Surrender, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 6, 2020 2 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week, I began writing on surrendering to the Lord. We looked at the importance of surrendering to Him and how we often may fail at doing so fully. This week, we'll focus on why God is worthy of our surrender and what it may be that we're not giving Him in this process. I hope you find it edifying and challenging.

God not only wants us to totally surrender to Him, but He's worthy of us doing so. And why does God deserve such surrender? Aside from the reasons outlined last week—His great love for us that drove Him to leave heaven's glory and be born humbly in a stable, live a perfect life, and die a gruesome and hideous death for our wrongdoings only to rise again under His own power and ascend to the Father so that we can have life both here on earth and in eternity with Him—there are many other reasons why we should have no problems surrendering to the Lord.

God is the Creator. He made the heavens and the earth and everything that is in them. Everything is the product of His mind. His power in creating the universe from nothing but His thoughts, and giving life to us, is unmatched and truly inconceivable. He's beyond description. He made us.

He loves us in a way that is far beyond any form of human ability to love. He is all-knowing and His will is perfect. He has great things planned for each one of us and they're far better than any plans we would ever have for ourselves. In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells us, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Now, many of us may feel we have pretty great plans for ourselves. But with our limited vision, our limited knowledge, and our limited ability to be truly good (we're humans, which means our plans are likely self-serving), our plans are stinking piles of filthy, rotting rags compared to the amazing plans God has for each of us. His plans are for our good but also for the good of the Kingdom, and for the good of many others quite often. Ultimately, His plans are to usher us into His presence both here and for all eternity, and there is nothing better than that.

I encourage you, reader and friend, to seek the Lord with all your heart. Ask Him what it is in your heart that is keeping Him from saturating your heart and life. Often times, what we're holding back are things we may not even realize are hindering us. A short list comes to mind, but this list is likely not extensive.

We may be sheltering a love for something that is not from God in our hearts. For some, that could be a boyfriend or girlfriend who is not a follower of Christ. It could be a friend who is a bad influence or is dragging us away from God rather than helping us grow towards Him. It could be a job, money, or position. It might be an activity that perhaps is not a sin in and of itself but is keeping us preoccupied and harming our relationship with God. It could be sinful behavior, that “pet sin” we don't want to give up because we enjoy it too much or feel we're in bondage to it and can't give it up.

Something we may be holding back is our future. It's possible we don't trust God's plan for our lives, or we don't want what He's called us to do or be, so we push it to the side and pursue our own ambitions. We want a great job that we love and can make a lot of money doing. We want power and position and notoriety. But maybe God has called us to do something we don't esteem so highly. Maybe it's a career that doesn't make as much money or have as much prestige. Maybe it's more difficult or in a location we hadn't counted on. Whatever it is, we can trust God that. As His Word tells us, His plans are better than our plans and they're for our good.

For some, the things we're holding onto that are hurting our relationship with the Lord are past hurts. We're not forgiving someone who hurt us, or in some cases we're angry with God because of something “He allowed to happen” or something like that. I don't mean to minimize or trivialize your life experience, but if this is you—if you are blaming God for something that happened in your past—please hear me here. God may or may not have had something to do with whatever it was than happened. Perhaps He called home a loved one before you were ready—a child, a parent, a grandparent, a close friend, or spouse. Realize that if the person you lost was a believer, your loss is their gain. They are in the presence of Jesus Christ right now celebrating and happier than they ever could have been on this earth. They're free to see Him face to face and they will never suffer again. You'll miss them, but if you stay faithful, you will see them again and celebrate with them in heaven's glory. Perhaps God has taken something from you, or in some cases NOT taken something from you that you desperately want Him to remove from your life—a relationship, a hurt, an illness or sickness/ailment. Whatever it is, perhaps, as Paul realized, this thing is there for your benefit in eternity. Perhaps the reason is He wants you to realize His grace is sufficient and He wants you to rest in Him.

However, in many (if not most) cases, the thing we're holding against the Lord was not really His doing. It's either the result of our own actions and we are reaping the consequences of those actions, or it's the result of someone else's actions—whether those actions were intended for good or evil. God isn't to blame for what others do. If you've been hurt by someone, you need to forgive them and set them free. Setting them free is actually setting you free. If that person is no longer living, you can still set yourself free from the hurt by releasing them. Rather than blaming God for what we or someone else did, perhaps we should lean on Him and trust Him to make us what He wants us to be through the incident or through the pain. Christ provides healing and restoration and to give us life—real life.

John reports that his close friend Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” I considered just quoting the second half of this saying of Jesus, but I realized the first half exposes the problem while the second half tells us of the solution. The thief—Satan—wants to use your experience to keep you from God and keep you from abundant life. His goals are to destroy you and anything you care about. Most importantly, he wants to put something between you and your Savior, redirecting you to hell rather than into the presence of the Almighty. Do not allow him to do this! Jesus came that we might have full, abundant life and, truly, the only life worth living is one immersed in Christ Jesus. It's the only form of true living and is the gift of God and the result of Christ's sacrifice.

As believers, we often sing songs of worship that focus on our surrender. “Here I am / down on my knees again / surrendering all / … I surrender / I surrender / I want to know You more.” “I surrender all / I surrender all / all to Thee my precious Savior / I surrender all.” “I'm giving you my heart and all that is within / I lay it all down again / to hear You say that I'm Your friend.” “All to You, I surrender / everything, every part of me / all to You, I surrender / all of my dreams, all of me / I surrender.” There are so many other lyrics of surrender—total surrender—but do we mean it when we sing it? Are we singing with our lips or our hearts? He is worthy. There's none more worthy. You can find these songs and others here.

Please consider praying about whatever it is and allowing God to show you what He wants you to surrender to Him so He can more fully pour Himself into you and use you to do awesome things in His name. It may be something obvious that you're aware you're holding back, but perhaps not. It could be something more subtle. Allow God to reveal it to you and (very importantly) respond. Thanks for reading and be blessed.

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Unknown said...

Awesome article by mr risner. We have got to be sweetly broken and it is sweet as when we are at that moment or moments of total surrender in total desperation for what we know,believe he can do, that is when he comes in with his mightiest power to have his will in us. We,very got to hold on,stay leaned in abide in him as it at times isn't a quick answer, delivery healing. Myself, but it's all about him, I've been to the altars, broken many times, on my knees, the enemy despises that, we've got to be rid of pride self will and know it's only him that can do it. As the song by lori story take it all every hurt every pain, every plan take it all so all I have is open hands. He wants us empty surrendered, that's what he created us for, so he can fill us up with him his spiritual blessings, nothing hindering. Filled up so much to the top that it overflows to others. Acts 10 and on. If we've been broken and totally surrendered it's no longer what we want we live for him his instrument, no longer concerned with people pleasing fitting in,being equipped and bold not prideful with his plan giving him
The honor and glory for where you were and the road ahead.
The more broke you are the more light gets in. I am and live In total gratefulness and thankfulness for his grace and RESTORATION that he is bestowing on me. You are so true dr risner we've got to give it up to him who is high and lifted up who can do a much better work in us if we yield to him. I love and feel privileged to belong to him for it all amen. Keep

March on graciously submitted kim cooper. Blessings to all

Steve Risner said...

Thank you, Kim, for your encouraging words. It's a challenge to surrender more all the time, but it's so very worth it. Thank you for reading and my God bless you richly.