Sunday, February 9, 2014

Learning to Surrender

The past few months have been brimming with trials, slip-ups, and small victories. With the first semester of my junior year in college now in the books, I look back and can see how God had His hand in every situation. He is still faithful even when I am faithless. When I fail, I can rest assured that He never will.

I last blogged in October. After it, November slithered through like the calm before the storm. It brought a much needed break from college and time spent with the family. It did not come without some struggles and confusion.

I've found that that the hardest struggles appear in the midst of deepening your relationship with Christ. Sometimes it takes a few steps forward to realize you hadn't quite escaped the chains that held you captive. In other words, you hadn't fully surrendered what you struggle with to the Lord.

December came along and made it even more evident to me that I hadn't given God the complete lordship He deserves over every area of my life. I hadn't relinquished control over the desire for a relationship. At times, I think that I surrender it, only to yank the reigns back once an opportunity presents itself.

Essentially, I decide that I know what's best for me and can handle relationships on my own. That's entirely not the case. On my own, I compromise Biblical truths for temporary satisfaction. Having someone to talk to or compliment me all the time is not what a relationship should be about. Relationships are meant to glorify God and to be focused on Him. Not on yourself. Strike to the heart.

With the New Year, I made a resolution to focus my heart on the Lord more intently and intimately. If it's in His will for me to date, it will happen in His perfect timing and under His conditions. If He wills me to be single, He will give me the peace and strength to make it through it.

The Lord undoubtedly knows what's best for our lives. He knew what He had planned for us before we were even born. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. Who are we to think that we know how to handle something better than God?

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6

These verses are often quoted, but not as often taken to heart. What does it mean to trust the Lord with all your heart? Oftentimes, we trust the Lord with part of it, but then give something else more of our heart and attention. How much time do we spend on social media, watching TV, texting, or anything else compared to the time we spend in the Word or in prayer? If your ratio is anything like mine, too often things other than the Lord have more of my attention. Then again, we don't trust Him enough to give Him full control over everything in our lives, either. I've realized that I haven't, at least.

When you don't let Him have his rightful lordship over things in your life, essentially you're saying that you can handle it better than He can. How bogus is that? You don't want to give up control over it because you want it to go your way. If it doesn't go your way, then it must not be going perfectly. Am I right? I know it's all too easy to look at it in that way. But, beloved, that's the wrong mindset.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:7-10 that " in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth." (emphasis mine)

God's plan is not to take all the fun out of life or to not let us do what we want, but to unite us to Him. Since the Fall, sin has separated us from God. Christ lived a perfect life in human form so that He could die for our sins and provide a way for us to get into heaven and be united with our Heavenly Father. God so loved the world that He gave Christ for our sins. What greater love is there?

If God would give His Son for our sins, who are we to think that He doesn't deserve to have lordship over our lives? He knew that we needed Christ's blood to cover our sins. Trust in the fact that He knows what's best for us.

All this is to encourage you not to lose hope. Keep running the race. Endure. Persevere. Everything in the world will work against you, but press on, sister. Keep going, brother. The Lord is eternally worthy. Surrendering to Him will be entirely worth it.

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