Today’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 1-2; Psalms 1; Proverbs 1; and Matthew 1
The invitation is extended to each one of us to Come follow after Christ. This requires our surrender to the will of God. The beginning of one’s recovery is established through a radical surrender unto God. It is defined by the first three steps of a twelve step program:
- Admitted our own powerlessness and how unmanageable our lives have become
- Came to believe a greater power than ourselves is capable of restoring us to sanity
- Made a decision to turn our lives over to a Sovereign and Loving God, as we may understand him
These three declarations brings us to the end of ourselves and allows us to become filled with God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. This is because our greatest need is to know we are loved, to feel assured – deep within our soul – that someone loves and cares for us, and has our best interest in mind.
God has designed us to have intimate fellowship and relationship with Him, and with others.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. … You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, ESV)
What may prevent us from seeking God, drawing near to Him is our own pride. This is the key reason individuals struggle with surrender in the early stages of recovery. We resist because we believe in our own illusion of self-control. That we, and not God, know better in how to manage our own lives. We keep him at a distance.
However, for others who have grown up in a dysfunctional home, believe they are incapable of loving and … truly allow a Higher Power to work in [their] life (Red Book, Adult Children of Alcoholics, p. 6.) Nor, are they capable of truly loving others, let alone themselves.
Another reason one may resist surrendering to God is because of fear. This is based on what one may believe God may or may not do in their lives. Maybe there were some past experiences leading one to believe God never truly was there when needed. However, the fear is based on a sense that one may believe that by giving control over to a Sovereign God, they may be directed to do something that will bring greater misery and suffering into their lives.
Finally, the additional fear is God’s judgment on their lives. That, because of their transgressions, and past mistakes, they are condemned and judged unworthy. A lie that the adversary plants into the hearts of those hesitant to move out of their own suffering.
The reality. The somber truth – God loves us and has our best interests in mind. He knows us better than we may know or understand ourselves. When we submit over – to completely and totally surrender to His sovereign and providential will – we find him merciful, kind, and forgiving.
We have a divine heritage
Someone may ask us who we are. Questions like these evoke a prescribed response in which we identify ourselves as individuals. Depending on the context of the question, the response will determine the type of identification one may reveal.
Our identity is important to us. It is how we define ourselves within the context of society. We are either proud of who we are, or are ashamed of what we are and have become. Either way, we allow our identity to define our reality.
Trust begins with understanding who we are in relationship to others. In our relationship with a sovereign God, we come to know the absolute reality of our own divine nature and heritage. We are created in the image and likeness of a Holy and Sovereign God.
When we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit steps in and sanctifies us as we become more like Christ.
Therefore, our trust is in the Sovereign God who created each one of us to bear His image, His own likeness – which is that very image and likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ (see, Colossians 1:15). In essence, our trust in God and Christ begins the process of transforming our fallen and natural image to that of a Holy and righteous image of God and the Savior.
Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact of our lives
~ Charles Stanley – Life Principles Daily Bible, NASB, 2011 ~
This gives us hope and a blessed desire to continually follow and worship God. To strive toward the will of God rather than the will of self. We surrender ourselves completely and wholly to the divine creator, because we have been created by a divine and Holy God.
Charles F. Stanley teaches,
“God created human beings with fellowship in mind – first with Himself, then with others. … we can’t fully love one another until we have ourselves experienced the love of God. We experience His love when we willingly surrender to His call to be our Savior, Lord, and Friend. ” (Charles Stanley – Life Principles Daily Bible, NASB, 2011, emphasis mine).
Let us reflect on who we are in Christ, and come to know the truth of who we are in the eyes and sight of God by meditating on the following truths:
1. God’s sovereign love toward us desires our fellowship and worship
The scriptures teach that the closer we draw and yield ourselves toward God and His will, the deeper our fellowship and relationship is with Him. We give all of ourselves to Him as he pours out all of His grace into our hearts and being to become conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus the Christ.
2. He desires for each of us to experience freedom through his Sovereign Grace
We are enticed by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, however, because God is sovereign, he has given us moral agency to choose for ourselves whether we are willing to submit to Him and partake of the divine grace he offers. A Sovereign God will not violate man’s sovereign moral agency. Yet, as we surrender and yield to God’s perfect will, we are liberated from the sins and pangs of death. We find hope, courage and strength through times of adversity.
3. He desires to use us to be a blessing to others through service
As we come to understand our true nature, through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we come to learn how we are able to be of service to others. We become His hands, hearts, mind, and blessings to others who might find themselves struggling.
- Have you drifted from your relationship with God? Pray sincerely for our Heavenly Father to draw you closer to Him, repent of any wrong doing and abandon any sin one may have committed.
- Be intent, committed and find the necessary motivation to seek God daily, cultivating a healthy and authentic relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.
- Seek after opportunities to serve God in all things and in all ways.
Heavenly Father, draw me near to me as I draw near to thee. Help me cleanse my heart and mind of all unrighteousness and strengthen me as I place my trust in you. I give myself permission to surrender to your sovereign will this day.