I would love to grab coffee with you.
If I could, I’d sit across from you with a mint mocha and listen to your story. I’d ask about where you grew up, when you first learned about God’s love for you, and how He gradually drew you into His presence. I’d listen to the ways He’s sustained you through heartbreak, and I’d celebrate with you His mighty victories.
But I know I’d also hear stories that go like this: “I was born and raised in a Christian family. I said the sinner’s prayer in grade school, and I’ve been trying to be a good Christian ever since. But God isn’t interested in my life. Nothing exciting has every happened to me.”
Sound familiar? Ever heard someone say that? Have you said that yourself?
We all long to live lives of significance. We read of Mother Teresa, Jim Elliot, Amy Carmichael, D. L. Moody, and secretly whisper, “I wish I could change the world.” But then we go back to the casserole dishes and loads of laundry, the office politics and quarterly reports, and figure God’s just not interested in little ol’ us.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Right now, this very second, God is searching the earth for women and men to use in great Kingdom work. And He’s not looking for the best-educated or most-qualified. Nope. He’s looking for just one quality: surrender.
Think of the people He used at critical junctures in Israel’s history:
- Moses was a criminal hiding in the desert. But God used him to lead the captive Israelites out of Egypt and teach them His laws.
- Samuel was a servant boy despised by the priest’s sons, but God used him to guide the nation into the turbulent era of kingship.
- Isaiah was a man terrorized by the Assyrians but God used him to proclaim His salvation through the coming Messiah.
- Mary was a teenage girl in a red-light district, but God used her to bring His Son into the world and raise Him as her own.
What do these four history-makers have in common? Well, other than the fact that they were seriously under-qualified for the job, they all said these three little words: “Here I am.”
God doesn’t need your degrees or your qualifications. He isn’t impressed with your daily devotions, Bible studies or community service projects.
God is looking for women and men who are so enraptured by His love and grace that they surrender their lives to Him and say, “Here I am. All I have is Yours. Do with me whatever You want.”
If you feel your testimony isn’t that impressive, I invite you to make these three little words your daily prayer: “Here I am.” Then watch as God takes your life and transforms it into a world-changing, history-shifting, eternity-pointing narrative, so that everyone who hears it says, “Whoa! Look what God did there. I want Him to do that in my life, too!” Because He can. And He will.
And that’s quite the story to share over coffee.
Monday: Read 2 Chronicles 16:7-9. What does this passage say God did for the king in the past? How did the king respond? Who does it say God is searching for? Do you believe God actually wants to use you in world-changing ways? Why or why not? Today, take a few moments to praise God for the ways that He uses insignificant people to do great things, and surrender your life to Him, praying “Here I am.”
Tuesday: Read Luke 1:26-38. This is a well-known passage about Mary, but look specifically at her reactions. How does she first respond to the angel? What emotions are evident in the text? How would you have reacted to the angel’s news? There were lots of unknowns for Mary, and many reasons to be afraid. In your own life, what fears hold you back from complete surrender? What are you afraid God will ask you to do if you give Him complete control? Today, confess these things to the Lord, and pray, “Here I am.”
Wednesday: Read 1 Peter 5:6. What are we told to do in this verse? What does that look like in your daily life? What does this passage say about God’s timing? Why is it hard to wait for God to act? Today, spend 5 minutes being still in God’s presence, and tell Him, “Here I am.”
Thursday: Read Luke 9:23-24. What does Jesus say it means to follow Him? Have you given God complete control of your life? Although a life of surrender begins with a specific decision to give God control, it is also a daily practice, requiring that we submit to God every day. What keeps you from daily surrender? Confess those things to the Lord, and then say, “Here I am.”
Friday: Read Romans 12:1-2. In the Old Testament, people often built altars on which they sacrificed offerings in order to remember significant moments with God. What does this passage say is our offering to God? As you begin to live a life surrendered to God, what’s a symbolic “altar” you can build to remember this commitment? It may be a photo, a framed verse, or a smooth stone from your garden. Think creatively about this, and then place it somewhere prominent so you are reminded of your commitment to surrender to God every time you see it. Then pray, “Here I am.”