Psalm 25:1 (NLT)
O Lord, I give my life to you.
Control and surrender are on opposite ends of the see-saw for the children of God. On one side and in one part of us, we want to set our agendas, push our plans and wills through, dominate what goes on in our lives, and command ourselves. On the other side of us, the believing side, we want to give everything about us to the only Person who is really concerned about it. We want him to regulate and dominate and to do that we have to surrender.
Many of us are okay with the idea of surrender, but we really embrace the idea of control. And God wants it to be the other way around. When we really think about it, we do not control our lives as much as we would like. Just think: the early morning stuck-in-traffic frustration, the child who spills breakfast all over his Sunday morning clothes, the arguments, the unkind words, the misunderstandings, the hurt feelings. We simply don’t control things a much as we want.
And that is the way God wants it to be. He wants radical obedience from his children. This means that we go where he tells us to go, say what he tells us to say, do what he tells us to do, whether we understand it or not, whether we like it or not, whether we think it’s good, bad, unfair, or crazy. When God gets us to that point where we give our lives over to him completely and we depend on him for what we need, then he knows that he can trust us with his blessings.
All throughout the bible, you will see two things. The first is that you cannot be God’s child and disobey his commands without just consequences. The second is that if you are God’s child, you will be challenged to conform to his image. Read the story of Abraham or Joseph and see what the results of their obedience were. Read the extensive story of the children of Israel and see how many times God had to punish them for their disobedience. Ask God to give you the grace to relinquish control to him. The good future of our lives depends on how much we obey, trust, and follow God.
“One of the most arduous spiritual tasks is that of giving up control and allowing the spirit of God to lead our lives.”
— Henri Nouwen