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Pointers along the way #427

Joyful surrender
- Jacob Ninan

There is a big difference between being commanded to do something and wanting to do it ourselves, isn't there? When it comes to surrendering our lives to God why is there some hesitancy on our part? God tells us to make ourselves 'living sacrifices' before Him--implying a surrender of our wills to Him while we are still alive (Ro.12:1). We are told that if we would commit ourselves to Him He would direct our paths (Pr.16:3). But in spite of all this and more, why do we hesitate to take a definite step of handing over the control of our lives to Him?

It is a matter of trust. We trust in the ability of a bus driver or an airline pilot to take us safely to our destination, but we hesitate to trust our entire life into the hands of our God. One reason may be that the devil has deceived us into thinking that if we gave our lives over to God He might take away all the fun and make us miserable. Perhaps we have trusted Him in the past and been disappointed by not getting an answer to our prayers or by experiencing some calamity instead of the protection we expected. Maybe we can't make sense of some of the things that have happened around us.

Our trust in God has to be separated from what we expect Him to do for us. Job trusted even if he was going to be killed. Abraham trusted in God even when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were prepared to die in the furnace rather than give up their trust in God. They believed in God as a Person--in His nature and character--and considered Him trustworthy, and were willing to surrender their lives and everything they had into His hands. God is extremely delighted when He comes across a human being who would trust Him like that (Ge.22:12).

When we trust God we are willing to let Him choose what He considers best for us. By this we acknowledge His everlasting love towards us (Je.31:3), the wisdom He employs in planning the best for us (Ps.104:24), and His sovereign power in being able to do whatever He wants (Ps.115:3). We recognise that we can't ever make a better plan than He does, and that even though we cannot understand everything that He orders for us we can still trust Him to carry out the best for us (Je.29:11). Bad things can happen to us, once God determines that they are not beyond our ability (along with His grace) to handle them (1Co.10:13), and then He will turn them around to do something good for us (Ro.8:28:Ge.50:20). Even if we don't see things level out in this life, we can be sure that God will cause them to work out eternal riches for us (2Co.4:17).

When we know God like this, our surrender to Him will be joyful, and not with hesitancy or fear. We will be glad to do that, and it won't be under the compulsion of a commandment. Once we actually hand over out lives to Him we will find that He not only causes all things to work for our good, but He also will become a close and dear Friend to us, just as He did to many others in history.


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