“This is what the Lord says, ‘On the day that I cleanse you from your sins, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and waste places to be rebuilt.  The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by…”

Observation – when your life is apart from God and the addictions have control, those that “pass by” will clearly see the desolation.  A man that is addicted to booze or addicted to self or addicted to finding pleasure … all those around him … know it…

But God will cause those waste places to be rebuilt … “They (those that pass by) will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate, ruined places are now fortified and inhabited.”

Observation – when a man truly changes, when he hits the bottom and realizes consuming life for his own gratification is destroying him and those around him, when surrenders control of his life totally to God, he will flourish like the garden of Eden.  From a smoldering pile of ruin that no one wants to be around to a lush, fragrant garden that others are drawn to…

“Then those around you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken it and will do it.”  Ezekiel 36:33-36

Observation – a man that surrenders authority of his life to the Lord and walks it out daily in utter dependence on God for his needs and not the things of this world, that man will amaze.  That man will shock those that had previously observed him.  That man will transform from a mess to a miracle and all those around him will see it and know that only God could have done this.  That man … will become a hugely powerful testimony of, “just look at what God has in my life.”

So maybe you’ve screwed your life up.  Maybe, it is a complete, royal mess.  Maybe you’ll never get back those that you lost.  But don’t you believe for a minute that God is done with you and that your life can never have meaning.  The bigger the mess, the bigger the miracle.  God can do a miraculous work in your life starting right now, right this very instant.

All you have to do is let go.  Let go of “me”.  Let go of getting my way, controlling my outcomes, managing my reputation, making all the money I possibly can, going day to day looking for the next hit of self-indulgence, letting go of the need for approval from others, letting go of getting even or proving I am right.

All you have to do is surrender your life – all of it, every nook and cranny – to God.  Initial salvation, sure, I’m talking about that but I sense this goes way beyond that.  I’m talking to the man that has “always” been a Christian – the going to church, being good, never cheat on my wife kind of man.  I’m saying there is more.  More to give up to God.  More closed doors open to him, more territory to give him.

I loved you enough to give it all for you.  How much will you give for me?  How much of your life are you willing to give up to Me?

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