A month ago, we talked about how the illusion of control causes stress, anger, and anxiety among other things. There is a reason we are told multiple times in the Bible to surrender control to God. One of the side effects of letting go is joy and happiness. This is even physcologically backed up, because we understand better that there are a great deal of things in life that we cannot control, and breaking away from the disillusion frees us from a twisted false reality.
So, we know letting go of control is good for us and we know that God is someone we can trust completely. So what is stopping us from truly surrendering to Him? Because, remember, we aren’t called to surrender some, or even most to God. No, we are called to surrender ALL to God. It is one thing to listen to the GPS and follow it’s directions, another to let someone else take the steering wheel completely! Yet, without true and complete surrender to God, we will never fully experience the soul-comforting peace that only He can give.
WHAT DOES TRUE SURRENDER LOOK LIKE?
We must always, always remember that God’s will comes first! Even Jesus prayed “not my will, but Your will be done” the night he asked God to allow this suffering of the Cross to pass over him. Jesus, in his human flesh, did not want to go through the beating, the flogging, the whipping, and the piercing. His spirit knew what it meant to carry the sins of the world. But God’s will to save mankind was the ultimate authority.
Real surrender is giving up our will for our lives and allowing God to direct our paths. It will never go how we plan or imagine, but by closely walking with God, we can experience true joy and peace.
WHY SURRENDERING COMPLETELY TO GOD IS HARD
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
Like most things in the Christian life, this command is very hard. After all, we have to fight against our nature of pride and self-sufficiency. And, just like most things in the Christian walk, it takes a great deal of practice and asking God for help to learn how to give up control in the many areas of our lives. Some areas will be easier than others. Fortunately, there is plenty in the Bible that guides us in many major areas, such as money, relationships, and family.
You may be in a place, or have already experienced, a time when you realized how little you really control. How easily life can turn out very different from what you planned or hope. Sometimes, it turns out for the better, but we really struggle when trials comes. This is when trust in God can be most difficult. Yet, at the same time, it is the easiest time to surrender all.
When Times Get Hard – TRUST GOD
It’s easy if things are going well, right? Even people with no faith can casually give credit to this distant idea known as God for all the good things that happen in life. But when we are in the valley of shadow of death, even sincere Christians can falter in their faith and trust in God.
But isn’t it during hard times that loyalty, strength and courage are tested? Think about it. There is no product that you have purchased from a reputable company that didn’t go through a series of tests. The medication you take, the diamond ring you wear, and the car you drive all had to pass tests that would put the product under stress to see if it comes through in the end.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18
Relationships are very much the same. It’s easy to fall in love, or make a new friend, but it’s through hard times, arguments or difficulties that you can see how sincere and strong the marriage or friendship really is. This is why God never, ever, ever promises that life as a Christian will be easy. In fact, we read that complete opposite. “In this world, you will have trials” (John 16:33). Even Jesus did not have an easy time on earth, in fact he suffered the weight of the world’s sin in the name of love and came out victorious in the end.
So, while we are guaranteed to have difficult times, God asks that we trust Him, over and over again. The more we trust him, the more we surrender to Him, the closer we are to Him and grow more mature in our faith. When is a child closest to their parent? When they are completely dependent on them for everything. God wants this closeness, but it can’t happen if we keep parts of our lives under our control. So, how do we get there?
HOW TO TRUST GOD WITH CONTROL OVER YOUR LIFE
If letting go of our expectations, of our desires, and control is not only commanded but can also bring us peace, how do we go about doing that? It seems so counter-intuitive. Because it is!
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
Trust is just another way to say “have faith in“. Now, it’s always easier to have faith in a friend than to trust a stranger, so to trust God better, we have to get to know him better as well. As Christians, we know the three main ways to getting to know God:
1 – Reading his Word
We are told that the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s wisdom and guidance to us, and it is usually done through reading the instructions of life that He has given us in the Bible.
2 – Prayer
You cannot grow a relationship without two-way communication. We have to do our part and spend time talking to God, sharing our concerns, asking questions or giving praise.
3 – Study
We have no excuse to remain immature in our faith and knowledge when we have thousands of bible studies, books, videos and series available to dig further into what Christianity, God and Jesus are all about!
As basic as these three things are, they are sometimes the hardest things for us to do in earnest. But there is no way around it! You just have to do it!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the first half of this blog post “Surrendering to Joy“. Let me know of any thoughts, questions, or musings down in the comments below! Any verse you feel speaks to anything in this post? Share it as well! I hope you feel encouraged in some way today.