Earlier this week, we talked about the secret to surrender. The secret is simple; we must die to self if we are ever going to be all that Christ called each of us to be. What does dying to self mean? It means that an individual is determined to live life for Christ and not self. That means no longer doing what you want because you can (free-will), but doing what Christ wants because you choose to.
Surrender is so much easier said than done. If we are going to mature in Christ, then true surrender will have to happen. If you are in Christ, then your spirit wants to surrender. Your spirit is not the problem. It's your flesh and your soul that just keep getting in the way! Check out these three early warning signs to determine if your soul is struggling to surrender:
1. Flesh Makes the Final Decisions
Most people have battles with their flesh. That is not uncommon. It is what one does when the battle occurs that determines whether or not the individual is a soul struggling with surrender. If you give in every time an urge or craving pops up, then you are more than likely struggling to surrender some things to God. It could be one of the ones we all think of first: drinking, smoking, cussing, pre-marital sex or it could even be controlling your anger or overeating. I know it is tough, but God does not want our flesh calling the shots.
Ephesians 4:19-24 (NIV) reads having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Once we completely surrender and put on the new self we will not struggle as often because flesh will not be making the final decisions.
2. Lifestyle Contradicts Christ
Galatians 2:14 (NIV) states when I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. When people look at your life do they see a lifestyle that confirms or contradicts Christ? That can be an uncomfortable question, but a soul struggling to surrender will often want to maintain his/her old lifestyle. It may seem a little extreme, but we should not find ourselves living like the world. We each must do a personal inventory to see what our lifestyles are representing.
Let's stand with the Apostle Paul and say, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV) That is when the struggle with surrender ends.
3. Greater seems Glorious
He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30 NIV) Well, that one scripture pretty much sums it all up. We must become less. That is difficult for us because greater all seems like the way to go. We all want to be successful. We want to make it to the top. We want to feel like we have arrived. We want to be respected. But, in all of our quests, is He becoming greater or are we becoming greater? Greater can seem so glorious, but we have to be very careful. God is not sharing His glory. A soul struggling to surrender will have a very hard time becoming less because he/she wants to be greater. When we truly surrender it all to Him and become less (our dreams, goals, plans, aspirations), then He will be greater and will handle everything according to His Will.
If your soul is struggling to surrender to God today, do not feel defeated. These are early warning signs because there is still time for you and I to get it right. Just embrace your new mind, and new self and become less before Him. The more you work at complete surrender the more He will empower you to make it happen! Let Him heal your soul!
Share this post today with someone who is ready to surrender to God.
I want to hear from YOU!
Question: Why do you think it is so difficult for us to completely surrender to God? Is it truly possible?
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe my soul may be struggling to surrender to you. I repent and am ready to lay it all down for you. Teach me and lead me into all truth that I may glorify you in all things. In Jesus' Name, Amen.