Learning to Surrender to God's Will
Women by nature are planners. We plan pretty much everything in our lives - our nonexistent weddings on Pinterest, what to wear every moment of the day, all the attributes a guy has to have for us to even consider accepting a date with him.
So, it makes sense that to us the word "surrender" makes us slightly stressed out. But what do we do when God asks us to surrender that control, to trust Him to completely take over our lives?
Lately, I have been struggling with giving up control to God. I am a huge control freak - as in, never-procrastinated-in-my-life, always-on-the-ball kind of control freak. Every time the boy I liked didn’t call me, or I didn’t understand how to do my math homework, or something I planned for didn’t work out, I got frustrated with God.
[pullquote width="300" float="left"]“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” -C.S. Lewis[/pullquote]
Which is stupid, right? I mean, God put the stars in the skies and I’m crying out to Him because I don’t understand why the boy I picked for myself doesn’t like me? I used to feel like that meant I didn’t trust God or have the faith I thought I had always had.
Then I read a quote by C.S. Lewis that really said it all: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
I think this quote speaks to the hearts of all of us girls. We are afraid that what God has planned for us will turn out to be something we dislike, something that will cause us too much pain to be worth it in the end.
But, the truth is, if you are walking with God and growing in a relationship with Him, you will want to follow His plan for your life. By being obedient to Him, His will eventually will become your will.
Think of it this way: Imagine that God is like the head of huge parade. We are sitting on the top floor of a building watching the parade go by. We can only see what’s right in front of us during the parade as we look out the window, but God can see the whole parade as it takes place. He knows exactly what is going to happen next, while we just enjoy what is going on right now.
Sometimes, it still astounds me that the God of the universe has plans for me...that He wants to use me even when I get in His way so often with my own life plans.
"For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for us all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again." -1 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV).
Our lives are not our own. As Christians our number one duty is to glorify God and serve Him. But how can we serve Him when we are constantly trying to fulfill our own agendas?
Here are some helpful tips to learn the art of surrendering:
- Pray, pray, and pray some more. The Bible says we should pray without ceasing. That seems pretty difficult to me, but it is what we should constantly be striving towards. We can’t begin to understand God’s plan if we don’t have relationship with Him. For example, it may help to start a daily devotional, waking up a bit earlier to pray and study your Bible instead of hitting the snooze button.
- God has your best interests at heart. He knows everything about you - the number of hairs on your head and your most secret desires. So, even when it hurts to obey - even worse than nail polish remover going into a hangnail - remember that He is there for you, guiding you towards eternity. And our Father really does know best.
- God is going to lead you to things and places bigger than you can ever imagine. If we don’t take those opportunities because we are scared or because they're not part of our plans, we miss out on the life God intends for us. He's written an extraordinary story for you, but in the end, it's your choice if you'll live His story, or your own. Choose wisely.
- Practice surrendering things to God daily. Start small if you have to. A good friend of mine said to me once: How much of your day do you really rely on God for? We may not be living in third world countries depending on God for our food supply, but that doesn’t mean we should surrender to him any less.
Surrender is not easy, and it is something I still work on every day. The word surrender literally means to cease resistance to an opponent and submit to authority. But, God is not our opponent and every day we spend fighting against His will is another day we are not concentrated on fighting against the real enemy.