Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39
The journey of the faithful, obedient steward is fraught with the same paradoxes as the journey ofthe disciple of Jesus. They are, in fact, the exact same journey. In both we find life by losing it, receive by giving, lead by serving, become first by being last, and are exalted by being humble.
In this, our last meditation of our one hundred day journey, I want to leave you with one final paradox – we are victorious by surrendering. How absurd that sounds, but it is the heart of everything we have said over the past hundred days. We must understand this simple truth about the battle in which we are engaged if we are to have the hope for victory.
This one truth can be read back into everything we have said.
– It’s all God’s, and we are called to surrender our desire to play the owner, and embrace our role as the faithful steward;
– We are one-kingdom people, and we must surrender the role of lord over our own, second kingdom and place everything under the one lordship of Jesus Christ;
– We are given the gift of intimacy with God in Christ, and we must surrender the insatiable drive we have to be doers and allow God to work in us the freedom of the faithful steward;
– We are given the gift of confidence, and we must surrender our pride that would have us find our identity and freedom in anything but in Christ alone;
– We are given the gift of presence with our neighbor, and we must surrender the desire to use people as means to our own ends and be set free to see them as Christ sees them;
– We are given the gift of nurture of creation and we must surrender the deceptive ideas that we rule creation for our own gain and instead be the caretakers that God created us to be;
– We are called into the great battle for freedom and we will only be victorious if we fully surrender our will and ways to God, allowing him to work through us to set others free.
My sincerest prayer is that in some small way over the course of this journey you have come to know the freedom of surrender for yourself. I pray that chains have fallen, lies of the enemy have been discovered and the truth and beauty of the love of God has been experienced at a deeper level.
May the Lord of freedom be your Lord and deliverer, your strength and your comfort for the battle that lies ahead. And everyday may you know the peace that comes from the unchained life, and the joy that flows from the heart that is genuinely free.
This final action takes us back to the beginning. Go look again at that jar of dirt you filled about a hundred days ago. Remember its message, ‘its all God’s!’ Back then these were words that started our journey. Now at its end, I hope they have a deeper and richer meaning for you. They are words of ultimate and absolute freedom. They are words that engage us in the battle for the truth of the kingdom of God. They are words that come from the total surrender to the desire to take the jar back and say, ‘mine’. They are words that bring life and purpose and hope. Keep your jar close at hand, and whenever the enemy whispers his lies to you about what is yours, who you are and how you should live with your neighbor and the creation, lift the jar high and proclaim those victorious words, ‘its all God’s!’
Gracious Lord, I am coming to the end of this one hundred day journey to freedom. Thank you for walking with me through these meditations. Thank you for all of the moments I felt the chains fall from my shoulders and a true sense of freedom and overwhelmed my spirit. Lord, I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to take up those old chains and carry them around anymore. I know the secret to continued freedom is continued surrender. And so I give myself back to you today; everything I am, everything I say, everything I think, in everything I do. Nothing on this earth is mine yet you give me everything I need. What an amazing love! I pray, Lord, that you would fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit so that I might love others, myself, and this beautiful creation in that same amazing way. I love you Lord, and I claim this day as my Independence Day in the name of your Son and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came that I may know this freedom, embrace this truth and let it set me free. I claim the promise that when the Son sets me free, I will be free indeed. In his precious name I pray. Amen.