Are You Surrendering to Love?
In the Christian walk, trusting and surrendering to God is one of the hardest things we can do and yet it is the most rewarding. We look closer at this devotional from YouVersion to understand surrendering to God a bit better.
All of us long to control our lives. And control is not a bad thing in itself. We should take control over abusive, coercive, and harmful things. But when we become obsessed with managing our existence to the point that we stop trusting God or depending on him, we enter the dangerous territory of seeking to become God ourselves.
Although many people in our culture view religion as an attempt to control us, religion is more often our attempt to control God. We fall into the trap of thinking that if we are good enough, or follow religious rules or formulas carefully enough, we can coerce the Almighty into doing our will. To many of us, the world is a terrifying place. What could be better than having God on our side and getting him to do what we want?
Seeking to control God cuts at the heart of our faith. Christianity is not a plan of protection against the brokenness of the world but a relationship with Christ in the midst of it. When we confuse those two, we end up using God as a kind of genie rather than enjoying an intimate relationship with him.
Our attempts to control our lives also distort the way we see other people. If a controlling spirit possesses us, we will not love others. We will see them only for the value they have in enhancing our own lives. They will appear to us as pawns to be used for our personal fulfillment. This drastic misperception shifts our relationships with others from a foundation of love to one of fear.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola said that sin is an unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness. Until we are convinced of this, we will seek to control our own lives. But knowing that God sees all the moments and concerns of our lives, is committed to working all things together for our good, and cares about us deeply, gives us the confidence to let go. When we trust God, we are not surrendering to chaotic forces or blind chance. We are surrendering to love. And that act of surrender allows us to be caught in an embrace that will never let us go.
In what areas of your life are you trying to control God? What would it look like to surrender to God’s love today instead?
We love this song by Hillsong about Surrendering to God.