The word “surrender” is close to my heart; and I’ll try to put in words what God has been teaching me about this. A few years ago, I went through a very difficult time, and God felt very far away. I did not have peace or rest and did not even know if I was God’s child. One Sunday morning I heard, “If you don’t have peace, you aren’t surrendered to God.” That evening the same thought was brought in the sermon. I knew this was my answer. I started praying God would show me how to surrender. I did not even know how or what things I was not surrendered in.
God spoke to me about a lot of things. One was how I expected Him to bless me and give me good things in life in return for being a Christian. That is not really how He works. So many Bible characters had difficult, even terrible, circumstances, but they trusted God. Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Joseph said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” So I knew I could not lose faith in God because of circumstances.
Still I longed for that security and peace God promises His children. Then another truth came home to me. If I obeyed God, if I submitted, and took His way, I would be secure. Nothing was too hard to give up or change because I needed God so desperately. I threw away books, clothes, and some home decor. I just did not want anything displeasing to God. But it was not just things God wanted me to get rid of.
I took a close look at my goals, motives, and attitudes. I realized I needed more of Christ and less of me. Another thing that was so impressive to me is that I cannot change myself, but I can bring it to Jesus. Suddenly, I notice He has taken care of my problem, and all I did was pray about it. Yes, I had to give up things, deny myself, and submit to God; but He has given me so much more! “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10). This verse made me think how I had been hanging onto filthy rags when He had a robe of righteousness for me. Isaiah 61:3 talks of “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
I feel only thankfulness that God loved me enough to chasten me. I wish I could tell everyone what wonderful gifts God would like to give you if you surrender to Him.
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 113, No. 5, March 4, 2015