Over the past year we have been put in many situations where it seems like the comfortable control of our lives is stripped away from us: living in shared spaces while support raising, support raising in general, living in a home stay in our new country, surrendering time required to language class, living life on the schedule of a different culture, among others. Through this process I have learned a lot, such as how amazing God’s sovereignty is in placing us where he wants us to be, finding more peace in His presence, and growing in my faith in His goodness. But recently The Spirit has been pressing this idea of surrendering control to a new level in my heart.
First, as our team was working through a listening prayer exercise using Psalm 19, I felt the Lord leading me to focus on verse 7--specifically that the Lord revives our soul. From there I continued to think of verses related to Renewal, Restoration, Revival, and Satisfaction such as Romans 12:12, Psalm 51, psalm 85, and Psalm 107. Then I started to think about Paul’s words in Acts 20:24—”But I do not account my life of any value, nor as precious to myself”--and in 1 Corinthians 6:19—”...you are not your own…”-- and Jesus’ words in Luke 12 about the rich fool and the faithful servants. I felt convicted that I had only been surrendering control in my life in the areas it had already been taken away from me, while in other areas of my life I still valued things that I considered my own. This selfishness was blocking my heart from being Renewed, Restored, and Revived in the Lord. I am not my own, nothing in this world is mine, all things are a gift from God, and He loves me and desires to give me good gifts for my Joy in Him! If that is true, that control is of no value to me. Realizing this and confessing was truly freeing and led to Refreshment in my heat.
A week following that we had some friends visit who worked in our country for many years, and are long time friends of my wife’s family. As we were sharing with them about our lives here, one of them shared with us illustration, borrowing some imagery from the ending of The Lord of the Rings-The Return of the King. Me and my wife were standing at the edge of flowing lava, but we are not scared at all because Jesus is right there with us. In one sense, the lava represents spiritual warfare. As we stand there with Jesus we cast Control into the fire, completely giving up something we have been holding with us. He said included in Control is the desire to know the outcomes of our work. As we fully surrender Control to Him, He gives us something much more precious--the true Sword which is the Word of God, “Let there be light”.
I am still learning what it means to fully surrender the idea of Control over to my True Master. But as He patiently grows me in this, I am experiencing more joy, freedom, and renewal while seeing more of Him working and being faithful.
Praying we all would learn to surrender control.
Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash