The great struggle we have in the Christian faith is that we think it is a great struggle. It is not a great struggle, it is a great surrender. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
When I first came to faith, I was filled with the hope of my newfound life with Christ. I was eager to jump in and learn everything I could about this Christianity that filled my life with hope. Later, I started serving and I could not do enough. I was determined to excel in all that I did for the Lord.
After many years of learning and serving, I finally figured out that I was on the wrong path. It looked good to people, but it was not pleasing to the Lord. The problem was that I was learning and serving to be more in myself, held tightly by the opinions of man.
Until we fully surrender to God, we are held captive by our own pride and the ever-changing approval of others. God did not want me to be more by man’s standards, but to be less before others, that He could be more within me.
Christians are always more willing to serve than to surrender, and that is why so little gets done. “If anyone ministers [serves] let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 4:11).
Never measure your faith by what you do, but only if you are surrendered to the Lord. “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT).
Stop stacking up new doctrines and clever programs, and just surrender all that He would change you. If ever you think worldly methods work, just look at the world. You need God, not a gimmick.
The ability of God to use you has more to do with your surrendering than His conquering. “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
In my zeal to walk in a higher faith, I was prevented from walking higher. In my desire to be seen with gifts, there were no gifts that the Lord would give me. We are so blessed that God can see right through us and then create the circumstances through which He can then begin to change us.
In the world, everyone is trying to keep things together. In the kingdom, the Lord is shaking things up. When He gets a hold of you and shows you what you have not yet surrendered, thank Him for the lesson and realize in the end you will be most blessed when once you have surrendered all to Him.
People think it takes a strong will to walk the higher life. They are wrong. A strong will is the greatest obstacle. It takes a surrendered will to step into His will. The Lord Jesus modeled this when He prayed to the Father, “…not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
The Lord Jesus reigns over those areas of your life in which you have surrendered to Him. The greater your surrendering, the greater the Lord reigns in you. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20).
The struggle we are in often reveals what we have yet to surrender. Jesus taught us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I have been most blessed in my failures as it is there the Lord has been able to teach me the most. I would rather be a nobody in the courts of heaven than somebody who the Lord does not approve of. I am quite certain that even in my mistakes the Lord has used me and the same is true for you. Never regret your mistakes, but only learn from them. To serve the Lord better, you need only surrender to Him more.
Growing spiritually has to do with yielding ground not gaining ground. It is not gaining power, but relinquishing power, relinquishing your right to you. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’” (Matthew 16:24).
Jesus is not calling you to a bigger life, but a higher life. Your calling is to be more, not to do more. If you want to be more, you must become less before He can be more in you. Stop getting in His way. “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Man measures you by what you have. God measures you by what you surrender.
The evidence of a life that has surrendered all is a life that has nothing left to lose. Be the Joshua in this generation that can say, “Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God” (Joshua 14:8).
Blessings to you,
All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Please use the version you prefer to review the verses shown here. The best version is the one you read. An even better version is the one you live.