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Devotionals : What Are You Afraid Of Surrendering?
 
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What Are You Afraid Of Surrendering?

By Michael Lane, Executive Director, Delve Christian Ministries
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When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son (Genesis 22:9-10)


Late last year, my father and I sat in a hotel room following a men's conference in Toronto. Though he had given his life to Christ months earlier, he was still struggling with what it means to put Jesus first in his life and to surrender himself completely to Christ. "Let me ask you this," I said. "Would you trust Jesus enough to let Him take Mom from you, if that was required of you in order to follow Him?" He pondered their thirty-eight years of marriage and all that she means to him. He finally replied, "I don't know."

I empathize with my father as surely as I empathize with Abraham, whose test of faith has become an archetypal example for us all. The question for most of us, including my father, is academic since few people ever have to make such a dramatic choice. However, it's a useful test of the depth of our trust in Christ to ask, "What would I give up to follow Him?"

If we will be honest, there is something which each of us fears losing so much that it strains the limits of our faith to contemplate entrusting it to God. Our life is perhaps the least of these, for surely there are fates worse than death. Perhaps it is losing our wife, husband or child. Perhaps it is losing our freedom, our health or our mind.

As I began to take this inventory for myself in my twenties, I came across one thing which I could never permit God to take from me and which I could not offer in sacrifice. It was my mind. I justified this by saying that if I lost my sanity or my ability to perceive the world around me, how could I serve Christ? How would I even know who He is? If that were the case, would I be lost forever? Does my salvation rest upon my ability to understand it? I concluded that I could withstand any manner of torture so long as I had clarity of mind, but I told God, in no uncertain terms, that my conscious mind was off limits.

Years later, I came to a similar conclusion to the one which must have preceded Abraham's reluctant decision to sacrifice his son, and one which every Christian must reach before they can sacrifice the last remaining sacred treasure they have been withholding. I thought, "God, if you take this from me, it's part of your amazing plan and I can trust you." It was part of the realization that if God is going to allow something to be taken from me, He will faithfully comfort and see me through the pain of the loss. He will give me whatever strength, faith and endurance I require to sustain me. This is the promise Jesus gives to all who place their faith in Him.

I don't know how God would sustain me if I had brain injury and lost my ability to reason. I don't know how my father would endure the pain if he lost his wife. The point is that we don't have to worry about any of that once we surrender to God. We simply trust in the Lord with everything we have and He will see us through. God never said it would be easy, but He did say He would sustain us through the hard times and welcome us with open arms into His Kingdom when our time comes.

Search deep within yourself now and contemplate the one thing that you have not been able to surrender to God. Find that one thing about which you have subconsciously said, "God, take anything you require but please don't take this." I know that it feels like you would be destroyed if God took that from you, but you have to trust Him. If God takes this from you, He will sustain you. Whatever He takes from you will be given back to you tenfold in Heaven. Most importantly, if God takes it from you, it is part of His perfect plan. Trust God with it now and let your surrender to Jesus Christ be complete.

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Genesis 22:15-18)



 

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Comments


How do you know what holds you back? How can you surrender? I've tried, I don't know where I'm going wrong.
10/15/2007 6:49:20 AM - anonymous


1) How do you know what holds you back? This may sound overly simplistic, but God knows, and he will reveal it to you if you ask. This happened for me in a very interesting way! I had prayed for God to reveal to me areas where I was not surrendering. The next Sunday the pastor gave a sermon on this topic, and he listed off various things that people sometimes hold back from God. When he said "your mind", he looked right at me. He probably didn't even know he did it, but I got the message loud and clear. God may not reveal it in such a dramatic fashion, but he will allow you to see it somehow.

2) How can you surrender? Whenever there is a problem in your life, there is always a part you have to play, and then there comes a point when you can do no more and have to trust God. Surrender has to do with recognizing when things are, or should be, out your hands and making a conscious decision to let God control those things. Once that is done, you need to allow yourself to stop worrying and find peace about it. Your peace does not come from an expectation that you will get the outcome you want, it comes from knowing that God will provide the best possible outcome according to his amazing plan. What does that look like in practical terms? When a loved one is sick, you do the part you can do (get them medical attention, pray) and recognize you can do no more. Tell God you know He is in charge and trust Him. Allow yourself to find peace in that knowledge. If you can't find a job, do the part you can do (send out resumes, make phone calls) then, again, tell God you know He is in charge and you trust Him. Allow yourself to have peace with whatever He does, knowing that you have done your part and He will do his. I must emphasize, don't expect a certain outcome, but expect that God's plan will be fulfilled in your life.

I hope this helps. I have found this very hard to do in my own life, it's far from easy, but the steps are fairly straightforward.
10/15/2007 11:18:03 AM - Michael Lane


Thank you for your devotional...it really sparked some thoughts of change within me.

God Bless,

Orlando
Panama, Panama
11/15/2007 8:14:00 AM - anonymous


Thank you for your devotional. I know there is something that I am witholding from God. And whenever I told God I 'surrender' to Him, I was expecting a specific outcome. Your comment 'don't expect a certain outcome, but expect that God's plan will be fulfilled in your life' is enlightening!
12/18/2007 10:32:58 AM - anonymous


God always gives back, when he takes. Trusting that he will do that has always been a hard lesson for me to learn. But, through reading this I'm beginning to see that there really is a plan for everything and for the ultimate plan he has for your life and mine. God holds your heart, it cannot break when its in his hands.

many butterfly kisses.....

SNF
12/20/2007 8:53:49 AM - anonymous


What is holding you back? Is it your fear of losing face? Is it your fear of having not enough money to spend? Is it your fear of facing persecution? Afraid of touching sick patients in hospital coz fear the germs/diseases? Well, remember this! God did not hold back his one dear son! If God did, there will be absolutely no SALVATION TO MANKIND! Remember this too, when Jesus was carrying his ministry here on earth 2000 years ago, he touched and healed every body who comes to him and believed in him for healing/restoration. What ya waiting for? Go out there and serve the GOD with willing and glad heart. The harvest field is ripe!
Celia
12/29/2007 6:14:17 PM - anonymous


I HAVE PRAYED WITH A GROUP FOR THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT-BECAUSE I HAD COMITED MY SON TO GOD-BUT I WAS STILL HANGING ON TO ANSWERS. I JUST LEARNED THRU YOUR WEBSITE-THAT WE TRUST GOD & LET GO-BUT DON'T GO BACK FOR ANSWERS! PRASE GOD THAT THE SPIRIT IS CONVICTING ME OF MY SINS. I STILL WANT TO LEARN MANY OTHER THINGS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL CLEAN MY SPIRIT- I WANT TO BE TOTALLY COMITED TO GOD THRU CHRIST JESUS. I AM PRAYING FOR EACH OF YOU TO BE DELIVERED=CALL UPON THE HOLY SPIRIT-GOD WILL NOT DENY YOU WHEN YOU ASK TO BE CONVICTED! LOVE YOU! CHRIS
2/5/2008 11:47:15 AM - anonymous


Sometimes I feel like God is asking me to surrender someone or something, and that He would that as He did with Isaac ... that He will not take it away, eventually. However, the hope of that event, deep inside makes me wonder if I had really surrendered that which God wants me to surrender.
I pray for the faith of Abraham in my life, I pray to have the certainty that I am listening to God's voice, when this situations come to my life.
2/13/2008 4:00:51 PM - anonymous


I just want to thank the Lord for this devotional, and even the other comments about this devotion... at the end of my reading, I can't help but cry because I really felt God speaking to my heart. His words are very much alive. I am a mother and also working at the same time. I have many fears right now and God got me straight with this devotional.

Thank you again. Higher glory to God!
3/12/2008 9:35:43 PM - anonymous


I am so very glad you have this devotional here, it gives me (a loner) a chance to speak my fear. I find myself paralyzed by fear. I fear my own death because I am not ready to die. I fear other's death, and that is why I don't allow myself to fall deeply in love. I don't think I fear failure, but I fear asking for God's direction and then it not working out...then I fear being outside his will, and that I was "in self" in the first place. These fears are learned experiences...I have died (twice), I have lost loved ones and almost went insane, and I have gone forth with something that I knew FOR SURE was "God's Will" and it ended badly...I was crushed. These fears, I now recognize, are hampering my life and growth and relationships with people and with God. What do I do?
3/13/2008 10:08:45 AM - anonymous


It is so hard to be a back seat driver and let Jesus take the wheel, but I know when I do this, I have total peace. This whole issue of surrendering is easy to say and yet how often do we hold onto parts of our lives and keep them from God? I wonder how much I trust God with my family when I worry that they will have a car accident or be taken from me by some dreadful illness. I must let God have control and allow Him to release me from the fear the enemy tries to overwhelm me with. The world is only a scary place when I refuse to surrender all to God and let Him have His way. "All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give...."
Sydney, Australia
3/13/2008 3:39:45 PM - anonymous


I fear losing my wife. We have been married for 8 years and we are struggling to understand what has become of our life together. She has found peace in her decision to separate, I am struggling every second of every hour of every day that I am doing something to cause this. There is no specific thing that I fear more than losing her. She tells me to let go of the fear, she has and it is wonderful but I don't want to lose her. I pray every day for the guidance and strength to endure this but have not found the way the turn it completely over to Him. Everything else in my life seems so insignificant that I don't even want to think about it. But the more I try to hold on, the more I push her away. I Love Her, and want happieness to enter back into our lives together, but until I figure out how to let go of the fear, I don't know if that can happen! Jennifer I Love You...
3/20/2008 8:56:42 AM - anonymous


Thank you for this very inspiring devotional..It helps me to understand what to surrender & most of all how to surrender..now i want to surrender my present situation to God...LORD i want you to be my lord & saviour in every area of mylife & love i will be waiting for your mighty hands to do something in my present situationaccording to your will..Thank you Jesus for your love..


should b happy
3/22/2008 5:16:29 AM - anonymous


this one thing, this one thing is above all my biggest struggle... i have been in a relationship with the same person for over 10 years... we were childhood sweethearts... i am 22 now and the last three years have been so rough... i find it so hard to trust God with our relationship because i am afraid we may never get back together... in so many ways, i have told God, this i can fix, i can mend our realtionship... and its so funny because i haven't had any success on my own, but my fear keeps me from totally letting go and letting God... God help me
3/26/2008 4:53:34 PM - anonymous


Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps. 73:25-26
3/28/2008 2:01:29 AM - anonymous


Lord help me to surrender my marriage to you. I have been living in constant fear and panic for the past nine years.There has been a third person in the rellationship and I have failed to realise that God's time is the best.Thank you Jesus for being there for me and let me trust that your will will prevail in my life.
4/16/2008 8:01:32 AM - anonymous


I use this as a teacing scripture about "sanctifying your laughter", as we know Isaac means "laughter". Lay it all on the altar adn he will fill your mouth with laughter (provide the sacrifice of praise he desires).
4/21/2008 1:01:32 PM - anonymous


I don't know where to start? I realize that I don't know who I am? I live my life for others. I have always handled the finances, my husband spends and I am held accountable for my spending...because I know we don't have it. I am constantly dealing with finances by my self. I want to leave my husband because, I have tried everything to get him to be active in our financial situation. But he just keeps on ignoring my pleas.!I have four children and always have done what I thought is best with them. I am having problems giving up control. In everything I do, I feel like I am controlling things or trying to fix them. I always love helping others. Where is the fine line between controlling and surrendering? Every action I take now is doubted. Especially when I talk. Growing up, I am told that I am from a disfunctional family!? Does that make me disfunctional? Should I worry about saying the wrong things. Should I take my sisters advice about everything? She is carrying around her own baggage? Should I follow my heart? God and I are one, right.? Does surrender mean give up control completely?
anonymously bothered!
4/23/2008 7:21:49 PM - anonymous


I have always been tough and strong. Recently I have been having panic/anxiety attacks where all I can focus on is breathing. Some days are good others are worse. As I type I am divided in myself. I am really trying to hold on to GOD and trust that I will beat this, that he will let me be whole again. I have decided to walk with Christ before and have fallen many times. I pray that this time I will be able to to. I am afraid of losing my husband, my daughter and my family in General. My prayer today is that I will trust GOD that he will restore and clear my mind of all the clutter. Also, that GOD will bless my marriage and help my husband to find inner peace.

Your devotion just reminds me to just keep the faith and continue to praise the most high GOD.
5/28/2008 10:21:45 AM - anonymous


Hi..I just want to give my encouragement to anonymously bothered..i see that you are such a good woman & God sees that too..God sees all your troubles..He sees your heart & everything..& He is so concern of you..God says "Is anything too hard for me? Nothing is too hard for me" I just want to tell you to Hold on unto this word that says: Nothing is too hard for God..Lift it up all to God,what is inside of your heart,speak to Him..He already listens to you but he wants you to go deeper & deeper with Him..Dont listen to the lies of the enemy that says that since you came from a dysfunctional family you are also dysfunctional..God can turn your troubles into good..Ask the Holy spirit to guide you & help you to see yourself under the Lordship of our Lord Jesus..God bless you..
6/4/2008 2:51:24 AM - anonymous


Hi...By reading these devotionals I think Im being told to give up to God my son and the worries and fears he is causing me. He has been self harming (cutting his arms and wrists) and drinks heavily for days at a time. I am also sure he has been using some sort of drugs. I am terrified that he is going to kill himself one day. I have spent lots of time in anguish, crying, scared etc because of this. Its like living in a permanant fear of what happens next and how it will all end. I have been praying so hard, and so have others and although he says he wants to change and stop drinking etc I dont think he has the strength of character. Hes 19 and easily led by others. However, not so easily led by the people who matter. I pray that I can let go of my fears and my son to God, and that God will work in Stephen's life to His glory. Zoe.
9/26/2008 3:17:56 AM - zoe1968, Member of Delve into Jesus since 9/13/2008


Hi Zoe. Trust God he will work everything out watch and see. Continue to pray for your son. Pray that God will speak to him and convict him. Prayer, Fasting & Faith set people free.

God is able.
12/10/2008 1:58:58 PM - anonymous


We all have trials on this earth. Things will not always go perfectly (although many people would like to display the "Father Knows Best" kind of family. As a private person, I suppose I would like to display that too (if it were so). Anyone who has had difficulties with a relationship (or experienced divorce) will know the pain that can occur because of it. The emptiness and loneliness experienced in the aftermath is hard to explain. It cannot be explained in actuality. For me, the experience has brought me to my knees and brought me to tears on many occasions. However, this an experience which has truly brought me even closer to God and has raised my spirituality. As a Christian, you may wonder "why" allows such things. You tell yourself that you are lovely on the inside and outside. You wonder "what" you could have done to deserve such. However, God has a plan. It could have been that He did not want His dear "Child of God" to suffer anymore (even if that suffering had not been realized by His "Child of God". God hears us and is with us. This devotional makes one ponder.
P.
3/18/2009 11:29:00 AM - anonymous




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