Let me be honest for a second, my spiritual walk for the first time in life has become consistently uncomfortable. Before this past year, I rarely, if ever, felt stretched by God. Honestly, I was pretty content with just living life, surviving, and trying to find a neat little box to fit God into crevices of my life.
As my faith has grown I have discovered more then anything I am faced with the tremendous and enormous job of dying to self so that I can live for Him. The ironic thing is, I actually really liked what “self” had going on. It was manageable, comfortable, and seemed to work “averagely well.” I wasn’t making much of a difference for the kingdom of God, but it really didn’t seem to bother me. I guess you can sum up my attitude by saying I was happy that I had a “ticket to heaven”, but– wasn’t overly concerned with making my life on earth count.
One of the recurring themes that God has been working on me with is the word: Surrender. I’ll tell you, the definition of the word makes me antsy, because I am a bit of a control freak. Surrender is defined this way: “to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another.”
As I have begun to read story after story (especially of the prophets in the OT) I have noticed God has called individuals to sometimes do some really strange, even illogical things. From wise kings, to prophets, to random stories in the the OT– the common denominator between everyone who truly followed God was a reckless and total surrender.
Honestly surrender wasn’t a subject I even considered until recently. Surrender was for those called to ministry. Surrender was for the super-Christians who pranced around in a cape with a Bible on their chest, we all know some of those right? Surrender was definitely not for Christina.
But then, God began to sift through my heart….and things began to get uncomfortable. As I fought it, my heart became restless and discontent.
I’ve realized that following God is more then I bargained for. Substantially more. Pursuing God isn’t always meant to be comfortable. It’s actually meant to be challenging, so much so that we are humbled in the process with our incapability to do anything noteworthy on our own.
I’m keenly aware that my attempts at surrendering on my terms are absolutely fruitless and useless. Surrendering isn’t merely dying to self. Surrendering is dying to self and in place choosing to live for something much greater. Ironically, I’ve always thought surrender is simply “giving up something”. I was wrong. Surrender is also “giving in.” It’s giving in to the tinge in your spirit that says there has to be more to life then this. It’s giving in the Holy Spirit who is refining you through fire and allowing God to continue to work— even though it is uncomfortable. So my prayer for you, and my prayer for myself is so ridiculously simple– Father, help me continue to “give in” to Your way, and in the process “give up” my own.