Archive for August, 2012

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING IN PEACE WITH OTHERS

If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, acted and inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony.– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

my version says, If ed is to progress, God is inescapable. He lives, thinks, acts and is inspired by the vison of ed evolving toward a life of peace and healing.

Step #8 involves me examining my relationships and preparing to make amends.

Step #8 requires and deserves more than one post on one day. It will take me longer than one post to make my list and i do not wnat to treat step #8 as a destination. But this part of the journey requires a little more time to blend in with the previous 7 steps. This journey is life altering, and so i do not wish to rush it for the sake of more readers who already know this stuff and are bored with 24 parts to anything let alone my journey.
Living in peace is about living harmoniously with God, myself and others. Living in peace is both an outward and an inward process. Outwardly, living in peace is a way of life in which i am to respect and love others in spite of my  cultural, religious, or political differences. Inwardly, i need to search my heart and mind and understand the fear that causes the impulse to anger and intolerance, for in continuing to ignore the rage within, the storm outside will never subside.

i will find my own meaning of peaceful existence and outward manifestations of a peaceful life according to my beliefs and lifestyle. There are some basics  to living in peace that cannot be overlooked, such as being non-angry, being tolerant, holding moderate views, and celebrating wondrous-life. The following are a few of my thoughts which are helping me understand step #8 better.

Seek to love, not control. Think peace before power. Gandhi said that power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the power gained through threat of punishment. If i try to “control” other people through threatening behavior, those persons subjected to my power will be responding out of coercion, not out of respect or care for me. This is not a peaceful way to live.

Moderate my convictions. Moderate my absolute convictions by always being ready to question and to reflect. Accept that my beliefs, faith, passions, or opinions are but some among many other beliefs, faith, passions, and opinions in the world. Follow an ethic of moderation that values human dignity and worth; follow the one true absolute, which is to treat others as i wish to be treated myself (The Golden Rule).

 Be tolerant. Rather than jumping to negative conclusions about other people, i need to change my perspective and nourish the good in others. In changing my perspective of others, i can initiate change in their own self-perception. For example, instead of seeing someone as stupid or incompetent, start calling them intelligent, effective, and clever. This will nourish them and encourage them to live up to the good i perceive in them. Seeing others as interesting, special, and caring beings underneath their  anger, and torment, can bring about a great change for the better.
Seek forgiveness, not revenge. Where does an eye for eye lead to? Usually to many eyes missing. i am working hard to live in the present, not the past. Dwelling on that which should have been and reliving past hurts will keep the negatives of the past alive and bring constant internal conflict. Forgiveness allows me to live in the present, to look forward to the future, and to let the past settle gently. Forgiveness is the ultimate victory because it lets me enjoy life again by making peace with the past and those people who were in it.
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“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.” William Gladstone

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING IN PEACE WITH OTHERS

Notice the change? i am now moving into the next phase of the Twelve Steps. The first two phases were Living At Peace, first with God and then with myself. Now i am to live “IN” peace with others. This journey now gets a little more difficult and remember this next phase and the next step are in addition to. So one might ask, how much time do i spend on each of the steps? The answer is simple, as much as it takes. As much as it takes to live at peace with God, as much time as it takes to live at peace with myself. But…. STOP! There is no but, because if i do not do it that way there will be no growth, no lasting peace and that’s what doing this is all about, PEACEFUL LIVING – COMES FROM ACTING ON BASIC BIBLICAL TRUTHS – STRUCTURED INTO A DAILY LIFESTYLE.

In order to get there living in peace with others is a key. For some of us , that’s where the rub comes from, “OTHER.” Ephesians 4:2-3 says it this way, Living as becomes you with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.

Step #8 involves me examining my relationships and preparing to make amends.

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He [Who would have us live soberly, chastely, and godly] carefully weighs all man’s goings. The Message expands upon that idea in its translation. Mark well that God doesn’t miss a move you make; he’s aware of every step you take. The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead-end.

The practical application for me is to make a list of every possible person i have hurt. Right now that seems easy as i believe that every person i have had contact with has suffered in some way as they have not experienced the fullness of my life being filled with Christ. In many cases making amends will not be practical nor possible. But that’s the past and just like my addiction, i can not take them back as though they never happened. That’s why accepting Jesu into my life is so important to my recovery.

It is not possible for me to relive all the God ordained moments and so i must look to the future. i need to grasp the idea that “Today Matters” as John Maxwell says. For me to not believe, act or speak as though today matters is a disrespect of God and the Gift of life, and time that He has given me, and that doesn’t even begin to consider the death of His only Son.

Without much consideration of my relationships, i see that some apologies will be required but…. those will come as the first 7 steps take root inside me and begin to work their way out. In some cases words may not suffice?

Step #8 i have begun the process (making a list) of examining my relationships and preparing to make amends.

“Most people in America, when they are exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take one step into the door, and the journey ends. They are not being allowed, encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ. Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.” – David Kinnaman

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING AT PEACE WITH MYSELF

Step #7 Involves the transformation of my character.

For me this step co-exists very closely with Step #6 and in fact seem to be the same but they are not. Being ready to drive and actually driving are two different things as is being ready for God and actually accepting God, two different things. i suppose these two steps need to be #6 and #7 kinda like baby steps so that they do not overwhelm me in the process. On your mark, get ready, set, go! 1 John 1:9 says, If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] AND [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

So what does that look like in my everyday life? Am i just to admit and poof!…. it’s all done for me? Romans 12:1-2 seems to lay out the details of transforming my life beyond the confession of my sin. So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. INSTEAD, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Changed from the inside out, HOW? Fix my attention on God!!! By not becoming so well-adjusted to my culture that i fit into it without even thinking.

The next sentence says that i am to readily (promptly; quickly; easily) recognize what He wants from me and then quickly respond to it. That readily recognize can be an issue sometimes. Often i am wandering around in search of. There are times when i feel like i have no clue. But then those could be the times when my attention is not fixed on Him and thus i am not changed from the inside out but from the outside in.

And there it is in a nutshell. Clear and simple, in Step #7 this portion of the journey is to fix my attention on God and be changed from the inside out.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING AT PEACE WITH MYSELF

While i did take the week off to visit my children and grand children i did not take the week off from my steps. i was able to continue on in my “fearless” inventory and add step #5 to my daily practices.

Step #6 is an inner transformation often refered to as repentance and forgiveness.

James 4:7-10 says, So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

To me this is saying behavior modification is not going to cut it, there must be an inner purification, a change of heart, a “getting serious, really serious.”

Dabbling: to play and splash in or as if in water, to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner.

i am playing and splashing in sin as if in water. i spent the past week either in the lake or at the pool and so i have a very clear picture of what it is to play and splash as if in water. Both my grandchildren made sure of that. They are 2 and 4 and thus know little more than playing and splashing in the water. i found myself splashing them back as if that would stop them, they’re children and just found it to be fun.

If i were a child in the things of God perhaps i could get away with playing and splashing… but i am not. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. i have been acting like a child and step 6 is calling to the carpet, to get serious, to humble myself, to repent, to ask forgiveness of my childish behavior of playing and splashing around in sin.

Taking a look at verses 9 and 10 it says, my knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and my prophecy (my teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

Mother Teresa said, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”

Step #6 i am on the journey toward a continuing, life long changing of my inner man. God has forgiven me, i am learning to forgive myself, and i am asking others to forgive as well as me forgiving them.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING AT PEACE WITH MYSELF

i think the idea of living at peace with myself is far more difficult that Living at Peace With God. He seems to be able to forget far more than i can. He also forgives me way more than i do me.

Step 5 is the discipline of confession.

James 5:16 from the Message says, Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. 

i am to admit to God, myself and to one whom i trust the exact nature of my wrongs or in otherwards my sin.

Common: of frequent occurrence, usual, familiar.

Step 5 is already in play for me. It is plastered all over the web for everyone to see, trusted or not.

To whom and to what extent am i as a “Christian” admonished to confess my sins?

Initially i would say that the word obligates me to confess my sins to one another but, but clearly, because James does not explain the procedures of confession, it is apparent that he expects me the readers to already know why, when, how, and to whom confession of sin is to be made. As others will read this i don’t want anyone having the notion that confessing secret sins should be publicly confessed to “accountability partners” nor others who have neither any right to bestow forgiveness of such sins nor any need to know (cf. Psalm 90:8; 19:12). It is of my own free and for my own personal reasons that i make my addiction to sin a public matter.

Why? If i sin against others i must confess my sin in order to be set right (reconciled) with those against whom i have sinned.

When? i am to confess my sin whenever i commit sin against another person, especially against other believers, the case James has in mind.

How? i am to confess the sin humbly with a request for forgiveness of the sin that i have committed.

To whom? i am required to confess my sin to the individual or individuals against whom i have sinned. Because only those against whom i sin have the right to forgive the sin i commit against them, confession of sin is to be made to them, not to people against whom we do not commit the sin. Even the Scribes understood that humans have no authority to grant forgiveness of sins not committed against them (Mark 2:1-12). Only God has that authority because every sin that i commit is against God, He alone has authority to forgive every sin (Psalm 51:4). So, if the sin i commit is a sinful thought confined within my heart alone and not an outward deed against any person, to the Lord and to the Lord alone i am to confess my sin. Because every sin is against the Lord, every sin is to be confessed to the Lord to receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Consider the injury that would almost surely be done if i confess to another person an evil thought i might have entertained against that another person. If i sin privately against my wife, privately i must confess this sin to her and to her alone before the Lord. If i sin against my family, i must confess this sin to my family and to them alone before the Lord. If i sin against the whole church, to the whole church i must confess my sin and to the church alone before the Lord. Is it any wonder that gossip blights churches, that relationships are destroyed, and that reputations are ruined? And some injury to reputation is self-inflicted by confessing secret and private sins to individuals who have no need or right to know.

Step 5 is that i am to develop a disciple of confession.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Teresa

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING AT PEACE WITH MYSELF

“Steps 4 through 9 are the “house cleaning” steps.  They are the steps that help me to start seeing the past more clearly so that i can identify my patterns, uncover my denial, and learn how to take responsibility for my life.  These are the steps that help me to clean up my relationship with God, myself, and with others.  Seeing myself more clearly – in the Light of the Spiritual Truth of a Loving God – is how i change my relationship with my inner process into one that is more Loving.

For me i originally saw the 4th step as a very negative self inventory. In part that was because of the shame that i was carrying.  But there was also an aspect of this negativity that was due to how the 4th step is usually approached.  Those who have used the twelve steps and more specifically Step 4 for a long period of time tended to be black and white, right and wrong in their outlook on the steps.

Step 4 for me is not one that will be accomplished in a day, in two or even a week. This searching, FEARLESS moral inventory is for me going to be a journey in and of itself. i had considered using a 100 questionnaire that i had found and posting my answers to the questions and thereby set the example of being vulnerable. As i laid it out it would have taken me three weeks of posting to do so and quite honestly my answers are not that important.

There are many resources to assist in accomplishing my inventory thus i will combine several to get the process moving. i want to use some tools that deal with this in a positive way. Yes there are many negatives that come from my addiction but if i go at this from the spiritual aspect God does not heap guilt and condemnation on me in those areas. Having gone thru and still daily going through steps 1,2 and 3 God has forgiven my sins as far as the east is from the west.

As of this post i am thinking that step 4 will be an ongoing inventory with no real end, as these steps are actually changing my life and i am recovering and there are new days, new thoughts, new actions and new knowledge to consider, so i am making this a part of my lifestyle versus a one time getter done thing.

i will close with this thought that i heard yesterday, “God will only give me what He knows will flow through me.” – John Maxwell

This is why i am sharing my story, my journey, so that my children, grandchildren, and anyone else who reads these posts can receive from my experiences and possibly be stirred up to find their own answers to life’s issues.  i am finding hope for my life… in the change of my life!

Philippians 2:13 [Not in ed’s own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in me [energizing and creating in me the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

The story is told of a man who once came to a preacher and said, “You talk about how heavy sin is, but preacher, I don’t feel a thing.” The preacher thought for a minute and then asked, “If we put 400 pounds of weight on a corpse, do you think he’d feel it?”

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING AT PEACE WITH MYSELF

With Steps 1, 2, and 3 in hand it’s time to look at the second group of steps and not as though i have conquered the first three, but as i said i have them in hand. The first group was about “Living at Peace With God. Now it’s time to look at “Living at Peace With Myself.

It often seems like there is always something that happens which captures my entire attention, and thus drains my energy?  As our society grows more and more complex, finding true peace becomes more like trying to find an oasis in the desert.  My life is a busy one as well, as running the Onething Campus and all of the demands that comes with it, definitely takes its toll over time.

Step 4 involves a self-examination. A FEARLESS moral inventory of myself.

Lamentations 3:40 says, Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.

Fearless: without fear; bold or brave

Fear: to consider or anticipate (something unpleasant) with a feeling of dread or alarm.

Moral: founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom.

In doing my fearless moral self-examination i realize that i must do a better job of “accepting what is. Dr Joel Hunter, Pastor of Northland Church in Orland says, “It is what it is, now what are you going to do?” i shared on Friday about my constant searching and the effects it has on me and those around me.

There is only so much i can affect.  What i cannot change, what i cannot influence, should not concern to me. Why allow my thoughts to linger about something that all the thinking in the world will not change? Taking this path is following a road towards peace.

The present moment is all i have, that’s not to say that i never plan and just live by the seat of my pants. Most of the time, what i think about is relating to something either in the past, or something in the future.  Living in the present moment erases all such thoughts.  Why think and linger on thoughts in the past that i cannot ever change?  Why think  about something that i am not even sure will happen or not? For me it’s about finding stillness, and it is within that stillness that i can uncover peace.

This portion of a prayer is used in the Twelve Step program.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.

This is the rest of the prayer. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

Step 4 i am making a searching and FEARLESS moral inventory of myself.

During the first three steps my attention turned from my addiction, to my life as it was designed to be by my heavenly Father, who by the way is the only one that can deliver me from my addiction. i am facing new truths and have recommitted my life to God. It’s time to start seeing things as they are rather than through the eyes of my addicted mind and heart. Exactly where have i been, what have i done and how far did i go in my addictive behavior?

i am told that in Step 4 many quit and many more never start so i am going to use today to prepare for the challenge  of Step 4.

Within this next step i have to consider any unhappiness this has caused others as well as myself. Without a willing and persistent effort to do this, there can be little contentment. Without a searching and fearless moral inventory, i find that the faith which is supposed to work in daily living is out of reach.

In Step Four it’s called a “moral” inventory because i am to compile a list of traits and behaviors that have gone against my moral values. i am also to inventory my “good” traits and the behaviors that represent them.

The purpose of a searching and fearless moral inventory is to sort through the confusion and the contradictions of my life so that i can find out who i really am. i need to be rid of the burdens and traps which have controlled me and prevented my growth and maturity.

As i approach this step, i am a little fearful that there is a monster inside me that, if released, will destroy me. The temptation is to put off doing this inventory. Fear is lack of faith, and in step two i committed to taking God seriously and birthing a process which brings forth faith which is not based on any proof.

Step 4 will probably help me toward my recovery more than i imagine. i probably will find that i am neither as terrible, nor as wonderful, as i thought. i am trying to free myself from living in old, useless patterns.

This personal moral inventory is crucial to understanding the new direction of my spiritual growth. What aspects of my character do i need to retain and emphasize, and what should be modified or discarded? i found these six components that might go into my inventory.

First, i may need to “tell my story.” This can be accomplished by journaling, and by sharing them with others. More on that later.

Secondly, i have to examine my childhood. What needs were not met there? What negative experiences or messages about myself did i absorb.

Third, i must confront and evaluate the full extent of my dependencies. In doing so, i will learn more about the severity of my addiction, and i may uncover other addictions i had not previously recognized.

Fourth, i need to look back at my relationship history with the people who have been significant in my life – parents, teachers, mentors, friends, romantic interests.  i need to consider all the ways i have hurt them through my addiction.

Fifth, i must address my feelings of guilt and condemnation.

Sixth, i must “find the good”. my Step 4 inventory should include the positive, as well as the negative.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

i’m going to close out the week by sharing what i believe will be a key to the success of my recovery, “love what is.”

i find myself searching much of the time and so are many people i know. It could be that at the time your reading this you may be one of them.

Some are searching for a job, financial stability, or a way through this economic turmoil. Others are searching for meaning, wondering if anything in life really matters, or even if they matter.

Others are searching for a sense of identity, an inner knowledge of who they are. Some search for purpose. Others for a relationship with God, or a deepening sense of spiritual connection. i probably fall into this category. i have some sense of my identity, i have some inner knowledge of who i am, i’m living my purpose for the moment and i have a relationship with God but i want a deeper sense of spiritual connection with Him.

Many are searching for connection with other human beings, whether it’s friendship, deepened intimacy, or someone with whom to grow old with.

Many are searching for a way out — a way out of pain in all its forms, a way out of disappointment, regret, shame, anger, sadness, loss, anxiety and fear.

And, then… i search in the mundane too. I lost something the other day, and spent two hours trying to find it.

I find myself searching for things that are really nothings at all, like more time, more confidence, more happiness, more information, knowledge, or skills.

I am in constant  search to understand, to make sense of, to fix, to figure out, to achieve insight. It’s always about something other than what is.

All this searching takes enormous effort. It makes me tired! i go to sleep exhausted and wake up still exhausted.

Sometimes it pays off, but often it doesn’t and I am right back at it again.

My searching actually pulls me out of my life.

i want peace, but when i find it i am unable to keep it long enough to convince myself, let alone anyone else, that i’ve got it.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe peace of mind isn’t something i have or find, but something i do, nurture, and cultivate within myself. Maybe it’s right under my nose.

People often find me in the searching rut. A few take the time to let me know that they think i am grasping for something just out of my reach, while pushing away that which i don’t like all that much.

Picture that, one hand grasping and the other pushing away, it might make you smile as it does me while typing it. These are odd moments, and not much fun either. It takes those around me to bring me back, and make me aware that I am desperate to be anywhere else but where I am.

Today I am sharing a few words. No advice. No quick fixes. I am simply offering a quote i stumbled upon.

“The secret to achieving inner peace lies in understanding our inner core values – those things in our lives that are most important to us-and then seeing that they are reflected in the daily events of our lives.” — Hyrum W. Smith

Searching to have or be something other than i am is not a core value of mine. But understanding my core values is different. Living my life in alignment with what truly matters to me isn’t about searching. It is living with myself, my histories, and going forward to create a life worthy of God’s words, “well done thou good and faithful servant.” That kind of peace is durable. It can’t be bought, lost, or stolen. It’s hard, yes. And, it can be sweet too.

But first, i’ll need to decide WHO and WHAT i’m living for. Now, where did I put that thing?

LIVING AT PEACE WITH GOD

Step 1 –  i admit that i am powerless over “sin” to the point that it has become unmanageable in my daily

Step 2 –  i must begin to take God seriously and birth a process, which brings forth my faith which is not based on any proof.

Step 3 – i surrender my will and my life to God.

Peaceful Living – Comes from Acting on Basic Biblical Truths – Structured Into A Program For Daily Life

LIVING AT PEACE WITH GOD

Step 3 requires me to make the decision to let God be in control of my life. i will need to surrender my will or exchange my will for Gods.

Surrender: to yield (something) to the possession or power of another.

i mentioned the word exchange but i will take it back because it’s more than an exchange. Webster’s says, exchange is to give up (something) for something else; part with, for some equivalent. i am smart enough to know that there is no way my will is equivalent to God’s.

At some point, everyone will surrender their lives to God. Some choose to do it voluntarily, while on the earth. Others surrender involuntarily, when their physical body dies. Surrendering while physically alive goes beyond recognizing and acknowledging the reality that i belong to God. Similar to salvation, surrender is a gift i receive from God; i can’t will it for myself. But also like salvation, the gift of surrender requires a response from me, acceptance. There must be fruit: a changed life. It’s not something i accept and then do nothing about. Any work i do will never get me salvation or surrender. But my work starts after i accept these gifts from God.

The words submit and surrender are often used interchangeably. There are subtle yet critical important differences between submission and surrender. Submission is a yielding, but there is a tension that continues. It is a partial acceptance. It’s described by words such as resignation, compliance, acknowledgement, concession. There ‘s a feeling of reservation, a tug in the direction of non-acceptance. Surrender, on the other hand, is the moment when my forces of resistance cease to function, when i cannot help but respond to the call of the Spirit. The ability to surrender is a gift of God. However eagerly i may desire it, however diligently i may strive to acquire it, surrender cannot be attained by personal endeavor.”

When i submit, i “give in,” keeping the focus on myself. When i surrender, i “give up,” putting the focus on God. But it isn’t giving up in the way i normally define it. The best example i can use is Jesus. While here on earth, He didn’t just submit, He surrendered.

Once i surrender i will then begin to understand what the will of God is for my life. i won’t have to hurt deep down inside, i won’t have to worry, i won’t have to be angry, or scared, or sad. i can have an inner joy, complete peace, and total serenity now, here on earth.

John 7:17 “If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.”

Jeremiah 29:11 I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Step 3 i surrender my will and my life to God.