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Let me tell you a little bit about myself, so that you'll know where I'm coming from.  I'm 46 years old, I am a sinner saved by the grace of God, and because of what he has done for me, instead of living in a van down by the river, I'm living right in the big middle of his will for me - and I couldn't be happier!

It wasn't always like that, in fact there was a time in my life when I identified with old Matt Foley.  Life was sad, and I tried any number of things to motivate myself, to pull myself out of the hole I was in.  Unfortunately, the kind of change I needed in my life, I could not accomplish on my own.

What I have learned, from a very wise man, is you can no more change yourself than you can reach down and grab your own feet and lift yourself off the ground.  I'm not talking about self help or 12 step programs.  I'm talking about real life change at the soul level.

In the beginning, and you can read this for yourself in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve made a choice - they chose knowledge over life, and their choice doomed all of us.  We all rely on our own thinking to get us through life, and we end up like Matt Foley - living by ourselves in a self-imposed prison down by the river.  We think so often that we are doing good, and it will count for something at some point, but your actions, good or bad, cannot earn you salvation or any amount of favor with God.

Which brings me to Lucifer.  What an angel he must have been!  Chief among angels, the most beautiful and most wise of any of God's creations.  Ezekeil 28 is about the Prince of Tyre, and many people believe it is a depiction of Lucifer as well.  His heart became proud, his wisdom was corrupted, and he longed for the glory that can only belong to God.  In Isaiah 14, he is described as the morning star who would make himself like God, and was cast down from heaven because of it. 

Like Matt Foley, Lucifer tried to become something he is not through his own power.  He lied to mankind in the beginning, and now because of that, more often than not, we all live our lives exactly the same way.  We think we deserve something, we chase our desires, we imagine in our minds that we can change ourselves and do better or be better.  And many times, by an act of our will, we can choose good - we give to charities, we quit drinking or smoking, we treat our neighbors with respect, and we work hard at our jobs.  And when our lives are over, then what?

Matt Foley is a sad excuse for a motivational speaker.  He's a joke!  The sad thing is, many people feel like that on the inside and just put on a happy mask for the world to see.  Freedom is about becoming the person you were created and redeemed to be, and nothing you do will get you there.  Ever.  It is something that happens on the inside, in your soul, due to an outside influence.

What Lucifer did, and what we do, is we rely on ourselves and we are not good enough, we're not stong enough, we're not smart enough, we are not in control, no matter how good, how strong or how much of a control freak we are.  Our destiny is sealed and we will suffer the same fate as Matt Foley in life - it will be a worthless joke of an existence - and we will suffer the same fate as Lucifer in eternity - forever separated from the source of life - God.

By an act of our human will, we developed medicines that save people's lives, we put men on the moon, we developed wonderful technology that enables me to write this and you to read it.  We build our towers into the heavens, trying to reach God on our own terms, and completely miss the mark every time.  There is so much more!

What if I told you that, by an act of your will, you could have everything that God has promised you in his word?  You can have victory in this life, power to live every minute of every day as God intended - free!  All you have to do is decide one thing - you have to use your will to surrender you will to God.  When you decide that you've had enough doing it your way, when you've had enough struggling trying to make everything work out and your big reward is you end up in a van down by the river, when nothing you do can make anything make sense, when you've had enough of doing it wrong and you realize something isn't right, that is the time to act.  Your strength, your thinking, your actions cannot get you to God.  But surrender of who you currently are can.

When you surrender all that you are in your soul to God, he breathes new life into you, he changes your mind, he renews everything about you, and then everything will change forever.  And it really is just that easy.  Ask him.  Just step right up and say, "God - I surrender my will to you, now take me and change me.  I want a real relationship with you."  He doesn't want or need anything you can give him or do for him.  He doesn't need you or your resources or your knowledge.  But he does want to know you - and he wants you to know him.

If that's what you truly desire, then ask!  You'll receive.  Your life will start over and you'll see things totally differently than you ever have.  You'll be seeing the physical world through spiritual eyes.  You'll experience power in your day to day life.  You'll give sacrificially and it won't even matter because God will give it back 10 fold.  I've been like Matt Foley.  It's no good, no way to live, and now being on the other side of it, I wonder what took me so long because it is so awesome I can't even put it into words.  God is Good and he wants to share everything with you - will you let him?