Dear friends, so often when we face trials and tragedy, our human nature tends to ‘surrender to the despair and rally against God.’ The biblical way of life we are invited to participate in offers a better way; ‘surrender to God and rally against the enemy!’
This topic of ‘surrendering to God’ seems to be an ongoing issue in my grief. For instance, all last week I found myself – YET AGAIN –wrestling with Him and finding it hard to surrender to what the sovereign Lord has ordained. As I opened up this week’s chapter of Heartbreakingly Beautiful in preparation for this week’s blog, I had to laugh at His timing – YET AGAIN! He knows me intimately and understands that it is going to take me a lifetime to ‘get it’. Fortunately, through this difficult process of surrendering, I am learning more about God and His ways. (For example, the characteristic of His patience is one He has to exercise with me quite often!)
One vital thing I am learning in regard to being surrendered to God is that we can only truly surrender to Him when we fear Him and know who He really is. (See Proverbs 9:10) We can only willingly give it all over, humbly bow our knee and lean back fully into Him without reserve when we begin to realize His fathomless love for us and come to know the kind of Person He is. I believe rightful knowledge of God is the key to true surrender. And how do we obtain this rightful knowledge of God? I think you know me well enough by now to know that I am going to send you straight to the life of Jesus and the Word of God. How blessed we are to have this revelation available so freely to us! Let us spend the time we need to, dig in deep and get to know this God of ours who is constantly inviting us to live a life of full surrender like that of His Son.
I’d love for you to take a minute to reflect with me about Jesus – our ultimate example of what surrender to God looks like. Imagine with me the posture of Jesus while He was hanging on the cross. His was a humble, yet intentional pose with arms spread wide open. Taking up a cross–like pose in life means becoming vulnerable. It means full exposure. It means total transparency. We have read this week in HB that Jesus asks us to take up our own cross (Luke 9: 23). Think about how taking on a ‘Jesus posture’ may look like on a daily basis. When we surrender to God and submit to each other, we are asked to do so with our hearts exposed and our arms outstretched. When we stand in life with our arms crossed and our heart protected, we are not in a stance of surrender. When we lie in a defeated, crumpled-up heap, we are not in a posture of surrender. When we surrender our lives at Christ’s cross and then take up the cross He gives us, He lifts up our tear-stained, wounded faces to meet His gaze and He reconciles us to the Father whose arms are opened wide to receive us. In this posture we are then able to receive all that He has for us during our time of need.
Of all the lessons my dear girl taught me through her trial, I believe her posture of surrender before God is the secret to the powerful testimony she now possesses. As she surrendered all to Him, He was able to give her all she needed. She was able then to do all that was required of her. Countless times I witnessed her experiencing the ‘peace that passes all understanding’ as she surrendered afresh to the Sovereign Lord. This surrendered peace has been my experience too, yet again and again in my flesh I struggle to fully surrender. Oh Lord, lavish upon us the grace to have fully surrendered hearts before You and to live in a moment-by-moment posture of surrender in all circumstances. “Not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22.42)
So are you having trouble, like I often have, surrendering all to Jesus? The answer for us all lies in getting to know the fully surrendered One and trusting Him with the things we don’t yet understand. Let us stop rallying against Him who is our ally and rally instead against the true enemy. BE Surrendered to Jesus and believe me, you won’t regret it!
Songs to encourage you:
I Surrender All by Judson W. Van De Venter
Lead Me To The Cross by Brooke Fraser
(We all sang this wonderful song together at Beth’s Celebration Service and our second daughter, Rachael, sang this at a special assembly the first Easter after Bethy went Home.)
A quote to inspire you:
“… you have imagined that you would receive an answer from God according to your own thinking, that you would receive either peace, assurance, or joy in your soul. Not receiving these things, you thought that God has not answered you…. We have not learned as yet to surrender to a God whose ways are past finding out. As a result, our whole being is in a state of rebelliousness. That which is incomprehensible always fills us with paralyzing fear. Everyone who does not flee from God and who tarries in the presence of the inscrutable God, experiences a miracle! Without knowing how, the helpless soul is drawn into the fellowship of our incomprehensible God. God Himself in Christ enables us to humble himself beneath the inscrutability of God, to endure it, to rely upon and rest in the God whose ways he cannot fully understand.”
From Prayer by 0’Hallesby
For some more great Bible verses about surrendering go to: