03 May TRUST- Surrendering Our Will To God’s Sovereign Plan
Despair, anxiety, lack of rest. Maybe it’s just me, or do you feel it too? Do you feel enslaved to your life? The to-do lists, carpool, sports commitments – not to mention the comparison that the world tells us to answer to. Does your discouragement worsen when you turn on the news? Locally, there have been 7 police officers killed in the line of duty over the last few years. A group gathering at a home during the Super Bowl ended with 9 killed during a shooting spree in a friend’s neighborhood. There is brokenness in the world everywhere we look, even in our own cities. This can cause us to live in intense fear, and when you pair it with our own day to day stress and living for the world, it’s no wonder we are letting anxiety take over. The American Psychological Association’s 2017 Annual Stress survey concluded that the U.S. is more likely to report anxiety, anger and fatigue than any other nation.
Jesus says in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” He also tells us that He leaves us with peace, not the peace of the world, but peace that comes from knowing the Father and Son (John 14:27). So if Jesus, Who was fully man and fully God, was able to lay down His life knowing the pain and suffering that was coming, then literally take His life back up again 3 days later, why are we all so anxious? Don’t we trust God, His promises, the death and resurrection of His Son? The power of God? Acts 14:22 tells us that we must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. No one enters heaven who doesn’t first share in Christ’s sufferings. So suffering is part of our world, but we don’t have to suffer without the comfort and encouragement of Christ. No matter what we are going through, we have the choice to lean into the Lord and allow Him to get us to the other side, because He will.
My pastor likes to use the imagery that we are living between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. So how do we live through the weekend and run the race well? We trust our good Father. But first we have to know WHO HE is and WHAT HE has done.
Do you know Him? He knows you. Read Psalm 139!
Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who made us and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep in His pasture.”
Psalm 139:16 “You have seen my unformed substance, and in your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
Psalm 138:8 “The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”
God has given thought to every detail about us, our personality, our interests, where we are headed. He knows. We are limited, but God is not! He will bring about what He has planned for us. He will point us to it. We have to take all of our hopes and dreams and lay them down at the feet of Jesus and let Him know we want all that we are and all that we have to be FOR Him. So ask God to use you and all that you are to accomplish the work of His hands, His will through our lives. Living in God’s world, not our own. Trusting Him.
When you meet Jesus, your everything should change forever – and if it hasn’t, you haven’t met Jesus, surrendered your flesh, or trusted completely that He is better to follow than yourself. Trust that when you can’t see God, He is still there, still good and has a purpose for your life – and His plans do not change. Even the hard days, hard diagnoses, the heartbreaks. He is there. We can have faith that He is who He says He is. His track record is legit. Look back on the things He has done for you and remember He is always faithful, even when we are not. He knows what is best for us, and works all things together for our good, and His purpose – His will is to make us holy (Romans 8:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:3). If you want to trust God, you have to know Him first.
Where is your focus today? On the One who created you from unformed substance and numbered all the days of your life in His book? Or is it on your own strength and ability to race the world?
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” The author of Hebrews tells us to lay aside anything entangling us, distracting us, getting our attention or time away from God. And to RUN with endurance the race (already predetermined).
So if we know God has a plan and purpose for us, can we seek His will and let His word sanctify us? Can we lay down the control we desperately seek in the world, and choose to do all for the glory of God while loving and leading those around us in Christ? If these are our priorities in life, then the anxiety, anger, and fatigue will diminish and we will have faith in our Heavenly Father to do what He already has in motion.
I challenge you to run the race already set before you today, trusting the God of the universe. He breathed breath into you for a reason. Allow God’s grace today to enable you to run alongside Him. Lean your whole weight into Jesus and you will be saved (Act 16:31).
- Are you living in your world, or are you living in God’s will?
- Are you trying to control your fears and dreams or are you running the race that the Lord has set before you, allowing Him to lead?
- Can you trust God even when your circumstances get turned upside down? What is your plan?