Surrender (#62 from 100 Days on the Road to Grace Devotional)
To obey is better than sacrifice…
1 Samuel 15:22
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
At every step on the road to freedom from lust, there will be a test that involves surrender and obedience. First there is the challenge to share our sins with others; the call to cut off the stumbling blocks of temptation is next. Then God beckons us further and asks, “Will you trust me so I can heal you?”
There have been many times in my life where fear has interfered with my relationship with God. In the back of my mind, I know that if I’m truly serious about being a follower of Christ, I have to make Him Lord. Will He send me somewhere I don’t want go? Ask me to forgive or confront someone I don’t want anything to do with? Ask me to give something up? Or—shudder—want control of my checkbook? Is there some hard trial that involves emotional pain I’ll have to endure?
What usually happens is we scream, “No, I must be on the throne of my life!” and then we find a nice, thick, brick wall of pride to bloody ourselves on for years. Once we’ve had enough pain and misery from doing life our way, we finally surrender and decide: “Okay, God, I’ll trust you… a little.”
Although He wants, even demands, everything (Luke 9:23), the good news is He’s wonderfully patient. He knows we’re afraid to allow an unseen God to have carte blanche with our life. He’s aware of our hang–ups. Those who have been abused in the past will have a difficult time trusting and releasing control, while others who’ve not endured such trauma or rejection may not.
Part of the problem is we don’t understand that walking with God is nothing like we’ve experienced before. Where we might want to know the entire plan so we can grasp a measure of control or stability, He merely says, “Trust me with all your heart, and don’t lean on what you know” (Proverbs 3:5–6). Where we might be tempted to spin off into manic ministry mode in an insane attempt to earn His love and calm our fears, He merely says, “Come to me and learn from me… my yoke is light and my burden is easy… I’m gentle” (Matthew 11:28–30).
Once we plunge in and make the commitment to surrender, trust, and obey Him, we will begin to discover the joy of knowing Him. This is the hidden secret of obedience: “If you obey my commandments, you will abide in my love; just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). The sweet spot of grace lies in a bed of surrender and obedience.
If you will ask and listen, God will provide you with the next step to take. Perhaps you already know what He’s calling you to do today.
I have never regretted obeying Him. There have been times when the blessings that followed obedience where more than I would have imagined. The challenge to push past my fear, trust Him, and do something that seemed crazy might have been difficult, but the end result was always worth it.
Excerpted from Mike Genung’s book, 100 Days on The Road to Grace, A Devotional for the Sexually Broken