My relationship with God was unstable, inconsistent and lacking in dedication and commitment. I went through high school believing in God some days and doubting Him others. I would get pumped up for Jesus and then the next day fail at what I promised to Him I would do.
James 1:6 describes a person who doubts like a wave in the ocean is being tossed by the wind. I remember hearing that verse and thinking “That’s it! That is exactly how I feel.” I wanted my life to have meaning and for it to be worth something, but I never felt “steady” enough for it to happen. I prayed prayers like “I want to be all in for you” or “God, give me faith” trying to commit to a relationship with Him, but not being able to hold my end of the deal. Little did I know, God had full intention of answering those “one liner” prayers.
The last couple months of high school, God started asking me some serious questions. He made a move for my heart. He needed to know I would be ready to do what He wanted me to do.
“Are you ready to surrender everything to me?”
When he asked me this question, it was in the context of my future after high school. I had been accepted into 5 different Engineering schools, and had multiple scholarships available to cover most of my costs. Yet, God had other plans. He asked me again, “Are you ready to surrender your future to me?”
Surrender isn’t about what makes sense. Surrendering your life to Jesus and laying down your right to make up your own decisions about the future, didn’t seem logical. He made it clear that it wasn’t my responsibility to figure out what I had to do with my life. It was my job to get close to the Father in any way I could, and trust that God would figure out the rest for me.
I remember, sitting on my knees with my hand open towards heaven. I was defenseless, I put down all my walls. Even though I was scared, even though I didn’t know what was going to happen. I answered His question.
I whispered, “yes.”
I gave him my future. I gave him my talents. I gave him my finances. I even gave him my family. Anything and everything that would get in the way of following Him, had to go. The real funny thing about the way God’s kingdom works, is that you can only find yourself if you die to yourself. God doesn’t reward you for holding on to things, he rewards those who give. The only way we can be first, is if we are last. That’s the definition of surrender.
Letting God have control of your life is one of the essences of the gospel. When you have an honest revelation of what Jesus has done for you, surrendering your life to Him is less about what you lose and always about what you are gaining: intimacy with Jesus.
Christ overcame sin, and went to hell and back to prove His unfailing love to us.
From that place of knowing what God did for us, we can easily surrender our lives to Him. It starts with a yes.
It starts with opening your arms, kneeling as an act of humility and saying yes to whatever He has planned. It means giving up your dreams to Him. It means giving up your feelings of hurt and pain from your past.
There have been tests in my life, where God has brought me to places with a choice. The question He always comes back to is still, “will you surrender everything to me?” He puts these checkpoints in my life to help me understand what and who I am living for. Never for a second do I want to go about my life, pretending that I have control over my life. Believe me – I absolutely make mistakes. I 100% forget the purpose, and lose grip on what I am living for. God is always faithful to remind me, to bring me humbly to a place with my hands open, on my knees, with nothing except a simple ‘yes’ to what he has for me.
A new song released by Steffany Gretzinger explains it perfectly. “Sometimes my very best is only my weakest yes.” That is all God needs.
Where are you in the process? Have you surrendered to God? Have you given up everything? Let him challenge you today and make Himself Lord in your life. It doesn’t take any amount of skill or ability to just say yes and trust that your surrender will be enough for God to use you.