Posts Tagged ‘surrender’

Surrendered

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

SurrenderThe older I get the smarter I get. After church Sunday one of our long time members, Sunday volunteer and dear friend expressed a concern  about what I had written in my blog the previous week (“God Breathed” January 1, 2015  Johngouldener.com).

To make a long story short I had contrasted our first church plant with the second. In the first we experienced what I believe to be a series of God directed miracles. While the second church has obviously been blessed by God in many ways, it has not followed the “miraculous model” of the first. I had written, “During my Thanksgiving retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani, God revealed the real difference (between the two)…The first church was itself a miracle. It was raised up by God himself. God breathed always trumps man-breathed. Miracles only come to pass when we completely surrender our will to His”.

Anybody who knows my story realizes that for a lumber salesman, who had taken a twenty year break from church, to walk out of the lumber company one day and walk into a church of 1000 the next as the associate pastor without any seminary study, something miraculous was going on. For my wife and me to take that step, we had to completely trust God because it made absolutely no sense in the human.

Here is what I believe was the key and it may be the key to most all answered prayer. Three years later when we helped, along with others, in launching our first church plant, I believe that we were all surrendered completely to God’s will, as far as the new church was concerned. As best as we knew how, we followed his leading in planting that first church. Our only thought was how our church would be a doorway to Jesus Christ. As far as I can recall there was no thought of how it would benefit any of us whatsoever.

Twelve years later when our church split and some of us formed a new church, as I have reflected back,  I now realize I was not completely surrendered to him on the second go around. Over time God has shown me that this time my primary concern was not how to reach people for Christ, but for me it was primarily about how to continue my personal ministry, take care of “my” people and show up my former church.

So Sunday my friend asked me if I thought that Crossroad was not in God’s will. I believe that it is.  But God never blesses something that is bad. “Continuing my ministry” is a good thing and “taking care of people” is a good thing. God has greatly blessed those two facets of  CCC.  On the other hand, “showing up my former church” (by growing a really large church), while it may be a normal human reaction, it is a very ungodly thing. It is sin and God never blesses sin.

Something to think about