If I were asked to describe in one word what it means to be a Christian…..that word would be “surrender!” That is what I think being a Christian is all about…surrendering my will, agenda and plans…to God’s perfect will, His plans and His agenda. It is a choice…to surrender….He doesn’t force Himself on us. He allows us to come to HIM.
Surrender is a word that in the world we live in sounds like “defeat”…”quitting”…”waving the white flag”. With the attention put on winning and sports in our world these days….when I talk about or use the word surrender…it seems almost engrained in our “nature” by our “culture” to fight against surrender.
Several years ago…a suggestion was made to me by a very wise person…”Drop your hands!” What…….? In my life? Our household? I was well-groomed in “picking up whatever ball was around” and running with it…….running hard…running fast….and expecting victory. The words “drop your hands” had the same meaning to me as “surrender.” Did that mean “give up?” Quit my life? My responsibilities?
No…. dropping my hands meant….taking my hands off the wheel of my life…pry all other hands off the wheel of my life (people pleasing or dismissing unfair expectations of me) and….scoot over and let God drive. I had gotten to the point where life looked like a “battle” to me…every day there was..…
…for a lack of a better word…I was lost in my own life. I looked in the mirror…and I didn’t know who I saw. Seriously…..the person…that God had created me to be ……had vanished…….I had vague memories of that person…but she was not present.
Dropping my hands was the first of many steps I took…day in and day out…to find that girl which God had planned in advance to do good works. Remember, dropping your hands is a synonym for surrender. I had to surrender to a HOLY God so that He could do a New Thing.
I love what Andy Stanley teaches in his book, “The Principle of the Path”. He says, “When someone is where he doesn’t want to be, he already knows the solution, what he needs is direction. There is no fix for being lost. To get from where we don’t want to be to where we do want to be requires two things: time and a change of direction. There isn’t a quick fix.” This is one of the truest statements I have ever read and lived.
My change in direction meant “dropping my hands” and I can honestly say it took about three years. It took a long time for me to learn how to NOT be a “BACKSEAT DRIVER!” I had to relearn what it was like to follow and allow God’s voice to be the ONLY ONE! You see, if there is another voice ever allowed to be louder in your life or have more say than God….YOU will get lost….You might not mean to allow that voice to “out talk” God. It can be gradual… and before you know it…God’s voice is unfamiliar. You start to jump for the “loudest” or most “familiar” voice.
I have to say…no one is responsible for letting people out talk God in my life but me. I can now trace back steps where I made “wrong turns”. One wrong turn was letting my quiet time…get squeezed out by other demands…once being “A” list priority…to being a “B list” priority. If God is on the B list, He might as well be Z. His rightful place to be is in the driver seat of the “A” list. He is a jealous God and “lost” is the destination we are headed…if He is not “A” priority.
The second wrong turn was lack of worship…..I had great memories of worship, church, participation and fellowship with other Christians, but because of other things being on my “A” list and calendar, this turn….mired me deeper in the “swamp of the abyss!”
Totally different situation found in Jeremiah 38 but it still addresses the question of surrender. Have you ever felt like what is described in verse 22? “‘…They misled you and overcame you–those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.’” You trusted a voice other than God’s voice because you thought it was a trusted friend/person? That other voice “overcame you”–it took control. You lost control and ended up with your feet sunk in the mud? You’ve lost sight of the path God has for you. You may not even be sure who is in the driver seat of your life right now.
If you are lost, and trust me you don’t have to be young to get lost….I was in my 40’s and getting lost. It can happen to anyone any time. Now that I am proudly a passenger and have relinquished the driving to God, HE has opened my eyes to people who are lost but they are not yet at a point to see it or feel it. I have also met other people like me who have found joy, direction, purpose, and finally, after backtracking, have regained lost ground and traveling a well-lit path. Then there is a third group of people who are “lost”. They know they are lost but “don’t have that new path”.
Wherever you are…I encourage you to realize it all starts with surrender of your will to God’s. I would encourage you to pray and ask God to show you someone to help you “see” what you cannot see for yourself. Of course, I recommend the Bible…best book in the world. I do also recommend Andy Stanley’s book, “The Principle of the Path”. It would benefit anyone in how to apply God’s Word to the paths of relationships, finances, careers, etc. It is great literature, teaching in easy and understandable language…how to let God and His Word guide you on a lighted path…for you to follow!
John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”