April 27
Talking to God all night
For reading & meditation: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation '" (v.17)

We ended yesterday by saying that because Paul had died to all self-interest, he was not at the mercy of ambiguity and uncertainty. Sure of God, he was sure of the future. You see, if you don't surrender to God, don't think you don't surrender. Everybody surrenders to something. If you don't surrender to God, then you will surrender to something else - your moods, your circumstances, your fears, your self-centred concerns. And if you do, you will end up becoming downcast and disillusioned. A doctor tells of being called to see a patient, the head of a large company, who was having increasing attacks of asthma. The doctor could find no physical basis for the asthma, and so he asked the man: "Is there anything troubling you?" The patient replied: "No, doctor, I'm a member of a church, in fact an official in the church - nothing is troubling me." The next day the patient again sent for the doctor and said to him: "Yesterday I told you nothing was troubling me, but I've been talking to God all night. I looked at the ceiling and saw the words: 'Seek first the kingdom of God.' Doctor, I've been seeking my own kingdom. I've been a completely self-centred man. But last night something happened to me. I'm seeking first the kingdom of God." The doctor said: "I went away with tears streaming down my cheeks. I had seen the birth of a soul." Surrender means not just the birth of a soul, but the birth of everything - new relationships, new perspectives on life, new power to face whatever comes, and a new sense of certainty and belonging - a new everything.
 
O Father, it is obvious that unless my confidence is placed in the Ultimate, then I will not be able to cope with the immediate. Help me to be a fully surrendered person. For surrendered to You, I need surrender to nothing else. Amen.
 
For further study:
1. What was Christ's example?
2. How can we imitate Him?