I think it’s devastating, how often we deceive our own heart. How common it is to miss the cunning depths of our selfishness. For example, do you ever offer to help someone with a task, project, or anything of that nature, while secretly hoping they don’t take you up on it? Do you ever say you’re praying for someone, and forget to do so? Do you ever volunteer to participate in an event, and cross your fingers they don’t need you anymore? These are just a glimpse into the beguilement that hovers in our heart. A small aspect of our sin that has a massive impact on how we love others.
I’ve realized, this same deceit, can occur in our prayers to God. We ask Him to reveal, guide, intervene, forgive, love- yet when He answers, we aren’t always receptive. We find our minds linger on the side of our flesh, on the ideas that we thought up, on the plans that we prefer, on the cravings we hunger for- in other words, everything that is not of the Lord. We do this, because we are built on the embodiment of our sinful mind. Our instinct is what we think is best, because God’s way is, perceived to be, intangible and distant.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We are called to lay down our desires. To let go of our personal path and plans for what lies ahead. We are called to surrender our everything in order for that everything to become Jesus.
With thoughts that reflect our flesh, God’s call is blurred. It becomes harder to see the glory and grace that is presently flowing, and easier to see the strife and struggle. We focus on the outline of possible failures, possible hardships, possible burden- rather than the abundance He is providing.
I’ve spent two weeks praying for God’s continued intervention in my life. Two weeks straight, asking to remember what it means to surrender all I have to Him. God answered, and it wasn’t an obvious one; but rather, a stressful, disquieting one that overthrew my focus on His plan for my life. I allowed its initial impact to subdue my prayer of surrender. I allowed my fear and frustration to engulf my heart, sending me into a daze of uneasiness. I put myself first, and God second.
Most of the time our answered prayers are met with fleshly reaction- stubbornness, doubt, laziness. We underestimate the power of His timing, the magnitude of His plans, and the depths of His love for us. Why? Because admitting those truths, means surrendering our whole self to Him. It means completely letting go of our personal eagerness to faithfully commit to His calling. It means stepping off the pedestal and lifting our empty hands to Christ.
It’s easy to forget, though. It’s easy to get lost in the bustle of this life, tossing to and froe with emotions and decisions. It’s easy to forget that every second of every day should be surrendered to Him; it’s too easy to put ourselves first, and completely forget God is overseeing it all.
So, my knees are on the ground, my hands are lifted, and they are surely empty. I have nothing to offer Jesus in comparison to His sacrifice for me. I have nothing to give besides my whole body- heart, mind, and spirit. My life, is His entirely. Could anything be more beautiful than that?
Let us see this submission not as an act of defeat or resignation, but rather an act of trust in the One who created us. Let us see the definition of surrender as a relinquishment of our flesh, rather than an abandonment of ones’ self. Let us recognize surrendering our life to Him, means we are free from this world, and everything in it.
Job 11:13 If you would direct your heart right, and spread out your hand to Him