Every fall in California we would cut our rosebushes back to nearly nothing. For about four months they looked like pathetic little dead sticks from which nothing could ever possibly grow again. But when spring came, they blossomed and bloomed profusely. First they grew hundreds of little buds. Then one by one they opened and burst into all shades of pink, purple, yellow, burgundy, and white. Abundant, fragrant, breathtaking, life-giving flowers that people driving or walking by would stop to admire. That’s what God wants to do with us. He wants us to be His rose garden. He wants us to have beauty and purpose, and to offer a lifegiving fragrance to those around us. But first comes the pruning.
When God wants to make changes in our lives, and we’re willing to let Him, He starts by cutting away all that is unnecessary. In this process, He strips from us everything that could hinder our future growth, in order to prepare us to bring forth good fruit. Our life may look barren during that time, but God is actually freeing us from anything that does not bring forth life. This process of surrendering all to the Lord, especially our dreams and desires, is called pruning.
My husband, who has been a successful musician for thirty-years, once knew that God was asking him to lay down his music for a time. He was twenty years old and already a professional piano player and writer when the Lord made it clear to him that music was an idol in his life. He had to surrender his dream of ever playing or writing again. After two years of not doing anything in the music field-he didn’t even practice the piano during that time–God gave him back the dream because it now had a different place in his heart. He surrendered his dream, and he saw it resurrected. I don’t believe his success would have been as far-reaching, or have had the longevity it has had, if he hadn’t surrendered his dream years ago.
God puts dreams in our hearts to give us vision and inspiration and to guide us to the right path. That’s why we have to make sure the dreams we have are not from our own flesh. The only way to be sure of that is to lay all of our dreams at His feet and let them die. And we must also die to them. The ones that are not from Him will be buried forever. The ones that arefrom Him will be given new life.
Lord, I release all my hopes and dream to You this day. If there is anything that I am longing for that is not to be a part of my life, I ask You to take away the desire for it so that what should be in my life will be released to me. I realize how dangerous it is to make idols of my dreams-to try to force my life to be what I have envisioned for myself. I lift up to you all that I desire, and I declare this day that I desire You more. I want the desires of my heart to line up with the desires of Your heart. As hard as it is for me to let go of the hopes and dreams I have for my life, I lay them all at Your feet. I know that You will either bury them forever or resurrect them to life. I accept Your decision and fully submit to it. Lead me in Your path, Lord. You never said life would be easy. You said You would be with me. I now take each step with the light of Your Presence as my guide.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not
yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that
when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we
shall see Him as He is. 1John 3:2 (NKJV)
Written by Stormie OMartian “Surrendering Your Dreams”, in “Walking with God in the Quiet Places”
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