Such a tough subject, and yet one that is non-negotiable in the Kingdom. Don’t kid yourself. Surrender is a requirement, but it’s fruit is amazing! In the last year and a half, I’ve had to do more surrendering than ever, and I’ve never been doing better as a result.
For the most part, surrender is your choice although circumstances in life can prod you. Awhile ago I was diagnosed with MS and the symptoms that accompanied could have been devastating. To name a few, I lost most of the vision in my left eye for awhile, numbness in different parts of my body, and a while back lost most of the use of my left arm(for those who don’t know I’M LEFT HANDED). The temptation was a constant to get slammed since in some ways it felt like I was loosing my life. I was tempted to believe I wouldn’t be able to do things with my kids and wife, and everything I love could be taken away(enemy garbage). The result however was a drawing near to the Lord in intimacy I didn’t know was possible.
One of the things that saved my life was something I had heard Bill Johnson say… my paraphrase… we have to stay thankful for what we have and what God promised, and not focus on what God hasn’t done yet. I began thanking God for my right hand when my left wouldn’t work, that I could walk, eat, hear, etc. Then came… surrender.
The Lord brought to mind all kinds of things I hadn’t fully surrendered, and the one I want to touch on is family. I knew when I had heard stories of missionaries surrendering their kids to the Lord even unto death, I was not there, and I didn’t see how I could. Through time and many tears with the Lord I surrendered my whole family to Him. Whether it was thoughts of them making wrong choices, doing things that would hurt me, or even death, I surrendered. I handed them and their choices over to Him. Luke 14:25-27 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”(ESV) The word “hate” can be looked at as an intense choice. Obviously, we are called to love our families, but this is more about not putting them before the Lord in ANY way.
The result has been an intimate connection with The Lord I wouldn’t trade for anything! I can say with all my heart that what I’ve been through physically has been worth it for the intimacy I’ve gained with Him. FYI I don’t believe you have to go through difficulty to get it. I also do not believe He gave me MS to teach me, He’s not a dysfunctional Father. He has used it however, and I’ll literally be eternally grateful! Don’t wait to begin surrendering, do it now. Don’t try to keep getting the promises of The Kingdom without the path. You can’t get from A to C without B. You’ll find your life if you’ll have the courage to lose it!