“If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment,” Job 36:11
There is power in OBEDIENCE!! I’ve realised that to live a lifestyle of obedience to God’s word and to see the manifestation of his promises in our lives we have to come to a place of SURRENDER. It’s literally the only way. It’s possible to be a Christian and be in church week after week for several years but never actually surrender to God.
In my early 20’s when I was a baby Christian I used to sing the song: “I Surrender all………. I surrender all……” but I didn’t really mean it. It was a blatant lie!! I said the words with my mouth but my heart hadn’t surrendered and I wasn’t willing or ready to submit to God.
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;” Isaiah 1: 19. Like so many, I was deceived into thinking that I could be disobedient and be that one person that gets away with it and still experience the good things God has promised. So stupid!! Obedience is the basis upon which favour and blessings flow. God will not force us, we need to be WILLING to be obedient and do things God’s way to experience the good things that has been promised. There are no short cuts!!
Surrendering is easier said than done. It takes trust and faith in God which can only come through having a relationship with him. You have to surrender your heart FIRST and that leads to a change in behaviour!!! What I had back in the day was religion and weekly trips to church. I had a superficial relationship with God and didn’t spend any time with him in prayer or in his word. So, how could I surrender? I rarely prayed outside of church and the only time I opened my Bible was when the Pastor asked everyone to turn to a scripture on Sunday morning.
The truth is we struggle to surrender to God because we are stubborn and we want it OUR WAY and in our timing. It can be difficult to surrender because there is a battle between our flesh and our spirit or “our will” and “God’s will” which requires patience and faith. It’s so much easier to choose our will because we can see, touch, feel and have a sense of control of the outcome and timing but when you say: “Lord, let your will be done.” It means you relinquishing control and allowing God to take over.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11. So why don’t we believe this promise?
I honestly believe if you don’t willingly surrender and you try to make things happen in your own strength you will come to the end of yourselves and get tired of “life as it is”. You will get to the point when you realise that God’s way is the ONLY way. It reminds me of the Women with the issue of blood. She was bleeding constantly for 12 years and spent all her money on doctors but no one could help her. She got desperate and came to the end of herself and SURRENDERED. She came to the point where she thought I’ve tried everything and NOTHING has worked so she reached out for Jesus to heal her. “She came behind him, and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped,” (Luke 8:43-18). She got healed when she surrendered and had an encounter with Jesus. It’s crazy to think about the time and money she wasted trying to do things her way. What a waste of time!!
I remember when I FINALLY surrendered to God in 2012 when I moved to New York through work. For the first 5 months of living there I didn’t have any friends, New York is a very hard place to meet new people. During this quiet season, it was literally me and God. Sometimes you need to go through a quiet season to hear the Holy Spirit. Even though the Holy Spirit was calling me I refused to listen or surrender. I treated God like he was a Genie in bottle. I thought “Why couldn’t God just do what I wanted when I wanted?” After several months of battling between “my will” and “God’s will” I came to the end of myself and “let go” of trying to control my own life and “let God” take over. I realised that God was the only thing sustaining me and without him I was nothing so I finally got down on my knees in my apartment in Brooklyn and surrendered. I finally said: “I give up, Lord, let your will be done.” THEN God started opening doors and only then did I start making new friends. During this season, God wanted me to be dependent on him and only him not people. I realised that I’m not smart enough to run my own life, I need God to lead and direct my life. Surrendering has been one of the best things I’ve done!!
You may ask: How do I know if I’ve surrendered? It’s easy to identify the Christians who have fully surrendered their hearts to God!! They talk and behave differently which comes from a place of total submission. They are the people that get up at 6am to pray and study God’s word. They’re in prayer meeting and church regardless of the weather or “how they feel” because they are hungry for more of God and their spirit needs to be feed with his word. They are the people who are bored of playing games with God and church and are intentionally pursuing God like their lives depend on it. They are the people who are spiritually mature. They wait on God and his timing. Their main focus is to please God and to serve him.
We can either WILLINGINGLY surrender ours heart to God through the help of the Holy Spirit and see the amazing things that God will do or remain stubborn and come to the end of ourselves and surrender.
There is something AMAZING on the other side of your obedience. I encourage you to submit everything to God. Surrender your fears, your insecurities, your doubts, your dreams, your vision, your desires, your hopes and cast all your cares onto him!!
“Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless,” Job 11:13-15 (CEV)
God is faithful and wants to bless us but we need to surrender and do things his way!!!