“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:12-15, ESV)
Last week I wrote about my new year’s resolution: surrender. I wrote that we can use surrender as a tool—a looking glass of sorts—to view the situations and events of our lives for what we can learn and how we can grow our faith in Christ. When we learn to accept our experiences in this way, recognizing the sovereignty of God, we will learn to be content with the grace of God that has been and is being shown to us (Philippians 4:11).
In common usage, surrender is giving up or giving in. It is synonymous with quitting and failure. It’s a white flag on the battlefield. It’s hands in the air.
Surrender doesn’t mean becoming a door mat. It doesn’t involve a chip on the shoulder or a scowl on the face.
In fact, surrender is more like not shooting at the One who has come to rescue us. It’s choosing to trust that God has our best interests at heart. It’s believing that, regardless of how bad our circumstances might be, they are better than they would have been without the grace and mercy of His hand.
Don’t get me wrong, however, surrendering to God is not as easy as it may sound. Surrender is not a decision that we make once and then live in that surrender until we see Him face to face. Surrender is a decision that we make day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, and occasionally second-by-second.
This weekend in church we shared in communion. As I stood at the altar for a moment of prayer, I came to the above conclusion. I had resolved to surrender, but the Holy Spirit reminded me that I have surrendered only a small part. He reminded me that I’m not capable of full-surrender just yet. There are some truths that I am not mature enough in my faith to be able to grasp. But He also reminded me that He will help me get there. Jesus told us so!
There are many good things that we can resolve to do. And who doesn’t want to climb to the top of a great spiritual mountain? The higher we think we have climbed, the lower on the mountain we wind up.
Many years ago I was in a church production called “Oh Me! Oh My! Oh Nehemiah!” I’ve never forgotten the line to one of the songs: “You get tall when you fall on your knees.” When we assume the reverent posture of prayer, we are trusting that God will carry us up the mountain in His time.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Have a great week!
Image by Dina Dee from Pixabay