I know it doesn’t sound very holy, but sometimes I chuckle in church when I’m singing worship songs like I Surrender All because I know how difficult it is to surrender anything. I usually surrender my will after I’ve tried it my way a thousand times, proving the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
Surrendering is hard, but the reason is simple. It means it’s no longer about us. It means we’re becoming part of a bigger plan with a heavenly purpose that’s on ‘holy time;’ which can be eternally slow. But it’s in that place of obedience and surrender that God does the unexpected, it’s just that it usually doesn’t look the way we expected. Sometimes our dreams are disappointments and it feels like any momentum at all is a continual uphill battle.
Surrendering also means believing God is enough, even when life isn’t what we wanted. Hebrews Chapter 11 describes the faith of some of the greatest people, some who died before God’s promises came to pass:
Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world….they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them (Hebrew 11:13-16 MSG).
A few other ‘will surrendering’ road blocks are:
- Fear of the unknown – The Lord told Abraham to leave his “country,” his “people,” and his “fathers household” and go to an unknown land. (Genesis 12:1)
- Loss of prestige, power, or position – John the Baptist said this concerning Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
- Loss of family and friends – Jesus said he came not to “bring peace but a sword… to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother…,” and that a person’s enemies would be “those of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)
- Loss of money or possessions – Jesus told the rich man: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
However, just because these examples are in the bible doesn’t necessarily mean they are true for your life. Sometimes God elevates us beyond our wildest dreams when we are obedient in surrendering our will for his.
The question is this: Is God enough either away?
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12)
- What scares me the most about surrendering my will to God?
- What about it excites me the most?