After so many years of thinking I knew what surrender was, God strongly convicted me that in one certain area, I had not totally and completely surrendered to Him.
After years of God saying, “Trust me. Believe me. Rest in me. Commit to me.” I thought I was.
But I kept taking it back. I figured that was normal. Surrender was a daily action, and this one was just an ongoing situation.
Yet when I listened to a podcast for runners this morning, the guy was sharing about how he has been sober for 15 years.
What made him stop drinking?
One day he woke up and decided that it was enough.
He is so free from it, that he can be around alcohol and not have any desire to drink it. What shocked me even more was that this guy is an unbeliever! So how much more power should I be able to have in Christ, to just wake up one day and say, “I completely surrender this area to God and I will not worry or think about it again, but fully trust God to keep His promise no matter what circumstances arise.”
Wouldn’t that just be great?!
Over the last 24hrs the Holy Spirit has been challenging my definition of surrender.
Yesterday, as I tried to get my run in, before what seemed, in my mind, to be an approaching storm, I struggled with trusting God to hold it off as the radar predicted. Ever since I got stuck in a thunderstorm a few years ago, I get an anxious feeling every time I see dark clouds approaching, and I have to force myself to calm down and breathe right.
During this run, God asked me, “Why don’t you trust me to hold off the rain like I have so many times before?”
I replied, “I do. That’s why I am still running.”
God gently answered, “No, you don’t.”
Feeling frustration well up inside me, I grumbled, “Well, what does it look like to trust you then?”
It seemed as if God smiled, knowing I would ask this. “When you trust me, you will see those storm clouds and not have any feelings of anxiety or fear, but joy and peace.”
My eyebrows rose at that and I filed the conversation away for the time being.
Later that day I felt uneasy and began meditating on, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”
There was something about that word “perfect” that made me stop and think, “Is there different kinds of peace?”
A few moments later I realized maybe there were different levels and different kinds of certain words. Like for example, Jesus said He was the “True” vine in John 15, giving the impression that there are other types of vines.
Going back to the word “Surrender” I began thinking about what it really meant and this is what I felt the Lord impress upon my heart:
Surrender isn’t just about giving God something and asking Him to take care of it for you. Surrender is about completely letting go and being perfectly okay with whatever God does with it, being able to joyfully thank Him. It’s not about thinking on it and worrying about it, then handing it to God again and again, saying, “I trust you.” But, it is handing it over to God first, knowing that He is trustworthy, and choosing not to worry or think about it while remaining in perfect peace, because you truly trust in the sovereignty of God.
Wow! I realized in that moment, that what I had thought was surrender, was really just playing rebound with God. I would throw the ball to Him and it would bounce back because I never asked Him to catch it.
Another thing that stood out from the podcast I mentioned earlier, is when he was talking about willpower being a manifestation of an internal battle. As Christians, we aren’t meant to fight our own battles, that’s what surrender is for. So if an internal battle, of having to constantly hand over my situation to God, is happening, that proves that I have not completely surrendered the situation over to God for His safe keeping!
I’ll leave you to chew on that for a while. I love you. Have a great week!