“There are times when it seems as if God watches to see if we will give Him even small gifts of surrender, just to show how genuine our love is for Him.”
I’m a planner. It must be one of the “teacher” chromosomes in me. The downfall of this trait is it’s hard for me to let go of original plans and switch gears. I like to stick to plan A and not go on to plans B or C. My family knows if they come up with a different idea, I will need time to surrender plan A from my tight grip in order to fully embrace their better idea.
Surrendering is the act of giving up or yielding oneself to another. Periodically God will allow something to throw off our original plans in order to surrender our lives to His plans. It’s as if we’re waving our white flags to the One who has our best interest at heart.
Last week my calendar had two fun commitments with girlfriends. One was to attend a Taste of Home cooking school on Tuesday night and the other was to go out to dinner Thursday night with three friends, one whom I haven’t seen since June. My plan A didn’t happen. I was flat on my back in bed running a fever and feeling crummy. When you’re in that kind of situation, you have a choice to make. You can either fight whatever the obstacle might be and push it on through, or you can ask God, “What is Your plan for me in this?” And then surrender to Him. The older I get hopefully the wiser I become, and more readily opt for the latter choice.
When Abraham surrendered his one and only son Isaac to be slain, it was an act of worship. So too when we surrender our wants and desires to God, it’s an act of worship.
Surrendering is a Lordship issue. Yielding your plans for God’s plans declares your love for Him and shows who really owns you. Our relationship with God began with an act of surrender as we repented of our sin and running our own lives. In essence we told God we’re no longer going to live for ourselves; we’re going to live for Him. No longer are we in the driver’s seat of life, instead God is behind the whee,l while we’re quietly buckled up in the back. We’re no longer going to be the king or master of our lives, instead the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the One who rules and reigns over our mind, will and emotions.
For the rest of our lives, our relationship with God will continue to be one of surrender. Surrendering, like sanctification, is a process to develop. We can choose to wave our white flag, humbly submitting our plans to His, or we can choose to put on our armor and fight back to get what we want. It’s a matter of loving God more than you love yourself and your desires. In other words, is it your agenda you’re fulfilling or His?
I’m reminded of the hymn, “I Surrender All,” by J. W. Van Deventer. The first verse reads: “All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.” One of the sweet benefits of surrender is being in God’s presence. You will discover God and the by-product of peace when you yield your life to Him and accept His plans.
While lying flat on my back in bed, I waved my white flag to my God who is good, sovereign, and in control of my life. I readily submitted my will to His, my commitments, responsibilities and fun activities with girlfriends to Him, and chose to believe “Father knows best.” It’s all about Him and what He wants. He’s the One behind the wheel safely maneuvering my life.
“Many of us are interested only in our own goals, and Jesus cannot help Himself to our lives. But if we are totally surrendered to Him, we have no goals of our own to serve.”
1. What areas in your life have you already surrendered to God? (Spouse, family, physical health, entertainment, career, relationships, and ministry.)
2. Name one area God is asking you to let go of and surrender to His Lordship.
3. Ask God to show you what that looks like and for the grace to enable you to wave your white flag.