Surrender to be Free and Useful

Total surrender to God means freedom and usefulness. Too many Christians fear completely surrendering their life over to God and trusting Him with it. They often think, “what if God wants me to [fill in the blank]. And so they are afraid to surrender their all. Yes, He may lead you down a difficult road, but don’t you realize it is for your best? He sees your beginning and end and is sovereign over all. So, why would you trust anyone or anything else?

So, why is it so important to totally surrender to live a life of freedom and to be useful to God? Why can’t you surrender all, except a couple of things you want to hold onto? That’s because there is no middle ground with the Lord. He spits the lukewarm out of His mouth. If you want to go in with God, you have to go all in. You can’t hold anything back. Don’t try and just sacrifice your left toe into the waters, but dive in head first. Offer your entire body to God as a living sacrifice for Him to do as He pleases with you.

When you seriously commit to surrender to the Lord, the Lord often takes you into the deep waters of affliction. There you are painfully stripped of your self reliance and crutches and you are forced to acknowledge you are helpless and you finally surrender. Then you will find yourself sitting in pitch darkness struggling for air with nothing but Jesus. It’s just you and Him. And this is where you must answer this question: is Jesus alone really enough for me? In the dark waters of hopelessness, that is where Jesus extends His hands to you. You grab a hold of His hands by choosing to trust in His promises as written in the Bible. And it is by your faith in His Word alone you are lifted up out of the waters and brought onto dry land.

Through this time of refinement, you have learned to deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow Him. You have learned to find freedom through surrender. And now you have been made usable by the Lord by being emptied of yourself, so that He may live His life in and through you.

You have one life to live. Use it well.

Only Two Options On How to Live

Option 1) Depend on God. Option 2) Don’t depend on God.

Non-believers have no choice but to live by option 2. Once one is born again, option 1 becomes available, but it is not automatic. When a believer is able to and chooses to depend on God in all things as a way of life (option 1), that is referred to as the Christ Life, The Abundant Life, and The Exchanged Life to name a few references. This is the way to true peace, fruitfulness, joy, and all the fruit of the Spirit for our time in the mortal body. But, no one can achieve option 1 on their own, God must lead them into the darkness to find the abundant life. To the best of my knowledge, the way to option 1 is to ask God for it, and really mean it. If the Holy Spirit answers yes to your prayer, He will break you, lead you to total surrender, will teach you to trust in Him, and then finally teach you to rest in Him. This journey will be extremely difficult and I don’t know what kind of hardship it will be or how long it will last, but as long as you don’t give up you will eventually come out of the fire having learned to depend on the life of Christ in you.

If you are tired of your life, done with it, cannot handle it, or even hate it, I say you are blessed since it will be easier for you to forfeit your life as opposed to someone who is comfortable. First count the cost in losing your life and be determined to go all the way with Jesus, then ask God to exchange your life for His. I promise, it is worth it.

Finding Satisfaction

Is not the great I Am sovereign? Did He not prove to you His majesty, glory, sovereignty, and power by creating the universe and everything in it? Did He not prove His love to you by laying His life down for you even on a cross? Did He not purpose you to enjoy Him, be completely satisfied in Him, and fellowship with Him for all eternity? Yet we look at everything but Him for our satisfaction and happiness. We worry. We want to be in charge, and do not want to be told what to do.

If you are honest with yourself, you realize the things of this world cannot satisfy. You look for happiness in things, status, or other people, but you are ALWAYS let down. It’s like chasing a mirage. So you keep moving onto the next mirage that promises happiness and satisfaction, and the tiring cycle repeats.

When you are in charge, it is your responsibility to fix all issues in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Yet, your power to fix is inadequate. If someone comes and steals your belongings/money you worked so hard for, what can you do? If yours or a loved ones health deteriorates and doctors cannot help, what can you do? Since you are in charge, you must fix it! You want to fix it so bad, but you simply cannot. So you have internal temper tantrums which ushers in horrid monsters like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. This is reality with you being in charge. Is there another way? Yes, but only one.

Before Adam ate that forbidden fruit, our Creator had a plan for us. While the Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the formless earth at the beginning, He knew us. His sovereignty not only controls the galaxies across the universe, the timing of the tides in the oceans, and when the mountain lion gives birth, but He is sovereign over the smallest details of your life as well; and here is a glimpse of the power of His sovereignty: He uses it ALL for your good. If you would let go of the control you thought you had and hand over your life without restrictions over to the Lord, He then becomes in charge of you. Now, if someone robs you, you lose your health, or whatever, it’s not your problem to fix. God is in charge and He is able and willing! He promised He has plans to give you hope and a future, that His grace would sustain you at all times, that He is using all things for your good, that He would uphold you with His righteous hand, that He would help you and strengthen you, and many more irreversible promises.

So, to make it simple, look no further for that elusive true satisfaction and happiness, but live a life surrendered to Jesus. Trust in Him and wear His promises at all times. Then there will be nothing left to do but fellowship, enjoy, and rest in the Him; the way to true, lasting satisfaction and happiness… the way we were designed to exist.

From Despair to a Living Hope

In June of 2017, I was plunged into agonizing suffering involving insomnia, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. In the span of three months, I did everything I could to get better. I read a self-help psychology book, I prayed to God for help, read a lot of the Bible, researched like crazy on the internet for help, was prescribed 6 different drugs, and was even admitted into a mental hospital for suicidal patients for 2 weeks. All the help the world had to offer mysteriously had the opposite effect on me; instead of getting better, I grew worse. Towards the end of the third month, I lost 15 pounds and felt hopeless. My depression was so thick and dark that I felt as though I was a dead body walking around. My mind was constantly tortured with overwhelming fears, which increased my anxiety and panic attacks producing chest pains bringing me to my knees in tears throughout the day. Seeing no way out, I reviewed my life insurance plan and thought to end myself, but I was scared before God and my heart broke whenever I thought about leaving my family without a dad and husband. Then at the end of three months, not knowing what to do, I simply gave up and stopped trying. God brought me to the absolute end of myself. By the grace of God, the next day my depression lifted. But the fearful thoughts, panic attacks, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts still remained.

Then, it was at this time the Lord used my dad to give me a book called, The Handbook to Happiness, by Dr. Charles Solomon. This book miraculously explained what I was going through, and what God was doing in me. A light switch turned on. I received counseling from my Dr. John Woodward from the author’s ministry called, Grace Fellowship International. Along with his and my dad’s help, I started to read and listen to many other resources and they all pointed to the same solution: To die to myself and let Christ live His life through me. God showed me through Galatians 2:20, Romans 6-8, and other verses that I died with Jesus 2,000 years ago and that it was no longer I who lived, but Christ who lives in me. But the problem was, my flesh, or the self-life, was battling the Spirit of Christ dwelling in me for control over my mind and body. The only way to hand over control to Jesus was to deny my flesh, and I realized only God could do this for me.

Through the intense suffering, Jesus slowly and graciously brought me to a point of complete surrender to Him. God enabled me to give up all my rights, to be healthy, respected, comfortable, loved, appreciated, receive good things, have a family, and have friends. I gave up all my hopes, dreams, career aspirations, goals, what I thought was best to serve God, my right to take my own life, and everything else. Then, the Holy Spirit led me to act on Romans 12:1 and offer myself as a living sacrifice to God to do with me whatever He pleased, not caring whether I lived or died. Then, I made up my mind to stop trying and understand, but instead fully trust God with everything. It was here I was challenged to whether I truly believed in the promises in the Bible or not. I knew if they were not true, I would surely die. Over the months, I wrote down many promises in the Bible that pertained to me and I meditated on a couple of them at a time all day. The three most powerful truths I hold onto are: His grace is enough for me at all times from 2 Corinthians 12:9, He uses all things for my good from Romans 8:28, and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me from Galatians 2:20. I took the promises by faith, hung my life on them, and jumped into the abyss expecting God to catch me.

After this revelation, I was still in agony, but now I had hope in God. As I desperately hung onto His promises each day, God started to slowly restore my mind and soul. The first month was very painful, but He started to breathe life into me. He started to increase my faith and gave me more hope through His promises. When I rebuked the suicidal thoughts in the name of Jesus Christ, those thoughts immediately ceased to my amazement. So, it was there I realized those suicidal thoughts were not from me, but were from the devil. I was then able to rebuke the fearful thoughts away in Jesus name. That was a crucial discovery. Over the next 3 to 4 months, God miraculously restored me. He stopped the anxiety and panic attacks, restored my sleep, freed me from all medications, and gave me peace of mind. He lovingly blessed me through this suffering. I now know and believe Jesus died on the cross not only to save me from hell, but He also came to rescue me from hell on earth by being my life. I no longer dare trust myself again, but now strive to live by faith in Jesus alone. This is the “abundant life” Jesus spoke of in John 10:10 and Jesus’ command to deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow Him in Matthew 16:24. Dying to self and letting Christ live through us is something that must be done daily until we are done with this life. This truth is not just for me, but for every child of God. If you are over-burdened right now and face a seemingly impossible situation, I tell you the truth, that burden was never meant for you to carry but for Jesus alone. So I urge you to unload your burdens onto Jesus, and take His promises in the Bible by faith. Your life is not your own for He purchased you with His blood. Your life now belongs to Jesus and He expects to live His life through you for His glory and your complete satisfaction.

You Died, So Why Worry?

You don’t need to worry. Galatians 2:20 says you died. So… you died. Dead people don’t worry. Not about their bodies, circumstances, problems, future, nothing… it’s no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you.

You may ask: How can I make this a reality for me? If you are a child of God, it already is. It doesn’t become true because you believe, you believe because it’s true. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s fact: you died, and now Christ is your life. God said so.