Surrender

Tow Path

Happy New Year!  I hope you have a good start to 2016 and I pray that you know God’s blessing in the year ahead.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago  about how God led me to focus on the word “Surrender” throughout 2016- a prospect which both excites me and terrifies me.

Since then I have been thinking and praying about where this word will take me in the coming year- trying to work out what lies ahead, trying to figure out what I need to surrender and how.

The truth is I’m not good at surrender.  Even in this process I am seeking control and looking for certainty over what the future holds.  I want to follow God’s leading- I’d just prefer that he told me exactly where we’re going before we set out.

But, I know, that is not surrender.  I know I need to let go of that desire and let him lead, without needing to know where the path will go.  I need to let go of the fear that tells me I somehow need to protect myself, that makes me doubt whether God can be trusted.  I know God is completely trustworthy.  Surrender just doesn’t feel safe- but he has shown me where some of those feelings are coming from and, while it is definitely something to work on, I’m not going to be too hard on myself about it.

A Bible passage that has spoken to me over the last few days is Jeremiah 10.  Jeremiah passes on a message from God to the people, warning them about the foolishness of idolatry.  He talks of how the surrounding nations try to read their future in the stars, they cut down trees and carve them into idols, they dress these idols as gods and worship them.  “Their gods are like helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field!  They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk.”  (Jeremiah 10:5)

By contrast, he points out, God is the true God, the everlasting King, the creator of the world, almighty and all-powerful.  It’s obvious which is the more sensible place to put your trust, and which is really safer.

Yet too often, I am like these other nations- building idols, not of wood or silver, but of my own ideas and desires.  It is foolish, and this year I want to work towards giving that up, always remembering though that God’s love does not depend on my ability to surrender, but on Jesus’ surrender.  All that was necessary for salvation was accomplished on the cross, and that is the surrender that really matters.

I like Jeremiah’s prayer further on in the chapter: “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.  We are not able to plan our own course.  So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.  Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.”  (Jeremiah 10:23-24)

So I think this year will involve surrendering control, surrendering perfectionism, surrendering my will and desires and seeking God’s.  Beyond that I don’t know.  I do have some books in mind to read and some Bible passages to focus on, but I am trying to take a step back from planning it all out and attempt to follow God’s leading.

I found another Elisabeth Elliot quote which I like.  I definitely want to read some of her writing this year- it seems that she has some great things to say about surrender.

“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well.  Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in his hand, but would be safer in mine.”

I know this is true; the challenge for this year is to attempt to live it.

 linking with Weekend Whispers and #OneWordCoffee

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25 thoughts on “Surrender

  1. I love that God’s love is not based on our ability to surrender but on Jesus’ surrender. Thank you for reminding me of this encouraging Truth, Carly. With you, my desire is to surrender control, perfectionism, and my will and desires and to seek God’s. Have a Blessed 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I wish God would tell me exactly where He’s taking me, too. 🙂

    Beautiful thoughts here. A blessing to read, as always. Praying for your coming year, and for wherever God will lead you on this path.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m finding it amazing watching God work uniquely in each life, as we seek Him for our word of the year. Surrender is a good one – but not an easy one to walk out. Our will has to die, so that His will may be done. Love the Elisabeth Elliot quote you used, one of my favorites of hers. God bless you Carly in 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Barbara. It is interesting to see the different words people have felt drawn to and it will be interesting to see how they work out over the coming year. Praying God’s blessing for you in the coming year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful quote from Elisabeth Elliot. She has been a book-mentor for me for the past 20+ years, and I still use a flip calendar of quotes from her. Here’s the page for Jan. 1:
    Lord, give me a quiet heart
    That doesn’t need to understand
    But, confident, walks forward in the darkness
    Guided by Your hand.

    For me, this is a picture of surrender.
    Blessings and Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I appreciate your sharing the vulnerabilities you feel! Surrendering is definitely scary. But I think what scares me more is trying to look into the future and attempting to control it. I’ve learned the hard way when I hold on too tightly and try to control outcomes apart from Him, I make a complete mess of things! Remember God has the best in store for us. He won’t steer us wrong :). Excited for what He will teach you in 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carrie. I spend far too much time looking into the future and trying to control it as well. I know God knows best though and that I can trust him to show me the way. Happy New Year to you!

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  6. Surrender has become the theme of my Christian walk. I’ve found that what started out as scary has actually become my greatest place of rest. I pray you will enjoy the peace that accompanies surrender this year. God bless!

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  7. Surrender has become the theme of my Christian walk. I’ve found that what started out as scary has actually become my greatest place of rest. I pray you will enjoy the peace that accompanies surrender this year. God bless!

    Like

  8. Surrender is such a vulnerable word. I am curious how it will play out in your life. Jeremiah is a perfect example of a person who fought against surrender and then leaves us with such beautiful words like “For I am called by they name.” as he considers keeping his mouth shut instead of preaching. My best to you in 2016 as you follow after the word.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Carly! Love your posts! I was able to get on your site to read several but have tried several times to open up more but there is a delay and it seems to lock up. I have had to close it and reopen it several times. I don’t know what the problem is.

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  9. I just had to read this post after being introduced to your website today. I love your wording and especially the Elisabath Elliot quote. I sat under Louie Giglio’s teaching of this many years ago and had forgotten the word for the year until you mentioned it here. This is an excellent reminder. Thank you for bringing me back to a truth I had forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

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