Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Ps. 23:6)
As a Christian, when you hear the term surrender what do you think of? For a lot of us, the term surrender means giving something up, letting go, or sacrificing something. By definition, surrender can take on that meaning. There are certainly times God requires us to make sacrifices and to release something into His hand. However, there is another definition of surrender:
To abandon oneself entirely to; to give into.
More often than we think, God is inviting us to abandon ourselves entirely to His goodness, His mercy and His lavish over the top love and generosity towards us. The other type of surrender can be easier in a sense, because it requires something of us. We understand what it means to give and take, to exchange, to trade off and to work to earn something in life. But there is a type of surrender that God invites us into, where all He requires of us is to receive from His love, to benefit from His goodness and to partake of His grace. This type of surrender doesn’t require our hard work and striving. It doesn’t require us to make a tough sacrifice. With this type of surrender, we receive and receive and receive, knowing that there is nothing we can do to think we have earned what’s been given. This can be very uncomfortable.
It can be challenging for us to simply receive love, but God calls us to do just that. Because when we learn to receive His love without trying to earn it or work for it, we discover how valuable we are in the eyes of God. We discover who we are. We no longer work from a place of striving, trying to earn God’s approval. Rather, we give out of the overflow and abundance of the love that’s been poured out on us. We find ourselves so full of love and grace that it can’t help but spill over into every area of our lives. It is our joy to serve God and love others.
I’ve been thinking about all of this lately, as I have been challenged more and more to live the life that Jesus really called us to. I am practicing big faith to believe God that I can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. I believe that I can hear from God for someone one else and speak a word into their lives that will bring deliverance and hope. There are times that I falter in that, thinking what if I’m not good enough? Or why didn’t I see the outcome I prayed for? It’s in those times I realize I’m still working for it, still trying to earn it, when all I need to do is surrender to the idea that it is God’s plan and desire to use me and His gifts of grace far outweigh what I think I can do or am capable of. Sometimes I have to quit “trying” so hard and allow myself to receive what God has already purposed to do.
Where in life are you striving? Where in life do you find yourself working tirelessly, but not receiving the outcome for which you hoped? My challenge to you today is to rest in His love. Present your heart before Him and ask Him to make His love known to you in greater measure. And when you find yourself trying to earn His love, surrender to His heart again and again.