In our Christian walk, we often have moments where we can so clearly see what we think God is working in others. My question today is, how often do you stop examining others’ lives and look at your own? How often do you take the time to sit quietly at the feet of the One who saved you and makes intercession for you and ask Him, “what do you want to work out in ME”?
Philippians 2:12-13 say “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” God Himself is at work IN YOU. Not your neighbor. How often do we miss the blessing of the will and work He is trying to accomplish in our own lives because we are so busy looking at others lives? And I’m not even speaking of judgmental folk. I’m speaking of the times we look at others and are quite possibly deeply concerned for them or truly trying to help them figure out what God is trying to do in them. All the while, God is lovingly trying to do something in our lives. Does anyone do this other than me?
Here’s what I believe to be the issue. It’s much easier to focus on someone else’s life than it is my own. Mine is too ugly. Too broken. Too frightening. Too real. And much, much too close to home. Focusing on what God is working in my life requires that I give up the strands of control that I am so desperately trying to clutch in my fisted hands.
But, change never truly comes to our hearts until we give up that control. You see, if I continue to maintain control of even a portion of an area of my life, I have refused to allow God to be Lord of that area. It has become an idol. And God cannot fully use me for His ministry until I am totally surrendered to Him. Not partially surrendered. Totally. An important three-letter word must be part of my surrender. I must surrender ALL. The word ‘all’ leaves nothing behind.
Is this type of surrender easy? Absolutely not. Because it’s not easy, it’s also not very common among believers. I guarantee if you find a miserable believer that looks like they’ve been baptized face-first in pickle juice, you will find at the root of their misery something they have yet to surrender. I know, because I have been this person. And at times, I still am.
Yet, through the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I can be victorious over these areas of partial surrender. Partial surrender isn’t really surrender. It’s just control masked as obedience. Surrender means all. Not portions. I want to walk in victory. Don’t you?