I’m almost done reading Surrender (I would be finished, but picked up another book and began reading it, too!). I have felt the weight of conviction several times as I’ve read. Conviction that I have held back some things — I have been unwilling to surrender certain areas to the Sovereign God.
The complete surrender of my future has been particularly difficult. I know that the people that I think of as heroes of the faith have walked through terrible difficulty, tragedy, and suffering. And I think that I’m a little afraid that God is going to call me to that!
- I fear losing my husband.
- I fear losing a child.
- I fear having children live destructive lifestyles.
- I fear financial ruin.
- I fear someone breaking into our home and bringing harm to myself or my family.
- I fear having no friends.
- I fear being stuck in Florida for the rest of my days. (I know that sounds silly, but I would give just about anything to move back into the mountains.)
I’m sure that the list could go on, but I think that you get the point! Fear has held me back from a deeper intimacy with the Lord. It has kept me from being used by Him in the way(s) that He wants. And it simply doesn’t belong in the life of a believer. Over and over again the Bible tells His children that they need not fear.
He tells Abram several times that he shouldn’t fear. And with it He gives Abram a promise to trust in. He tells Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Mary, Joseph, and several others “Fear not.” And there is more!
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place — the Most High, who is my refuge — no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91 (Emphasis added)
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
There are SO many Scriptures that relate to not having fear when you are trusting in God. It goes against our natural tendency, though. We want to keep control of our lives. To surrender complete control to God naturally causes us fear. Yet, the Truth is that He is in control anyway!
There is nothing that can happen outside of His plans and purposes. I, in my pride, think that I can maintain some sense of control. And so I cling tightly to what is rightfully His. And it boils down to this — I am committing the sins of pride and idolatry. In my pride, I think that I can better plan and control my future. The idol that I worship is my plan for my future. My hopes and dreams for the future are taking a place in my heart that should be His.
And so I am standing at a crossroads (Jer. 6:16). I can choose total surrender and find rest for my soul in Him. My burdens will be His. My life can be used for greater purposes. My heart will be made to look more like His.
Or I can choose to “keep control.” And I will still be anxious for my future dreams to come true. I will still grow angry and frustrated when things don’t go my way. I will not be very usable in His kingdom work. I won’t be more transformed.
I know my choice. I prayed it last night, begging for His grace to empower me to continue making the choice. Because surrender has to happen continuously. I suspect that it will be a daily (if not hourly!) discipline to surrender my life completely to Him. But I want to surrender! I want to see what He does with this life. And I look forward to the day when I can look back at this blog and smile at all that He has done in my heart and with this life.