Early on in my walk with God, my friend, Nicole, sent an encouraging word to me as I wrestled with surrendering myself to God. She said, “How hard it is to surrender it all to [Jesus] and let go of all we hold on to, but how powerful our lives can be when we do just that.”
She’s right, I thought.
Surrendering myself wholly to Jesus was a difficult transition for me. And when I’m being completely honest with myself, I recognize that I still struggle in this area––though by the grace of God, it’s to a much lesser extent.
Before becoming a Christian, I was quite controlling. Everything in my life was controlled by me. I was the one in charge. I was the one who made the decisions. And I, certainly, had a way of getting what I wanted. I mostly used kindness and charm to influence others, but ultimately, when I didn’t get my way, I knew how to throw a fit––a dignified one, but a fit nonetheless––to sway things in my favor. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and it’s certainly not something I’m proud of.
But I wasn’t trying to be offensive. Honestly, what I was subconsciously trying to do was keep it all together––to maintain some sort of order in my life. And for a while, I fooled everyone, including myself. It looked like I had it all together, and that I was doing life with ease. Some girlfriends even began calling me the bionic woman, which certainly fueled my pride all the more.
I was controlling, manipulative, and prideful. But I don’t think I was always this way. It seems to me that my need to maintain control worsened after my dad died. I think, in some ways, I was trying to pull myself out of the chaos that had become my life after the murder and was trying to prevent bad from happening again.
You see, when you don’t believe in God, the only one to depend on is yourself. If God is not real, then you’re the one in control, which is a heavy burden to carry around. It feels like the weight of the world rests upon you, and it’s your responsibility to hold all things together. But when I was given faith, Jesus took these burdens––burdens He was intended to carry all along––and the pressure was released as I surrendered to my God, giving Him all my desire to control. There is peace in knowing God is the one in control––not me. [Tweet that] That He is the one who holds all things together and is sovereign over all.
Soon after coming to Christ, however, my new faith was being put to the test when I was called to have contact with Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I knew I needed to trust God, but there were so many unknowns. I believed God was leading me on this new journey toward healing and forgiveness. Yet, apart from this, I knew nothing. And for a newly redeemed control-freak, that’s a tough cookie to swallow.
My old nature wanted to rear its ugly head. I wanted to feel a sense of control over the situation. I wanted to know where this would lead and what it would look like along the way. In my impatience, I wanted to know just how long the whole thing would take. I hoped it would be quick. It was as if I were telling Jesus, Okay, I’ll do what you want me to. I’ll obey. But can you be quick about it? Heal me quickly and let me be on with it.
It all made me uncomfortable, but I was left with little choice––I needed to trust.
And don’t we all? Shouldn’t we all be living our lives in complete trust that God is, in fact, holding all things together––that He is in control? How might we live differently if we had complete assurance of this truth? Do you think we might experience less stress? Do you think disease might plummet as a result of diminished stress? Do you think we might experience more of the peace of God that He offers––that is continually at our disposal?
We are Christ followers! We need to be living this stuff out more, believing more, trusting more––walking by faith not by sight. [Tweet that] Let us resolve to pray for more grace––grace to live the life Jesus died for us to have. Let us choose intentional surrender to our mighty God––the God who knows us, loves us, and continually works all things for our good and His glory.
This, my friends, is what it’s all about––letting go of our need to control, waiting for God’s lead, and then actively following our Savior into our unknown with complete assurance that He will lead us well.
Let’s pray unceasingly.
Let’s wait when the path is unclear.
Let’s follow when Jesus says, “Go.”
Let’s walk by faith when we cannot see.
Let’s hand over control to Jesus when all we desire is to take control ourselves.
Let’s surrender, friends. Let’s surrender all. [Tweet that]
Turns out, Nicole was right. Surrender leads to a powerful, impactful life, indeed!
Do you have any stories? Share a story about a time when you surrendered all to Christ and what He did as a result. I’m convinced the moment we surrender is the moment He begins to work mightily in our lives! Share in the comments.