What do you think when you hear the word surrender?
Does that word intimidate you or does it free you?
The definition of surrender is cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. I know throughout my walk with the Lord, surrender is something that has caused me much anxiety. Which is quite the opposite of how the Lord intends for me to feel about surrendering. Many of us are grateful for our saving faith in Jesus Christ and yet, at the same time, take it upon ourselves to carry burdens that are not meant for us. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”. This little and yet powerful verse should be our lifeline. Not just a verse we read when in need of a brief encouragement before we continue handling the difficulties and anxieties of life on our own. I have struggled with anxiety for quite some time and it often has control of my thoughts and the overall outcome of my day. Rarely do I truly surrender my anxieties over to the Lord. I may pray and tell Him that I am, but then moments later I begin thinking about them again. The definition of surrender that I previously mentioned says, cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. We know that Jesus is not our enemy or an opponent, but rather our LOVING SAVIOR. He longs to carry our loads and free our hearts from anxieties. So why must we fight Him and seek to figure out how to maneuver through a life plagued by anxiety on our own.
Has that ever truly gotten us anywhere?
I think we would deny it if asked, but deep within ourselves there is a desire to continue thinking through our anxieties.
Why else do we keep them for ourselves instead of casting them over to Jesus?
For myself over thinking eventually leads to more confusion. The line between truth and made up thoughts becomes unclear.
Do you recognize this in your own life?
Do you allow yourself to ponder on what ifs?
Once we truly surrender our anxieties over to the Lord there is peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. His peace surpasses ALL understanding.
Do you ever have anxiety about a sin you’ve committed because you haven’t given it over to the Lord and asked Him for forgiveness?
It could be a recent sin or one from your past. Instead you have attempted to justify it so that you feel better. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Instead of trying to justifying it, ask the Lord to forgive you. At times the enemy brings our sins into remembrance and we have two options. We immediately surrender the thought of them over to the Lord. Or we allow ourselves to think on them and become weighed down by regret. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Condemnation is a horrible feeling that we often allow into our lives, but it doesn’t belong there. There is GRACE and FORGIVENESS in Jesus. Anxiety profits nothing. It only causes us a lack of peace and joy. I have learned, although I often fail at it, that the moment a thought that seeks to bring you anxiety comes into your mind you MUST choose to surrender it to the Lord. If you don’t know what that looks like then ask the Lord to show you. If the Lord desires for us to cast our burdens on Him then we know it is for our benefit.
May you be encouraged by this today,