It’s a word that wasn’t in my vocabulary before God started speaking to my heart. Up to this point in my life two things had happened. 1. During my teen years I had given myself over to fun and guys and partying and … sin. And that had led to heartache. 2. Then I gave my life to God. I committed myself to living like a Christian. I committed myself to doing the good things I thought I should, which worked great except for the fact that all my focus was on “doing. And on myself.”
Then one day I attended a workshop. The woman speaking was everything I wanted to be: smart, talented, successful. Yet as I heard her story I was surprised she didn’t offer the attendees a list of things to do to follow her path. Instead she focused on what we should give up, which was namely … everything.
Ellen spoke about the moment she wanted success for her career more than anything, and how God had led her to her knees. With open palms she lifted her dreams, and herself, to her Creator. “Lord, I give you everything.”
Hearing her, I was both excited and scared. Could it be that easy? A battle waged in my soul. I wanted to give everything to God, but another part of me wanted to remain in control. If I gave up everything what did that mean? What would I do next? Those were surface questions, but deep down the question I asked more than anything else was this: Could God be trusted?
It wasn’t something I would have ever voiced, but that’s how I felt.
Before we left that evening, Ellen encouraged us to do two things: 1. To pray for the desire to relinquish everything, and 2. To get on our knees, lift our hands, and relinquish ourselves even if we didn’t completely mean it.
As soon as I got home that night, I hurried to my bedroom. There, with the kids pounding on the door wanting a drink, a story, a goodnight hug, I prayed for the desire to relinquish everything. Then I got on my knees and lifted my hands. “Here you go, Lord.”
I can’t say that everything changed or that the next morning life was perfect. But things did get better. I came to realize that I’d been holding on very tightly to the image I pictured for my life … and myself. I also understood that maybe God’s image was a bit different than mine.
Over the weeks and years to come I’ve realized His image is very different. In fact, the image He’s trying to form me into has nothing to do with me at all, but rather with Christ. God’s plan was … and is … and will always be, to mold me into the likeness of His Son.
The first step simply involves placing myself in His hands.
Take Time For This:
1. Growing up, one of my favorite Bible songs was, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Of course, I never really thought about what that meant. If God does have the mamas and the daddys … the sisters and the brothers … and the ity-bity babies, in reality that means He’s overseeing me, and every aspect of my world, too.
Take a moment to personalize the following Scripture verses. Replace the words in italic with “me,” or with your name, or with any other words that help it apply to your life. For example: From heaven the LORD looks down and sees me. From his dwelling place he watches Tricia—he who forms my heart, who considers everything I do.
Yes, God is in control of all the earth … and you are a part of that. A very special part.
Psalm 33:13-15: From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
Psalm 66: 1-2: Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!
Psalm 83:18: Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 100:1-3 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
2. Today, while your heart is tender, pray in your own words and ask God to give you the desire to relinquish everything you are, everything you do, everything you have to Him.
3. Finally, go to a quiet place and get on your knees before God. Lift up your hands. Relinquish everything.
Ramona Denton says
Hi Tricia, I loved this post!! Thanks for encouraging all to offer everything up to God. Relinquishment. I like the term “without reservation.” When I’m doing a call to worship, I often talk about giving ourselves to God without reservation! You have a precious heart for God!!
One tiny thing about your website, for your webmaster if you have one. When I’m in your store, and then try to click on the BLOG link in your header stripe, it leads to some “forbidden” page and says I don’t have permission to go there. You should redirect the link to the blogspot URL that it leads to from all the other pages.
Got a couple of your books to read on a business trip I’m taking in a couple of weeks!! Talk to you on Twitter. – Ramona Denton
Anette Acker says
I love this post. Your point about asking God for the desire to relinquish everything is so important. To me that’s always been the problem. I know that surrender is the key to God’s presence and power, but some strange, irrational part of me MUST have control. 🙂
Recently, God has made clear to me that even the will to surrender must come from him. So thank you for reaffirming that message!
I missed all of you when I saw the photos from ACFW. I don’t know if you were there, but it made me look forward to hopefully seeing you all at Mt. Hermon. This time we’ll come prepared and bring the car with the navigation system. 😉