Living a life of continual surrender.
Bay of Islands Beachwood, Erin Walshe, 2016
Am I beginning to sound like a broken record with the subject of surrender occasionally making it’s way into my posts? Perhaps. I guess I use that word ‘continual’ for a reason. In others words, I haven’t conquered it, graduated in it or retired from it and I probably never will. It will always appear throughout the various ages and stages of my life as God works through a better plan. A plan that calls me to surrender to it and to His ways.
I can most certainly sit back and think of those years where I decided to do things my own way. I thought that it was the path that would provide me with happiness, success, comforts and security. Isn’t that what most people are seeking? Well, let me tell you, that it did not do any of those things. I ended up being very unhappy, feeling like a failure, unsettled and insecure. Yet for some time, I carried on in my stubborness and ignored the path that I believe God wanted me to take.
So what is surrender? Is it as simple as saying ‘Yes’ to God and ‘No’ to ourselves. Well, yes and no. In theory, it is that simple. Scripture says that if we love God then we will seek to obey Him. We will begin to become more familiar with who He is and how we can obey Him; through spending time with Him and reading the Bible. Does it get complicated or difficult along the way? Yes, because it usually involves having to decide between obeying God’s design for fulfilment or chasing my own ideas of how to attain that. Sometimes following God in a certain direction rather than our own, takes more risks, challenges us and indeed changes us too. Are we too afraid to let things go in order for this to happen? Are we fearful of the process itself? Do we even want things to change?
This is quite the big subject and I think daily it can permeate our thoughts, actions and decisions whether we are conscious of it or not. For me right now, it is trying to surrender in the planning of next year. As opporunities have been presented and doors have been pushed, I currently wait to see if they are going to be opened or closed. Although, it is starting to look hopeful of those doors opening, I am still left with having to surrender my heart, attitude and thoughts to God often. It is so tempting for me just to plough through and do what is comfortable for me-plan! Is planning bad? No. But right now, I know that if I desire to follow His ways, I must be patient in that planning. This is all very vague, I knoow. But here are some questions to ask ourselves when wondering if we are willing to let go of our ways and surrender to His:
1. Do I decide to involve God into decisions such as what career path I will choose?
2. Will I consider God’s guidance when deciding on who to date or to marry? Does He even care?
3. Do I think God is concerned if I move, when it might happen and where I shall go?
4. Will I seek to obey Him even if it’s not easy and involves me admitting I’m wrong or need to change that attitude?
5. Do I consider God in how I use my time or money, and if so, how much?
6. Will I aim to bring up my children as I believe God wants me to, even if it means sacrificing time, money, popularity and success in the eyes of those around me?
7. Do I say no to certain activities or consumptions because I don’t think it brings me closer to God?
8. Will I seek the counsel from my peers or those I respect over listening to what I think God is telling me?
9. Do I believe the words in the Bible that tells me that His ways are higher, and indeed better?
10. Will I love God, obey Him and follow Him above any of the other things that I love in my life?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12.1-3