Selectively Surrendered

I surrendered my life to God today…once again.  I’ve been a Christian since the age of 11 when I asked Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior.  The whole Christian journey is about surrendering your life to God.  Today was a profoundly new level of letting him take over for me.

I like to control things.  It’s my default personality setting.  I want things how I want it and when I want it.  I don’t like hard stuff, discomfort, pain, inconvenience, unknowns, or change (unless I initiate it).  So basically I’m like many people in our modern society – we like to have things our way.

But when you make God the author, perfecter, and finisher of your faith, he must always be in charge.  Besides, God never promised us that life would be easy [John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”]

I’ve been going through somewhat of a quarter (ok, maybe a third) life crisis since entering my thirties.  Like I’ve mentioned in some of my earlier posts – I’m a recovering Type A perfectionist.  I can be intense.  I over-analyze myself, my decisions, and practically everything to make sense of it.  The problems is life doesn’t always make sense and many times the way God operates doesn’t make sense to us either [Isiaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.]  

That’s why we must TRUST him!

Knowing this and putting it into practice are two different things.  God showed me today that I’ve selectively surrendered to him.  Meaning, I’ve given him control over some areas of my life, but I’m still clinging tightly to other parts.  The issues I’m still holding onto, I have been trying to fix in my own strength and it’s caused me a lot of anxiety, stress, and lack of peace.

I was on this exhausting cycle of picking myself and my life apart trying to come up with solutions to the things I need to work on and improve.  Though my intentions to be a better person were good, I was going about it the wrong way.  Trying to fix yourself, by yourself, is a symptom of an unhealthy amount of pride (yikes!).  If I could change myself, then I wouldn’t need God!  Instead we need to fix our eyes on Jesus – he’s the only one who can truly fix us.

Before I can really trust God with those sensitive issues I’ve been dealing with, surrendering must come first.  I thought I was trusting him with my problems, but I discovered I hadn’t totally given them over to him yet.  I was “trusting” him by expecting him to do things my way.  I was “trusting” him to work things out how I would like for it to be.  That’s not authentic trust and there was still an element of control present within me.

Real trust is sharing the desires of your heart, but leaving the ultimate outcome up to him and learning to be okay with the result if it’s different from what we’ve imagined.  God is there when we celebrate a prayer answered according to our longings, but he’s also there when frustration and tears come in response to his delay or denial of our request.  Either way, he’s always there [Hebrews 13:5 …because God has said,“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”].

We need to fully understand that God is love [1 John 4:8] and that he loves us.  This means he knows what’s best for us.  Because he loves me, I can surrender every aspect of my life to him.  He already knows what we’re in need of anyway.  He’s just waiting for us to lay our problems at his feet.

So today I decided to completely surrender everything – all the questions and unknowns….the ‘who, what, where, when, why, and how’ to God.  Letting go of the false sense of control I have over my life.  Taking a leap into a whole new realm of faith and rest.

And on the days when my humanity wants to regain control, I trust that God will gently remind me of this sweet revelation that he always has and always will have everything under control.

Matthew 6:25-34 
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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