I’m just realizing how detrimental this is….
After living on this earth for 28 years and being a baptized Christian for 16 of them, I am just now realizing what it means to surrender to God. Psalm 3: 5- 6 says:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)
This verse is the very core of what God wants from us. It may seem simple to do what the passage says and just trust and submit to God. However, it takes work and we will be tested throughout the journey of life.
So what does it mean to really trust God? Let’s start by breaking down the definition of trust:
“Trust – The assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” (Merriam – Webster Dictionary)
This definition tells us that we must first be assured that we can rely on God. Are you assured? I know that this isn’t easy by any means, but you can rest assured everyday and through any circumstance. One of the first things to remember is who God is. He is Almighty, all knowing, all powerful, and Creator of all the heavens and earth! He created EVERYTHING. Recognizing His vastness and authority, we can rest in the fact that he can handle hurt, sorrow, confusion, disappointment, or secrets that we send HIS way. Here are a few verses that describe who God is:
Matthew 19:26 - Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jeremiah 32: 27 – “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
Isaiah 44: 24 - This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: “I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,”
There are many more verses that explain who God is and I encourage you to search the Bible for them. In my own life, in addition to remembering who God is, I get assurance from looking back at the things God has done for me throughout my life. One instance that I refer to in particular is the time when I bought a car. It was 2009 and I was in need of a car after getting into a car accident and totaling my car in September 2008. Also, I was transitioning from being a full-time student to a full-time employee so I definitely didn’t have much money. The winter of 2008-2009 was particularly brutal in Chicago (not that all Chicago winters aren’t!). It was difficult travelling to work on public transportation, getting groceries, etc because I didn’t have the appropriate winter gear to protect me from the harsh cold. The one pair of boots I had had holes in them and most of my other shoes weren’t winter worthy. As a result, my feet were always wet and was I constantly getting sick. Tax time was nearing so I started shopping for a car. I was checking out dealers near me and I got nothing but the run around. The salesmen where sharks and it seemed like I was in way over my head. Just as I was about to give up, I had finally agreed to have lunch with this hotel sales manager who had been trying for months to partner with the company I worked. During lunch I shared with her the trouble I was experiencing in the car buying process. She told me that her husband was a Toyota car salesman who was honest and would help me if he could. A couple days later, he called me to inform me that my creditworthiness and the fact that I was within a year of graduating qualified me for a program where I could put $1000 down with no interest on the car loan! Whoa, what?! Was he serious??? Only, one problem though. How was I going to get to the dealership? It was in Algonquin which was about an hour away and nowhere near public transportation. God put it on his wife’s heart to pick me up from work and take me to the dealership. That day in April, I drove away from the dealership in a brand new car with affordable payments. God even blessed me to pay it off a bit early.
Submitting ourselves to anything but our own devices in our culture seems absurd and weak-minded. In reality, surrendering our lives to God, who is the author and finisher of life, is the most sensible thing we can do. If it wasn’t ingrained in us as small children to submit every area of our lives to God, it can be difficult to make this a habit. I was always taught to do my best and take care of myself without help from anyone. I know this was meant for my protection and to build up my own strength but it ultimately taught me to have a backwards relationship with God. It taught me to only reach out to God when my human ways failed me and I exhausted myself. Isaiah 41:10 tells us,
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
This tells me that I don’t have to use my strength to tackle things of this world. I’m sure that if I would have given some of my past circumstances to Him, I would have saved myself a lot of frustration and heartache. What sense does it make for me to attempt to move mountains when the One who created the mountain can move it effortlessly? We have to get out of our own way to allow God to do his work in us and through us. His ways are higher and better than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55: 8-9). Therefore, whatever we surrender to him, he will manage it much better than we ever could. It can be scary to relinquish control in such way especially when we don’t know the outcome but God is bigger and He is best. To help you make a habit of surrendering your life to God, remember these verses and say them aloud to yourself in order to introduce this new soundtrack to your heart and mind.
Keep growing in the Word!
Until next time,