A Post by: Melinda
"Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Thy will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever...Fill me now and seal me with Thy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, for to me to live is is Christ. Amen." ~Betty Stam
Surrender. Dying to self. Pouring oneself out. Laying our life down on the altar. Daily. Moment by moment.
Those words don't seem like the descriptions for the ultimate joyous life. Instead, they seem to speak of a life of drudgery and self-denial. It seems like those words would speak of emptiness and void.
Yet, those words describe the life that God has called us to and reveal His plan for our lives.
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:37-39 (ESV)
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26-27 (ESV)
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." Philippians 3:8 (ESV)
"What kind of God is it who asks everything of us? The same God who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all. He gives all. He asks all." Elizabeth Elliot
Christ has called us to life of complete surrender to His will. Surrender isn't a one time deal. It is a daily, moment-by-moment call on our lives.
The sad thing is, many Christians live their lives as if God wasn't in control. They may have initially "surrendered" their life to Christ, but they aren't walking in daily surrender of every dream, desire, plan, and goal. They still want to write their story and manage their life.
God calls us to complete and every day laying down our life for God and others. His plan and purpose for our days is to die daily to our every plan and gladly take on His plan. It's painful, but it is the only way to true joy.
Yes, there is joy in surrender. I believe it is the only true joy. It is the joy in knowing God is in control and He really loves us and His plan for us is far more glorious and virtuous than any of our human-formed plans.
As we raise the white flag of surrender, and allow God to take control, He will calm our fears, carry our burdens, wipe our tears, and lead us on a beautiful journey of joy, peace, and hope. He will, if we allow Him, become our overwhelming passion, our only true delight, and our precious store of mercy and grace. The path of surrender, though pricked with thorns and painful, is beautiful and glorious and full of joy.
"Christ loved us without expecting us to love Him in return. As He was dying on the cross, those He had come to save were moccking and spitting in His face. Can we love Him the way He loved us? Can we surrender everything to Him without expecting anything in return?" Leslie Ludy
We must trust Him and surrender our all to Him, without expecting anything. We shouldn't expect blessing, happiness, an easy life, or perfect plans. We should expect nothing. We should selflessly pour out our life for God and those He calls us to serve expecting no returned favors.
But what about Psalms 37:4? Doesn't it say He will give us the desires of our hearts? Yes, it does. But that isn't our job to worry about. He tells us to "delight...in the Lord..." God isn't a mean God who doesn't care about our deepest desires. Instead, He treasures them.
"I have discovered throughout my life that our Lord cares very deeply about the dreams and desires of our heart, and He takes great joy in meeting them in His own perfect time and way. Surrendering to Him is not drudgery, but delight. As we abide in Him, He changes and shapes the desires of our heart to match with His desires for us...Following His pattern doesn't leave us with a second-rate version of life on this earth, but a far more glorious, beautiful, and fulfilled one. And yet, even though having the specific desires of our heart fulfilled is very often a by-product of surrender to Christ, it cannot be our reason for pouring out our all upon His precious feet. Our reason must be passionate love for Him, with no strings attached..." Leslie Ludy
He changes the desires of our heart to match His. What more can your princess heart desire? Our heavenly Prince loves us so much, that He takes thought of the smallest desires of your heart and fulfills them. Othertimes, He gently leads us and changes our heart by His wooing to match His desires.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
"Lord, engage my heart today
with a passion that will not pass away.
Now torch it with Thy holy fire
that nevermore shall earth's desire
invade or quench the heaven born power.
I would be trapped within Thy holy will,
Thine every holy purpose to fulfill,
that every effort of my life
shall bring rapturous praise to my eternal King.
I pledge from this day to the grave
to be Thine own, unquestioning slave." ~Leonard Ravenhill