Last week I discussed what it means to truly surrender. Living a life surrendered to God requires us to let go of pride and the idea that we know what is best. In doing this, we understand there is only One person who truly has our best interest in mind (Romans 8:28). Today I want to discuss what it means to live it out.
One of the common themes that Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth uses throughout her studies is the idea of saying “Yes, Lord” to whatever God brings. It sounds easy enough—but until you are put in a situation where everything seems to be falling apart, and nothing is going as you planned, you may not realize how difficult it can actually be.
It is important to spend time in prayer and ask God to reveal areas in your life you may be holding onto, or refusing to let go of. If He does reveal specific things you are clinging to, ask Him for the strength to let go, and the faith to trust in His sovereignty.
So what does saying “Yes, Lord” mean for you? Is it passing on your dream job so you can stay at home and serve as a wife and mother? Sacrificing TV time to minister to a friend who is hurting? Serving in a position where you are underappreciated? Is it suffering through health problems with no cure or end in sight? Whatever the circumstance, are you willing to surrender your own will and desires in order to submit to God’s ultimate plan?
This is something you will want to spend time seriously thinking and praying about. Until you experience times when you are visibly out of control, you may not understand the sacrifice of giving up your plans and submitting to what He has for you. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” I love this verse because it is a constant reminder that “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” There is nothing you can do to stop God’s plan for your life.
When you think about it, choosing to have a heart that says “Yes, Lord” to whatever may come is extremely freeing! It means that you are confident in His plan for your life—you understand that He knows the outcome before you even know the problem. Living a surrendered life frees you up to experience the joy that comes from knowing He is in control—He will never fail.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
One of the best bible studies I have been blessed to be a part of was the Revive Our Hearts Trilogy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth--Brokenness, Surrender, Holiness. I previously shared about what I learned during our Brokenness study, and now I would like to share a little bit about Surrender.
What does it mean to surrender your life to God? Before studying this book, I would have answered by saying I surrendered my life to the Lord many years ago when I accepted Christ as my Savior. While this is true, it is only the beginning. Surrendering your life to God is so much more than the initial, one-time choice to submit your life to Christ and accept His free gift of salvation. Surrender is a way of life.
Living a life of total, complete surrender means consciously choosing to humble yourself (be broken) and accept whatever His will may be, no matter the circumstance. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says; “Surrender was—and still is—the source and means of true freedom and fullness.” So what does that kind of surrender look like?
In order to experience the freedom and fullness Nancy describes, we have to let go of any control (we think) we have and let God take over. I know how easy it sounds, and how difficult it can actually be. There have been times where I found myself choosing to surrender certain areas of my life, while clinging to others. The reason I kept holding on to certain things boiled down the fact that in my heart I believed I knew best—that I knew what was best for me more than God did. The funny thing is, is that He has always been and always will be the One who is in control! No matter how much I resist Him, His will is ultimate and in the end it will be accomplished.
People often struggle with not wanting to let go of certain things in their life because they are afraid of what might happen if they do. When we continue holding on to specific parts, it is because deep down we think; “If I let go, I might be missing out on the freedom that comes with making my own choices.” When in reality, we become slaves to the things we refuse to let go of. There is nothing on earth that could possibly be greater than what God has for us.
Anything that we refuse to surrender to Him is an idol—it is something we want more than we want God. It is vital that we take time to pray and ask God to help us evaluate our hearts. We must check for any areas of our lives that we may be holding back from Him. Once we become aware of that which we need to let go of, we have taken the first step toward whole hearted surrender.
When we choose to fully surrender everything to the Lord, we realize that our life is already His. There is nothing more comforting than understanding that God is sovereign over each and every aspect of our life. He knows what is best, and He is working everything together for our good! “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
If God is working all things together for our good, things that are far greater than anything we could possibly imagine for ourselves, then what is holding us back from giving Him everything?
The past two weeks I have written about brokenness—what it means and how it should look in our lives. Today I want to explain the beauty of revival that comes as a result of our brokenness.
Before we can be ready to pray for revival, we must first meet the Lord with a broken and contrite heart. Isaiah 57:15 says; “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Once we make the choice to humble ourselves before the Lord and submit to His sovereign will, we open our hearts and minds to be used as servants for His ultimate glory.
The idea that brokenness is a choice is essential to understand. As I mentioned previously, I used to associate brokenness with being a result of my circumstances. I now realize that it is a heart change, a way of life. It is a day by day, moment by moment choice to be humble—to acknowledge my weaknesses and look to the Lord for my strength.
Throughout the Bible we see again and again that God is near to those who are broken. In chapter sixty-six of Isaiah, we read; “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” What an overwhelmingly beautiful truth to comprehend!
Before we can expect to see revival in our churches, our homes, and our workplaces, we must first experience personal restoration. When we feel spiritually depleted and want to experience a renewed sense of God’s presence—when we have a desire to know the incomparable joy of revival—we need to open our hearts and ask Him to meet us in our brokenness. He is faithful to do so!
Once we consciously make the choice to live a life of brokenness, we will then be able to experience the richness of personal revival. As a result, we will be able to serve others and share the joy graciously given to us by our Creator!
My prayer for whoever is reading this is that you will examine your own heart for areas of pride and ask the Lord to reveal anything that you may currently be blind to. I also pray that you will have a humble heart to receive whatever the Lord may show you and respond with an attitude of brokenness. I can tell you from personal experience that the joy and peace you will receive as a result will change your life.
Psalm 25:9 “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.”