Wearing the Dust of Surrender

Many of us have difficulty believing how much God loves us because of unhappy circumstances and thoughtless people who made us feel unlovable. Feeling unloved shoots holes into our complete surrender, causing our souls to become weary and restless. That’s when we painstakingly fashion idols of unbelief by taking our eyes off God’s love and placing our hands around things that offer temporary reassurance.

The sin of unbelief plagued all the kings of Israel and most of those in Judah. Israel’s continuous unbelief caused many, including Moses, to miss the Promised Land. It eventually fractured God’s chosen people into two nations – Israel and Judah.  

Asa and Hezekiah, two of Judah’s good kings, focused their attention on God and removed the idols and their altars. They chopped down obscene images of the goddess Asherah and then burned them all in the KIDRON VALLEY. (1 Kings 15:13 and 2 Chronicles 33:15)

After King Josiah read God’s words in the newly discovered Book of the Law, he became passionate about following everything written. He brought out all the idol-worshipping objects from the Lord’s temple and set fire to them in the fields of that sameKIDRON VALLEY. There, he also burned the Asherah pole, beat it to dust, and threw that dust on the graves of the common people. He tore down altars made by the evil king Manasseh, smashed them, and threw their dust … yes, in theKIDRON VALLEY. (2 Kings 23:4, 6, 12)

What I find so fascinating is that the Kidron Valley is exactly where Jesus walked on His way to Gethsemane. All the ancient ashy dust of unbelief no doubt mingled deeply within the valley soil. The soles of Jesus’ sandals slapped intently across the floor of the Upper Room, down the steps, and around Jerusalem’s wall. Crossing the Valley, dirty powder of unbelief nestled between His toes. Some of it attached to Jesus’ garments like pollen on a honey bee.

Coated in the dusty remains of Israel’s sin, Jesus intentionally walked to the garden of surrender. He had witnessed the sin of unbelief up close and personal. He knew the religious crowd – the ones who washed their outsides but did nothing about their grimy insides. He sadly understood that many still refused to believe that He was who He said He was, that He could do all He said He could do, and that He could do it for them. 

Arriving at Gethsemane, He fell on His face before His Father, begging for pardon as bloody sweat mixed with those dusty ashes of unbelief. There, in the garden, Jesus courageously CHOSE to reverse the curse imposed earlier in another garden. The Garden of Eden had observed Adam rebelliously declaring his disobedience, “Not YOURwill, God, but MINE.” Gethsemane heard a humble reversal from an obedient Jesus, “Not MY will, but YOURS.”

Jesus’ physical body died later on the cross. Yet, His will had already died in a grieving, dusty, tear-drenched moment of prayerful surrender. Jesus modeled this gut-wrenching prayer to teach us what is most important. God doesn’t care so much about your outsides being clean when you come to Him. He’s not concerned with your religion. He wants your belief, your surrender, and your whole heart. When you place the control of your heart, mind, will, and emotions into His hands, HEwill clean you from the inside out, and you will want to stay that way! He wants you to believe He has the authority and power to do everything He said He can do, and He will do it for YOU.

Without true belief and our own heart-rending moment of surrender to the will of God, pride sticks to our souls. No amount of religious fanfare can release it. I want to keep setting fire to my unbelief so that those walking behind me can also choose to wear the dust of surrender stirred by the God who loves us.

“Don’t worry or surrender to your fear. For you’ve believed in God, now trust and believe in me also. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.” (John 14:1,11 TPT) 

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