“Give God the right to direct your life and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!” (Psalm 37:5, TPT)
A few weeks ago during the musical worship session at church, one of the musicians sang “Surrender Your Story.” These three words pierced my heart as I considered their weightiness. I was born into this world strong-willed and determined and I’ve been trying to write my own story for decades. Though my belief in Christ has almost always existed, my full surrender has been a constant battle. Just when I think I’ve humbled myself and given Him my all, He pulls back another layer, revealing a nasty mess of twisted desire, selfish ambition, envy, and superficiality.
Can anyone out there relate? In a world of right-now information, overused technology, teachers and authors at our fingertips, everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame and pride can raise its ugly head and scream, “What about ME???” And the Son of God who emptied Himself and abandoned his God-ness to give Himself completely for mankind once again takes a back seat. Quite frankly, I’m tired of being the driver. The hamster wheel of life has worn me down and finally, yes, finally, I surrender.
What does it mean to surrender? When we say “yes” to Christ’s salvation, we must also say “yes” to His Lordship, which requires a far greater level of self-denial, faith, and trust. My friend, Hanna, recently posted this on her page:
Ever hear a song that resonates so deeply to your heart? Well… this morning, while I was cooking breakfast, Give Me Faith by Elevation, played on my Echo. It was beautiful. It was powerful. It was a God wink! If I could sum up my current season, in just ONE word, it would be SURRENDER. Surrendering my life to the Lord: my family, my finances, my plans… well just about everything. Doing my best to say YES to whatever He asks of me. Is it hard? OH YEAH. It’s actually not easy AT ALL. Has the Lord redirected MY plans? YES. Has He asked me to do things that make ZERO sense? YES. But you know what? The more I say YES the easier it becomes to surrender it all to Him. It’s all His anyways, right? Jenn Johnson quoted this recently and it is something I meditate on often, she said, “Let the cry of our hearts be yes, before He even asks.”
Hanna is a young married woman with two small children who has been gifted with wisdom beyond her years. If all of us, regardless of our age or stage in life could just lay down our desires, our will, our perfect plans for our lives and trust our Creator completely, how would we change personally and better yet, how would the lives of those around us be changed?
During worship in another service, I found myself rocking back and forth and had the picture of the Jewish people at the Wailing Wall. I heard the words, “Their entire body says ‘yes’.” I researched this rocking and the Yiddish term for it is “shuckling” which means “to shake.” Historians believe it initially began when Jews would read the Torah; the number of texts was limited so they would move around one another bending forward for a better view.
Many rabbis connect the shaking during prayer to Psalm 35:10 which says, “All my bones will cry out!” The Passion Translation reads like this, “Everything inside of me will shout it out: There’s just no one like you, Lord!” Others believe the motion was adopted to help the body connect better with the spirit for more focused prayer and meditation. Whatever the origin, I’ve found myself moving in this fashion on numerous occasions in both prayer and worship and for now, I see it as my visual “yes”—not just a nod of the head, but a nod of full body surrender—“yes, Lord.”
Yes, I will surrender—not just in the stirring I feel in worship and in prayer, but in the daily doing of life. Yes, Lord, Your to-do-list, not mine; Yes, Lord, Your thoughts, not mine; Yes, Lord, Your attitude, not mine; Yes, Lord, Your vision, not my limited perception; Yes, Lord, my life is not my own—I was bought with a price and I belong to you.
Oh, the challenge for the independent mind in a society that values individualism. If I write my story, it will be a shallow misrepresentation of all I was intended to be. If He writes my story, it will be exactly as He intended it to be, a life fashioned for His glory—not a minute wasted, a life engaged in the journey living for the eternal rather than the temporal, a story worth living, a story worth telling—my life, surrendered becomes His-story. The useless clay becomes priceless in the hands of the potter. I surrender.
Dear God, may we all surrender our story.
By Lisa Jenkins-Moore