"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
The world tells us that surrender is a bad thing but it is a part of God’s upside down Kingdom: God uses the things that the world would consider as signs of weakness and He uses those things to show His power through and in us (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). When you realize that God’s ways are higher than your ways (Isaiah 55:9), that He has a plan for your future (Jeremiah 29:11) and He is for you, you can have confidence to surrender to Him.
The promise that God has for us is that when we feel weak, unable, unqualified, He becomes our strength. This keeps us in a total dependence on Him (2 Corinthians 3:5). Even if we do feel capable, we can accomplish so much more when we surrender our will, our dreams and desires to Him (Ephesians 3:20).
Surrender is not something that we do once. We need to decide each day to surrender to Him. When we raise our hands in prayer or worship, we are physically demonstrating that our hearts are surrendered to God. When we surrender, we give way to God’s grace to become activated in our lives. We allow His infinite power to start working in our lives. There is an exchange, we give God our weakness, He gives us His power.
Like Paul, we need to remember that whatever our human limitations, the possibilities with God are endless. Dreams are important but we need to allow room for God, not trying to achieve it all on our own. For example, when serving God with our talents, we need to admit we don’t know everything and listen for God’s instructions on how to move forward or let Him move through us (Proverbs 3:5). Another situation many of us face is starting a family. This can be completely out of our hands and in that situation we need to daily decide to surrender to God and delight ourselves in Him (Psalm 37:5-6).
Sometimes we make mistakes and we cling to our will or dreams too tightly. God will forgive us when we turn to Him - we may need to do this many times! God is seeking a heart that realizes there is a need for Him. Prayer and worship help to keep our focus on Him, not passively handing everything over to God or swinging from clutching to surrendering like a pendulum. We are not to stop working towards our goals but keeping the lines of communication with God open, partnering with our mighty God.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
- Have you had an experience of God doing more than you could ever dream or imagine when you surrendered to Him?
- What advice would you have for someone with a dream, who wants to hear from God about their next steps?
- Is there an area of our lives we have been holding onto too tightly and need to re-surrender to God?
- How can we reassure those who don’t know Jesus that God is worthy of our trust and confidence? Are there verses you like to share?