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August 9, 2007

A Ragamuffin's Surrender

I am realizing the center of a ragamuffins life is surrender. There really is nothing else for us to do than surrender everything we are to serve the Master. I know the Lord is calling His church today to a ragamuffin's surrender. More than ever I feel like God wants us to give up our way, our striving, our best efforts. We keep working so hard and we get little in return. That doesn't make sense in the kingdom of God. God will not waste good ground that He has prepared. If our life is producing very little fruit and is not characterized by abundance and overflow, then God is not in it. Hear me, I'm not talking about things. The material things of this life don't matter. They are just tools and resource and God provides what we need. I'm talking about an abundance of the life of Christ. Are we producing His life and building His kingdom? It takes surrender and humility to do that.

God wants us to live in His rest. I think about how much I love my wife and thank God for an inner, God-given desire to serve her. When I see her struggling to lift something or accomplish some task, I don't hesitate to help, to come and lift that weight for her. Its a joy for me to come and help. How much infinitely more does God want to do for us and run to our aid? Why do we insist on lifting the weight of our own life, the weight of others, and the weight of the lostness of the world? Why do we do that over and over again as we keep trying and trying and striving to do the work of the kingdom? We are not just missing out on the rest God has for our life, but we will be held accountable for the lack of harvest. If we're going out there to do it ourself then we need to get out of the way. God wants to build His kingdom. He wants to reap His harvest. He needs our surrendered life. We can't make that decision to let Him work through our life if we don't take up the position of a ragamuffin in our heart.

Surrender means we have to trust God. Surrender means we empty ourself so we can be filled with His love. Surrender means we let go of our pride and desire for recognition. Surrender means we take our place among the poor in spirit. Thats the key to the kingdom. Jesus told us that Himself in Mat.5. Blessed, happy, satisfied, fulfilled are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. The way to real success is to climb down the ladder not up. To go down is to go up. Thats the way of the kingdom. To be mature, you must be like a child. To save your life you must loose it, to be first you must be last. Paul tells us Jesus humbled himself and took on the form of a man and the Father exalted Him. He came down to earth and then ascended. He was humbled and then exalted. Its not hard to figure out when we surrender and the Holy spirit begins to give us the mind of Christ. Its a paradox, but its true. A ragamuffin in the natural, a son of the living God in the spiritual.