A Dirty Little Word
Surrender. The mere sound of it may send shivers down your spine. Maybe it brings conviction. It might cause you to cringe in fear of the unknown.
I've shared it multiple times: "The trouble with a living sacrifice is we have the tendency to get up and take ourselves off the altar. How many times have I "laid it down" only to pick it back up again? How often do I foolishly think I can somehow "help" God with what He's doing? Is this just an excuse to get a sneak peek at His master plan? Is this my attempt to interject my own thoughts and opinions about how I think He should work? As they say, "the struggle is real." But for real.
It's as if I have never learned the blessing of surrender. Almost like I have never before experienced the outpouring of grace He lavishes when I relinquish control and submit to His will.
That brings me to this word of truth I have to share. First, my honest confession: This week I attempted to surrender. Moment by moment, day by day. There were grace-filled moments when it was effortless - when my strength was completely replaced by the supernatural power of my Sovereign God. Times when I exchanged even my heavy laden worries for His burden that is light. Oh the joy and peace that was mine to claim!
There were also times I have to admit it wasn't so simple and I was with clenched fist attempting to place things back in my own hands. I'm not certain why this happens. I cannot explain my lack of faith that somehow doubts God's sovereignty or how my finite humanity places my own ability above that of a Holy and Almighty God. All I know is this week He patiently reminded me to lay it back down.
"We're depending on God; He's everything we need. What's more, our hearts brim with joy since we've taken for our own His holy name. Love us, God, with all you've got - that's what we're depending on." Psalm 33:20-22 The Message
If that wasn't enough to help me to have FULL and complete dependence on God, taking on His Holy name as my own and allowing my heart to overflow with the joy He gives, knowing He's everything I need. Yes, it was a convincing reminder.
"When your circumstances are challenging and you are feeling weak, you tend to obsess about how you are going to make it through the day. (Guilty.) This wastes a lot of time and energy; it also distracts you from Me...Ask Me to open your eyes so you can find Me..." Jesus Today
Yet again was I causing myself work and worry by my feeble attempts to be in control and "make things happen"? Don't worry. He had a word ready for me.
"Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment." Jesus Calling
Over and over and over again, He was waiting, ready to speak to my heart. When He found me quiet and still, resting in His presence, He chose to not only speak but He chose to answer. What happened were the answers to some BIG things I had been asking God to do - for months, some for years. Things that I had thought He must have forgotten about - or surely had grown weary of me continuously asking. Things I knew I had absolutely NO control over. Things He chose to give me answers to so that I would be able to stop and say, "ONLY GOD could have done this." Only God.
Make no mistake - this is the epitome of me depending on God. It was also the test of my faith to not just claim but to believe and live in the truth that He is all I need. Only then, when I could get to the point where I could not just hope for but could actually experience the overflowing of His joy in my heart, then would these truths become truth for me.
I've heard some big requests this week. Things those near to me are begging God to do - things that knowing hearts must have to trust that only He can do. Surrender has become a 'dirty word' in our culture. Funny how we distort what is meant for our own good. There are truths for each of us. Truths about Who God is and what He can do in our lives. Not the distorted view of a Holy God out to harm us but rather a gracious God attempting to keep us from getting in our own way and in the way of His Sovereign plan.
I'm praying for you, friend. Would you pray for me as I continue to surrender? Moment by moment as He shows me the path.