Jun
23

Giving Up and Giving In; The Pathway to Receiving His Grace

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surrenderMy journey is a journey to know God, others, and myself.

I’ve been quite committed to the upward journey of knowing God for most of the past 30 years, and yet in the last two years, I have found that He is not only committed to me in my journey to know Him, but He is committed to my journey to know others and myself.
The more I have learned about myself, the more I have found my commitment to being in control of my life, which may sound like all that and a bag of chips for after all, shouldn’t we be in control of our own stuff, but the truth I have found in my journey is that I am not really in control at all.
I am, in fact, powerless. 
Yes, I can do all things through Christ but somehow the last part of that verse often eludes me…Who gives me strength…
And this is where I get screwed up. The tension is between my being able to do all things and my total dependence on Christ to give me the strength.
How do we live in this place?  I believe it is the place of true discipleship. True dependence upon Him.
Somewhere along the way, we often either become prideful and dependent upon our own selves or we come to believe we are complete failures, which is yet another way of being too self-important, another way of saying, “It is all about me.”
The treadmill of self-sufficiency is so subtle, so insidious, so deceptive, and goes all the way back to the beginning of time and the initial deception of mankind.
God has been showing me a path which leads to life and the path is one of utter dependence upon Him. It’s not an easy path to stay on. I so easily revert back to my faulty patterns of living. We all are, umm, well, should I say, hell-bent, on finding our own ways?  Surely God would not require us to be utterly dependent upon Him? It is so, well, offensive, to suggest I am nothing without Him. My flesh resists such an idea!
Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
And yet, our modus operandi is to lean wholly on our own wisdom to live.
Surely I can figure things out!
 Surely I can make things work!
 Surely I just need another opportunity to get it right!
I just need to reorganize, revamp, reroute, rework…
Self-sufficiency doesn’t die easily. Faced with one failure, we often just take our same ways of thinking, our same patterns of relating, and repackage them, while all the while God waits for us to deny our own abilities and lean fully on Him.
The challenge, no, the opportunity, is to give up. Give up our self-strength. Give up our self-wisdom. Give up our self-sufficiency. Give up our control, and give in to God’s control.
Admitting our powerlessness gives us hope for we all know, somewhere down deep within ourselves, that our attempts to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s in our lives, falls short of perfection. We may get one thing right, but another one falls between the cracks. When we can admit that, in and of ourselves, we will never be able to control this life, then we are in a position to receive hope and power for it is at that very place, with our self-sufficiency lying broken at the feet of Jesus, that we can receive His all-sufficiency.
The divine exchange. His strength for my weakness. His wholeness for my brokenness. His victory for my failure. His power for my powerlessness.
Life is about the journey to see our need for the exchange. As we surrender, bit by bit, day by day, to His power and His plan, we become whole. We become vessels of His glory instead of our own.
We’d be a fool to be unwilling to take His offer for this exchange, and so often we are just that – stubborn, prideful, foolish, resisting His help, like a two-year old who screams, “No, I do it myself!”
Would you offer this prayer to God today along with me?
Lord, I acknowledge that, in and of myself, I am nothing. I know that You want to do Your works through me. Help me to surrender, to cooperate, to join You in Your plans. I give. Myself. My plans. Lord, I chose to exchange my strength for Yours. Come and empower me with Your Spirit to see life through Your eyes. May Your heart beat within mine. May my hands be Yours today to touch the hurting world. May my ears hear Your voice as You quietly guide me in the paths of life. Rescue me from my own self. I confess that I have no control, no sufficiency, and I ask for Your Spirit to come control me; be my sufficiency. Be my power.
May you find, as I am finding, that giving up and giving in is the way we grow up in Him. It is the pathway to living dependent upon His grace and receiving the victory that He gives.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Comments

  1. Terri says:

    Mikki!

    I have been impressed and thinking through this very thing…don’t want to be dependent on God only in time of crisis…He deserves so much more than that!!!being impressed to lean more… to ask more… too self sufficient…didn’t even realize it…Because you are so right pride is part of self-sufficiency! YUCK!! Wow!! Love it when this happens! Does this mean we are on the road to less of us and more of God? Are we going to watch God move in our lives in new ways because we look to Him…this could be a set up ya know?:) Love you! Wow! This is a good place to be…isn’t it? Walking the journey!!

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