We can all perhaps be tempted to believe that if we try really hard to be better and strive, work and push ourselves we can do whatever we put our mind and will to. We can overcome our weaknesses, addiction and bad habits. We can make it all happen in life. All sounds reasonable enough, except that the most powerful tool we actually have to a victorious, successful life is not simply trying harder or even exerting our will in a situation or struggle. No, one of our most powerful abilities is to surrender.
The 12 steps programme followed worldwide by recovery groups lays out a way of life that is a highly effective path to freedom for addicts… however the 12 steps do not say, “try really hard to not drink or now decide not to drink or participate in that behaviour.”
Amazingly the most powerful tool against addiction and strongholds in our lives isn’t asking people to decide to stop doing what is destroying their lives. Instead of mobilising their will, followers surrender their will. Try to overcome any addiction by our will or own power and it will beat us. Surrender our will, and sobriety and freedom from addictions, habits, strongholds and any sin in general becomes possible.
Jesus taught that if we want to experience victory we begin and position ourselves daily in a place of surrender and he demonstrated this by his own surrender in giving His life. As he struggled with the enormity of what was before him in being crucified on a Cross he prayed, “Not my will Father, but yours be done”. (Luke 22:42) In surrendering his life he won the greatest victory known in the universe; he defeated the power and control of evil and its consequences over mankind. To access that freedom however we are asked to follow Jesus’ example and surrender our lives also.
It is possible to live being the person we long to be and who God sees and created us to be. However to do so we will be required to move out of the drivers seat, hand over the keys and surrender to Jesus.
Surrender which we often see as passivity and defeat turns out to be the way to victory. We lose a life to gain a life – a life far better than the one we lost.
Today I encourage you to surrender. Not as someone who is fatalistic and defeated, but so that Jesus can take the wheel and connect and direct you to your best life. He’s driving and He’s asking that you ride with Him.
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” ( Matthee 10:39)
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Prayer: Lord forgive me where I have been taking the wheel when you wanted to drive. Today I surrender the controls and my ceaseless exerting of my will to make things happen. Please take my life and make it how you’ve always planned it to be Lord. In Jesus name Amen