Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. – James 4:7-9
Whoever tells you that surrendering is easy is feeding you a bunch of lies. I would know, I used to be one of them. I’d be like ‘hey, just let it go and give it to the Lord – surrender… let go of your will and submit to His! It’s the only way to go!’ – Yes, I fully believe that, but now I know how difficult it truly is sometimes to really let go.
The Lord showed me a part of my life He wanted me to surrender. Let the battle of wills begin! I had no idea I would battle this as deeply as I have. I would say ‘Jesus is my everything!’ and wanted to give Him all of me, all of my heart, all of my will. I have been open and ready to lay down my will, I wanted His. Yeah, but if anyone informs you that it’s some easy 12-step program to surrender and all you have to do is follow these steps, say this prayer, and them BAM – you now desire His will over yours and you’ve given everything up… wrong. I’m finding it isn’t that simple.
It’s actually quite funny how the verse above has been bombarding my life lately. I have heard it in a particular song quite a few times this week, I then happened upon it again when I read the entire book of James one morning shortly after hearing it in the song (which gave no reference by the way), then I shared part of it in a conversation with a friend, and now I happened upon it yet again when I was trying to make sense of ‘God’s will’ and surrendering to Him. After pouring everything out to God on the floor around midnight last night, bawling myself to sleep and getting very little rest, I still awoke in anguish and wanted to seek out what God says about surrender and letting go of my will. I’m understanding that this wasn’t such an easy process after all… and I told Him that a lot last night too. I did grieve, mourn, and wail multiple times this week… denying self, surrendering will, letting go… it was painful this time. I had to lose control and let God be in control… it was pretty messy on my end, I won’t pretend.
Still, God is patient with me… He knows my deepest desire is for Him and He keeps coaxing me to surrender. My battle of holding onto my will will not last because He knows how to navigate my heart and soul. Submitting to God is the only way I can go, and as I keep coming nearer and nearer to Him – my will is only going to become less and less important. You know, Jesus even got to the point of anguish in surrendering…
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42
Yet He still submit to God… He was about to face the most terrifying thing for a human and then some. He was about to take on all the sins of the world, every single shame and disgust was about to be on Him, plus He would be facing death in the most tortured capacity – bitter pain and anguish all the way.
Still, I can’t seem to submit to God and surrender my puny will and say those terrifying words… ‘yet not my will, but yours be done, Lord’. He knows this of me, I told Him yesterday. I asked Him to help me, because I realized for the first time that this time letting go wasn’t easy. But I knew also that I had to get out of the way. Painful truth yet my spirit soars. It is so difficult…