I’ve been focusing a lot on the topic of surrender, namely surrendering my will, my desires, my life to God for His purposes. I’ll be honest, it is not an easy feat. I don’t think it’s a one-time action; for me, anyway, surrender is a daily, sometimes several times daily, act. And even then I sometimes find myself kicking and screaming along the way.
It is especially difficult when what I desire is (in my opinion) good and righteous and yet seems to not be what God desires for me. Intellectually, I know all the verses about God’s ways being higher than my ways, and about His having plans to prosper and not harm me, to give me hope and a future. But there are many, many times when my heart aches for something else, and I can’t imagine how I will be able to completely surrender these desires to God.
This morning I was reminded of Jesus’ conversation with the rich young man who quizzed Him about how to obtain eternal life. Jesus advised him to give his wealth to the poor and to come follow Him. This was more than just giving away his gold and cattle. This was asking the young man to give up his status, his place in the community, the influence that his wealth brought–as well as his desires for all of that. Basically, the young man needed to give up his very life in order to have the life that Jesus desired for him.
After the young man walked away dejected, unwilling to surrender his life, Jesus remarked that it was very difficult for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of Heaven, saying that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter Heaven.
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26, emphasis mine)
Giving up my dreams and desires, indeed my very life, seems like an impossible feat, and indeed I cannot do it on my own. It is only through God’s power working in me that I can give these over to Him. I am learning more and more to lean on Him rather than trying to do it on my own.