My husband, Joe, and I were having a heart-to-heart discussion at the dinner table, when he told me, "Sometimes I feel like I've been on the wrong path all these years. But if that's true, how do I get on the right path?" I must admit that my husband's heartfelt confession startled me a little. I knew that he had a sincere love for God, but I also knew that he was a bit of a "control freak," and that he regularly struggled with submitting himself to the Lord's will for his life. Making a confession like this one couldn't have been easy for him, and my heart went out to him.
I have met a lot of Christians who are reluctant to give God complete control of their lives, and I sympathize with them. I was almost 40 years old before I truly surrendered my own life to the Lord. I had been a Christian for as long as I could remember, and I trusted Christ enough to get me to heaven, but not enough to become all that He created me to be. Fortunately, I eventually got so weary of trying to manage and control my own life, that I was actually relieved to hand it over to God. When I did, I began to experience the joyful, fruitful, abundant life that Jesus spoke of in the Scriptures. (John 10:10; John 15:1-8)
Why are some believers so afraid of totally surrendering their lives to the Lord? Some of them are afraid that God will make them do things that they despise. But that's completely unscriptural. The Bible says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4 NIV) It doesn't say that if we delight ourselves in the Lord - if we live our lives for Him, and for His purposes - He will make us miserable. Yet many Christians live as though they believe this very thing. They don't realize that many of the dreams and desires that are in their hearts were planted there by God Himself, and that He is even more eager to see them come to pass than they are. And if they would only hand the "reins" of their lives over to Him, He would be more than happy to prove it to them.
Some people are reluctant to give God control of their lives because they don't really believe that His plans for them are actually better than their own. But the truth is that the Lord created us with specific plans and purposes in mind, and there is simply no way we could improve upon them. I like the way one godly man put it: "God will choose for you what you would choose for yourself, if you had enough sense to choose it!" Scripture says: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) God wants us to know that His plans for us are good plans. And we will begin to see them unfold as soon as we put aside our own agendas, and submit to His.
A misconception of God can keep some people from surrendering their lives to the Lord. They may think that God only wants to use them for His own selfish purposes, and that He doesn't really want what is best for them. But why would a God who sacrificed His only Son for us - so that He could have an intimate, eternal relationship with us - want to give us anything but the very best? As the Bible says: "Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won't He also surely give us everything else?" (Romans 8:32 TLB)
That day at the dinner table, I told my husband that if he really wanted to get in on the good plans that God had in store for Him, then he needed to trust the Lord enough to surrender control of his life to Him. If you are in a similar place today, I urge you not to wait another moment. Surrender all that you are and all that you have to the Lord, and begin to live the life of adventure and abundance that belongs to you in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, I confess that I am tired of being in control of my life. Today, I surrender my whole self to You, and I ask that You help me to fulfill my God-given purpose and potential. Teach me how to do my part by seeking Your guidance and grace daily through prayer and the reading of Your Word. Thank You that Your promise is true - "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him"! (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)
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