God is holding us in His hands. His wisdom guides us along the path of least resistance so we can have an amazing life full of love, satisfaction, hope, and joy.
I know this intellectually. But so often I see something shiny off His path. The temptation becomes too great – I need it now. In the next moment, I leave God’s path to dart after it. It could be someone’s approval, a piece of gossip, or speaking out in anger. Whatever it is, I convince myself that it’s more important than the plan God has for me. Ultimately though, I come to regret it.
I only make things harder for myself when I try to create my own path. I lunge away from thorns only to twist my ankle in a rabbit hole.
All the while, the Holy Spirit is standing next to me saying…”You know, my path -the path you – left doesn’t have sharp thorns and dangerous rabbit holes. I prepared it specifically for you to reach a thousand more shiny things without all this extra struggle.”
Eventually, I give up and take the path God laid out for me. There are challenges, there is confusion, but I’m free from my own self-destruction. And THAT is priceless.
I wish there was a perfect formula for surrender. Unfortunately, it’s not a one time event, it is a daily and sometimes hourly decision. But there are some practical steps that can help you.
1. Remind youself that God is good and trustworthy. He is. Although He cannot be trusted to sheild you from pain, He can be trusted to mold you and your shape your life in a way that is satisfying and meaningful beyond your imagination. This is a broken world with lots of broken people muddling His truth. But His love shines through. Ask Him to help you see it.
Pastor Chip Ingram’s prescription for belief in God’s goodness is to read from A.W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy. He recommends Tozer’s chapter on the goodness of God repeatedly – daily if necessary – until it sinks in. Here is the link to his blog on surrender you may find helpful as well: http://livingontheedge.org/christian-living/why-is-it-so-hard-to-surrender-my-life-to-christ
2. Make a list. What desires for this world are you holding onto? This includes money, property, and even love from another person. I’ll wait….really, I mean it. I’ll be here when you get back.
3. Release your list to God. It doesn’t mean you can’t have your desires eventually. It means you accept that they are not God’s plan for your life at this moment and stop complaining you didn’t have them yesterday. One by one, go down the list and recite this prayer over each item.
I know you can see my future and your plan for my life is good based on all you can see. I have faith you are providing healing and wholeness to my journey. I accept that ___________ is not part of my journey at this moment. I trust you will bring it in your perfect timing. Until then, show me what I must learn to do Your perfect will. I actively give up this desire to you. I know I will have it if it is Your will, for you would not deny your child anything that is good.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
4. Look for the open window. It is said that when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. Since these doors are closed right now, look for the opportunities to learn and love and serve God has created around you. He wants you to have life to the fullest. He’ll guide your journey for that purpose, if only you will let Him.