Stop and Surrender

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I recently heard a story that I find thought-provoking. Two friends, Jack and Tom, go to a lake, all ready to enjoy a good swim. Jack cannot wait for Tom to be ready, and jumps into the lake first. He is freely swimming when suddenly he finds himself caught in a whirlpool. He begins to struggle very hard to beat the current. At this point, Tom watches him from the bank, standing still.

Shouts of help begin to arise from Jack, who is now fighting even harder than before to stay afloat. Tom continues to stand on the bank, doing nothing except watching Jack. Jack continues to scream for help with all his might while at the same time kicking and moving his hands to stop himself from going down with the whirlpool. Tom is still not moving an inch but only watching. After a while, Jack finally loses his strength. The movement in his legs and hands begins to grow more and more feeble, until he looks like he no longer has another ounce of strength to fight the whirlpool and is about to sink.

At this point, Tom quickly jumps into the lake and swims furiously to rescue his friend’s dear life. All this time, Tom knows exactly what he is doing. He is not being hesitant or fearful about saving his friend. He knows that if he jumps into the water while Jack still has strength to struggle, Jack will only be pulling both of them down together. This is why Tom waits till all of Jack’s strength to be dissipated before going to his rescue. Because at this point, Jack will have no choice but to simply cling on to Tom and follow his leading.

Sometimes, we may feel like how Jack feels – utterly helpless in a whirlpool that is threatening to pull us down, down, down. No matter how we fight with our strength and strategies, the current around us is just so strongly against us. We are calling out to God for help but our arms and legs continue to move in the way we think can deliver us. And we begin to wonder if God is ever going to care about us or not.

Today, I think God wants us to be reminded of a truth and promise from Him –

Matthew 10:39 NKJV

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

This sounds like a paradoxical statement. It is telling us that we are going to find life as a result of losing it; we are going to find victory when we surrender. But, surrender always means we are losing to the opposition and therefore have to give up our freedom over to them, doesn’t it?

But, to truly live out our Kingdom-based life as purposed by Jesus, in every battle and whirlpool that we are facing, there really is only one strategy for victory. And that is – Stop and Surrender.

When we wallow in worry over the doctor’s report, feel helpless in our relational struggles or are exhausted with meeting endless demands at work and in family, we need to stop and surrender. Stop trying to fix all things by ourselves. Stop thinking that situations are beyond fixing. And surrender ourselves completely to God, acknowledging that He is our Sovereign God Who is mighty to save.

Surrender positions our heart to receive the direction and leading of the Lord. Surrender empowers us to be the person God wants us to be and to do what He plans for us to do. When we humble ourselves before God and surrender, we position ourselves to receive all the abundance of help, power, guidance and strength we need. While surrender in the world results in defeat, surrender to God brings ultimate victory.

Very often, when we continue with life by our own strength and effort, we direct God instead of surrendering ourselves to be directed by God. We want to show God our way instead of following the way He shows and leads us.

Are there areas where we have been allowing pride, fear or selfish ambition to keep us from fully surrendering to God?

Stop and surrender those areas over to God. Lay your life down at the feet of our good and loving Savior that you may experience the fullness of His love, grace and power. Confidently surrender to God those things that you have been withholding from Him, and experience how He is going to work mighty miracles and beautiful blessings in your life and through your life, that many others are also blessed.

Let us pray.

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You raise up all who are bowed down before You. I confess there are times where I get ahead of Your leading and direction and rely on my own strength to do things my own way. Forgive me, O Lord, for giving in to my pride and anxiety instead of completely surrendering myself to You. I choose this day to lay every area of my life down at Your feet, acknowledging that You are my Good and Faithful Father Who will direct my path and lead me to Your fullness. Use my surrendered life for the glory of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

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