person. Are you starting to see a pattern here?

If you read the words of all three passages, it will probably lead you in the same direction it led me. I see myself in all three passages. Too often, I am the foolish man, wanting to show how smart I am or bring glory to myself through the words I use. God, help me to listen more and speak less.

Too often, I am Israel, fattened and entitled by God's infinite grace in my life, lazily distracted by the enemies around me and the idols that are firmly entrenched in my life. God, help me to allow you to sit firmly on the throne of my life. 

Too often, I am the person described by Paul, who follows his sinful nature down a path of destruction rather than allowing the Spirit to take hold in my heart and mind. Lord, help me surrender my stubborn will to your heart and control my life. 

Ryan Reed

A high school principle who lives with a house full of elementary children