“Going mad on my way to sanity“, was Augustine’s description of his process of surrender. Oswald Chambers likened it to, “Going through the hell of a renunciation before God”. Although these statements don’t seem very reassuring, they were to me. Knowing how these devout men struggled to give God control of their lives helped me overcome the deadly barrage of lies ricocheting through my mind.
These lies ranged from the notion that forgoing what most people live for, in favor of pursuing God, is a huge sacrifice (when, in fact, it’s “all rubbish in comparison to gaining Christ” [Philippians 3:8]), to the sickening despair of an all-time low of hopelessness: dreading that I was incorrigible and might as well just give up and, literally, go to hell. Thankfully the malevolence and absurdity of this suggestion quickly revealed it’s evil source.
Shortly after this climactic face-off, a significant part of the the war against selfish independence was won. Ironically, the victory came through surrender: as I unclenched my fists, and chose to believe that God’s plans for me truly are infinitely superior to mine. Although this was previously obvious, I had to cling to this, and other basic truths, as the rawness of being stripped of my humanistic spin on Christianity left me questioning everything.
As I stopped panicking and flailing about, the miry waters calmed and cleared, and I marveled… as what I’m getting out of the exchange of my life for God’s seems incredibly too good to be true. Not to mention that the ideas and comforts I had been desperately hanging on to pale pathetically in comparison. God really does want to give us the desires of our heart, our deepest desires that are rooted in relationship with Him, through which we become our true selves.
“The Holy Spirit is the secret of the power in my life. All I have to do is surrender my life to Him.” ~Kathryn Kuhlman
*for a poignant and uninhibited account of a devout man’s struggle to surrender all to God, and the awe-inspiring results, check out Rees Howells, Intercessor by Norman Grubb.