Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Book Review: Surrender All

Surrender All by Joni Lamb is a book about trusting God. I have to admit, I did not love the beginning of this book at all. I thought Joni was entirely too pretty and didn't look like she ever overslept or had a bad day. I did not want to read about another perfect life that turned out all perfectly perfect. I TOTALLY judged a book by its cover. THEN, I started reading all about the trials Joni and her husband went through to start a TV station for God. AND THEN, after they were successful, God told them to sell and go somewhere else and start from scratch. So, being someone who happens to believe that God doesn't really care WHERE I live-He cares HOW I live, I began to REALLY struggle with this book. However, making my way through the rest of the book, I began to change my mind.

It covers surrendering friendships, marriage, children and more to God. All to help us understand that God is a giving God. When we surrender ourselves, our will, our plans to Him, he blesses us exponentially. When we don't surrender, it not only doesn't FREE us, it works right into the plans of the evil one. The evil one doesn't want us to ever receive blessings so he will make us feel that surrender is pointless.

I have surrendered many things through the years and God has always honored it. Even little things, like going to church. I don't always like to go to church. It is ALWAYS a struggle for me. I am selfish with my time. Mostly because I think 99% of people don't even notice when you sacrifice time for them. Especially church attendance-that is like a Christian responsibility that shalt not be shirked!! Some treat it like a Christian time card that must be punched. So, giving up a Wednesday night to go to a church service that may or may not leave me feeling closer to God is always an inner battle. God knows this about me and so I almost always receive "little extras" when I surrender my free will and go to church. Maybe it is having a REAL conversation with a friend going through tough stuff. Maybe it is one of my kids or myself being impacted in a way that improves our home life. Maybe it is just feeling like I have communed with God and family. GOD always honors my sacrifice of time.

Joni Lamb in this book makes the bold statement that God wants us to truly surrender all. It is a stretch for me to hear that. Not because I have not heard it all my life. Not because I think she is wrong. Mostly it is hard to hear because my selfish self does not want to surrender. My selfish self prefers to not give up things without a fight. I like to play my cards close to my chest and only sacrifice when there is something in it for me. God doesn't honor that. He loves me anyway, but He wants me to be more than that. Surrender, true surrender, is more than just lip service. I could talk a big talk about how important it is, but that doesn't mean a thing to God. He is a God that requires action, not talking about it.

I guarantee you that if you make any sacrifice of yourself-preferences, time, marriage, etc.-God will give it back to you ten times better. Keep in mind though, it may take some time before that happens. He is not a God bound by time in any way. Most of the time his blessings are like a mutual fund-very slow growth not an ATM that dispenses instant cash.

I recommend Surrender All by Joni Lamb. I also recommend surrendering all. I also admit, it is one of the hardest things in the world to do.

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