For many, these are considered words of weakness or defeat. An acknowledgement that superior forces have gained more than just the advantage… they have gained the victory.
But when I say them to You, Lord, they are words of strength. How can this be?
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
This morning, You spoke to me about surrender and my own flirtations with its mythological counterpoint that goes by the name “Control.” I used to try to exert “control” in my life by fighting for my “rights.” In my days of radical feminism, I was determined to not let anyone (mostly men, of course) gain The Upper Hand.
I often saw relationships as somewhat of a battleground, where parties had to “kill or be killed.” After years of feeling out of control, I had decided self-protection was the wiser course. Since everyone knows “the best defense is a good offense,” I did my best (or worst?) to set the “rules of engagement.” It was not a pretty picture — for me or anyone else.
Then You came along, Lord, and began Your glorious process of regeneration from the inside out!
“… whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away… And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 3:16,18)
We are in another one of those “ever-increasing glory” cycles… aren’t we, Lord? As I say “yes” to Your latest invitation to “go deeper” with You. Another Adventure of a Lifetime!
This morning, You reminded me that “control” is a myth. Then You said something intriguing: You said I am always surrendering to something (or someone). The question is not if I am surrendering, but to what or to whom? Because if it is anything or anyone other than You, Lord, I am in trouble. Like my own appetites (a.k.a., the desires of my flesh). Or LIES — those I may have conjured up on my own or those I got “hooked” on when the enemy threw out his bait.
You didn’t have to remind me of what I have given up through years of misplaced surrender; my life is littered with the evidence of such wrong choices. Yes… choices. So, instead, You just gave me another “whiff” of Your bait, Lord. Bait that, paradoxically, has always drawn me to a “hook” that has actually set me free. Bait that promises, even now, to “hook” me with greater freedom still.
I’m tired of just nibbling at Your bait, Lord. I’m ready to grab it… hook, line and sinker!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
This morning, You said surrender to You means giving up my “rights” — my “rights” to be heeded, my “rights” to even be heard. Surrendering to You means gaining freedom to be who I really am, and to offer others the abundance of what You have made available to me (time, talent, treasure, wisdom, etc.).
Surrendering to You also means grasping the truth that my reward from all this is not in what others receive from me (what they say or do because of what I say or do). My reward is simpler and greater than this. My most priceless reward comes in knowing I have been obedient to You — and done whatever You have asked me to do. The results — in me and through me — are totally up to You.
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22)
So far to go, Lord. So much to give. And so much to gain…
Yes, Lord… I surrender. More today than yesterday…