Submission Required

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. ~ Luke 14:25-33

The dream still lingers years later, crashing through my days, vivid in my mind. Conversations about the dream turn to hurtful accusations and tearful confessions, forgivenesses that have been denied and words uttered that can never be retrieved and forever mar. Interpretations fall on deaf ears. More dreams come. Confirmations abound. And the one who needs to see them is blinded, heart hardened, feet planted in a stance of defiance.

I feel lost, anxious, abandoned, unworthy, unloved.

I want to be saved from this chaos and sleepless wrestling of things I cannot control. I want Yeshua to calm this storm and conform it to what I want. I want my version of how it plays out like a movie in my mind.

Instead I get panic knowing I cannot control the outcome. Not this time. No words I speak will sway. No tears I cry soften a heart. 

I do not know what will be required of me in this life, what sacrifices I will need to make to be a disciple of Yeshua. I know this: I do not get to choose what is required of me. I gave that up when I entered this covenant relationship. I can wrestle with God, and wrestle I have, but in the end it is His will and not mine. It costs everything to follow Yeshua and if I am not willing to lay down anything, everything even, then I am not worthy to follow Him. Yeshua died for me, paid the price for every sin I committed and every sin I will commit. Sins that deserve death. Sins I do not have to die for. 

And the cost of this? Loyalty to my King and to Him alone.

The cost of discipleship is great at times. The pain of pruning is often excruciating, pain I often think is more than I can bear. Burying children is a crippling pain, and even fifteen years later the weight of it is crushing at times. The worst pain I thought I would ever have to bear. There is a part me of that wants to tell God that it should have been enough. Why should I ever have to sacrifice another thing? What more could possibly be needed to bring me to submission?

His answer: whatever keeps me on my knees in prayer, whatever makes me understand I am not in control, whatever conforms me to Yeshua’s image, whatever it takes to purge unholiness. 

Because holiness is the goal lest I ever forget.

What about my house burning to the ground? What about a son who may never be in covenant with Yeshua? What about the severing of a marriage? What about…? 

Insert whatever you want into that question. It all has a value placed upon it.  

This afternoon I wrestle and I cry and beg Him to hear me. On my knees, broken and desperate, I echo back scripture that contains promises and truth. I beg Him to find another way, but in the end whisper, “Your will not mine, never, ever let it be my will, only let it always, always, always  be Yours.”

Yesterday I stood on the porch steps with thunder crashing and in drenching rain that soaked me cold. The oaks bent hard and low submitting to the wind blowing from every direction. This storm has raged and never-ending chaos has ruled for far too long. Just submit already I tell myself. But submitting quickly is not something I do.  I thought maybe the rain would wash away the anxiety and the broken heartedness and the chaos. 

So much for movie symbolism in real life. 

After the wrestling is over and the crying out for mercy has ended, the pleading has ceased and the submitting whispered. 

I get up.

I dust off my knees. 

I wipe away the tears. 

I keep my focus on the only one who is worthy. Yeshua. Always on Yeshua.

Because I know, that whatever happens next, His strength is sufficient. His mercy is great and His love greater. I know that no matter what, this refining creates holiness and holiness reflects Yeshua. So I plant my own feet on a path that follows my King knowing that no matter where He leads me I will follow, no matter what sacrifice He asks of me it is Kingdom worthy.

And for the first time in days and weeks and months I cannot count, I feel free and settled and at peace. Whatever He requires of me, the result and the reward will be worth it because everything I do is for Yeshua.

mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you – Elizabeth

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2 Responses to “Submission Required”

  1. Ann Chastain says:

    Very well stated. Why do we ever think that we have any control? Why is it so hard to submit ourselves to His will? Knowing that He freely and with love paid such a price for our sins should lead us all to be willing to sacrifice anything to follow Him.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Because submitting means He might not give us what we want – even though we know that everything He does is for our good and not our harm. Deep down, we all want to control our lives, but oh what a wreck we make of it!

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