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A New Surrender

I like to feel in control—a lot. I like knowing what to expect and when to expect it. The problem is, life isn’t tidy, neat, and easily managed (imagine that!). If I feel powerless in a situation, my desire for control will leak out into other areas of life.

  • Can’t do anything about this diagnosis? Well, I’m gonna go organize my spice rack.

  • Can’t change this person? I think I’ll make a double batch of muffins and freeze some for a rainy day.

It’s all misplaced trust, really. Life feels out of control, so I scan my surroundings for something I can control because in controlling that thing I will make myself feel better, more secure, less small.

But I’m not in control, and neither are you. And we know it. It’s why we grasp so tightly at the small stuff because here, at least, we can pretend autonomy, we can maneuver and press in and finagle until we’ve tricked ourselves into believing the lie “Did God actually say . . .”

  • to present my body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1)?

  • to not lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)?

  • to abide in Him because apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5)?

Bottom line: Did God actually say this life is from Him and through Him and to Him (Romans 11:36)?


It’s a prayer I pray before my feet hit the floor:

Lord, I consecrate this day to You. Do in me all I cannot do. I offer You a new surrender.

This prayer was composed in me, like a slowly crescendoing song, over months and months of intense struggle when getting out of the bed was hard, parenting my boys was hard, life—in general—was hard. Major events were happening at a rapid-fire rate that had me ducking my head and waiting for a ceasefire. I felt in control of precious little.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Perhaps you’re there now. So, what do we do?

  • The world tells me to buck up. The world tells me to try harder. The world tells me that I make my own destiny. Christ invites me to come and find rest (Matthew 11:28).

  • My flesh tells me to get back on top as quickly as possible. My flesh tells me to self-indulge the pain away. My flesh tells me that no one could possibly understand what I’m going through. Christ invites me to deny self, take up my cross, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).

  • The devil tells me that God’s withholding good from me. The devil tells me that I must have done something to deserve this trial. The devil tells me this season will never end, so what’s the point of godly living? Christ invites me to find comfort in His High Priesthood (Hebrews 4:15).

It’s the upside-down Kingdom of God, friends. It’s why He is our compass and not our circumstances, not our feelings. We must magnify Him above our plot lines. Life will not make much sense otherwise.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). It’s a good place to be, empty of self, looking expectantly to Him. Being confronted with our own lack of control is a blessing; it is the very kindness of God that draws our eyes up, up, up from our navels to where they should be.

We must posture ourselves before Him with open hands and worshipful hearts, willing to give, ready to receive. We must present our bodies, again, as a living sacrifice. Will you join me, friend? Will you join me in offering Him, each day, a new surrender?

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