Surrender and Self-Esteem

Surrender and Self-Esteem

David CerulloBy David Cerullo10 Minutes

The Secret to Surrender

The more you learn to surrender your heart to the Lord and conform yourself to His image, the more you’ll be at peace with who you are. But, even on your best days, you’ll never be fully satisfied with everything in your life – so don’t expect yourself to be, at least on this side of eternity.

How does that mesh with God’s promise to change us and satisfy our every need?

Don’t miss this, because it’s a huge part of the equation: Just because you are fully blessed in God doesn’t mean you won’t feel your old flesh nature creep in again and again. Being in God’s favor isn’t the same as total exemption from your sin nature. And, what’s promised to you isn’t an absence of the old challenges you dealt with before, but rather, a knowledge that God is always with you.

Following Jesus doesn’t give you a life of comfort, putting you above the fray of battle. You’re going to be in the thick of things, fighting many of the same old fights with the same old foe. However, this time, you’ll have God charging headlong into battle with you and watching over you at every turn.

All He asks from you is your complete and total surrender to Him. Sound like a hard thing to do? You bet it is…but it’s more worth it than you know.

We can see the importance of surrender throughout Scripture. God wants us to lay down our lives to Him, but that doesn’t mean it’s ever an easy thing to do:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).

Notice that this sacrificial surrender to God is merely your “reasonable service” (NKJV) and “true and proper worship” (NIV). When you give yourself fully to the Lord, you are acknowledging that He is loving, wise, and trustworthy. You are letting go of your own plans and exchanging them for His plans.

Thankfully, God has already established a pathway for you to walk in. You don’t need to figure it out on your own like some test you spent half the night studying for. Your job is simply to listen for God’s instructions and then walk in the way He’s laid out before you:

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them  (Ephesians 2:10).

Isn’t it good to know that there’s already a plan and purpose for your life, “prepared beforehand” by your loving Heavenly Father?

Trusting the Unseen God

Psalm 119:105 promises, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Too often, we want a lamp that will illuminate our path for miles ahead, when the Lord only promises that we’ll have His direction for the next step we must take.

Remember Abraham, known as “the father of all those who believe” (Romans 4:11)? When God called him to take a step of faith, “he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Step by step, he was willing to trust the Lord and follow His plan, even when he didn’t know all the details of where that plan would lead.

When we face times of uncertainty though, it can be tempting to take back the reins of our life from God. In some ways, Abraham and Sarah did this when they devised a plan to have a child through Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar (Genesis 16). That idea must have made perfect sense to them at the time, but their decision has had dire consequences even to this day. Where did they go wrong? They were trusting in their own ingenuity and fleshly ability rather than in the plan of God.

If you find that you’ve gotten off track like Abraham and Sarah did, it’s time to go back to the first step in the process of discovering God’s will. Surrender your life, desires, hopes, dreams, gifts, and talents to Him once again. Spend time in His presence, asking Him to reveal His plan. But remember: You’re unlikely to hear clearly from the Lord until you’ve fully committed yourself to doing His will – no matter what it is!

Is It Safe to Surrender?

Surrender is impossible without trust. You have to know in your heart of hearts that your Heavenly Father loves you and has good plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).

God’s plans can be trusted. His plans are far better for us than anything we could concoct on our own initiative. Today and throughout eternity, He wants to “show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

Although you might have high aspirations for your life, you can be confident that the Lord has even bigger and better plans: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 MSG).

You never have to worry about whether it’s safe to trust and obey God. It is safe. Deuteronomy 33:27 promises that “the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Isn’t that a beautiful description of the security and peace you can experience when you’ve put your life in the Lord’s hands and His “everlasting arms”? Some days you may feel like a tightrope walker, gingerly trying to maintain your balance. But you can be confident that the Lord is your faithful “net,” always ready to catch you if you fall.

The more you surrender your life to God, the more you will discover the depth of His love and faithfulness. This is where you’ll find your true confidence and hope in Him.

So go ahead and give Him everything you own, everything you enjoy, everyone you love, and everything you ever wanted out of life. Then watch as He miraculously transforms your heart and replaces your dreams with His dreams…your hopes with His hopes…your vision with His vision.

How was Jesus able to so fully surrender His life to the Father’s plan? First Peter 2:23 (NASB) says the secret was an issue of trust, for He “kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” So when we suffer persecution or trials, trust can be our key to victory as well: “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19 ESV).

Notice that Peter says it is possible to “suffer according to God’s will.” This means you shouldn’t automatically think you’ve missed God’s will just because you find yourself in a difficult situation. Not only Jesus, but all of the Bible’s greatest heroes experienced times of trial and tribulation. So will you! In fact, Paul writes that “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

So your surrender to the Lord must be based on more than the hope of receiving His blessings and an easy life. Whether life is easy or hard for you at the moment, He is worthy of your surrender, obedience, and praise. He has promised to be with you, even in dark days when you’re walking through “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4).

Trust Him! When you do, you’ll discover as Paul did, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed” (Romans 10:11 NASB). How true that is for anyone who surrenders their lives to our Lord and Savior.

His hope never disappoints, and His love never fails.