God has given us practical tools that we can use to be able to align ourselves with what He
teaches and expects of us. By hearing His word and putting it into practice we are building our
faith and understanding of Him. As a christian, preparation is an important process. As humans,
we have certain attributes that we must master in order to be compatible with God. For
example, God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. Joshua needed to work on these
aspects of his character by himself so that he could fulfil the purpose God had for him.
You see, God still speaks in our lives, our lack of understanding is what renders us unable to implement
His instruction. Let’s take a moment to look at John the Baptist. His purpose was to prepare the
people for the arrival of Jesus. It was so they would accept Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord
of Lords. The people had to undergo a mental shift in order to understand the message of John.
The Amplified bible in Mathew 3:2 says, “repent [change your inner self – your old way of
thinking…” Why? Because God was going to manifest in a way different to what they had
become accustomed to. Repentance would start in the church, not the outside. Sadly we see an
inability to accept Jesus resulting from an inability to accept the message of John all because of
ignorance. This highlights that preparation of the heart is key.
Preparation of the heart lies in our ability to surrender. To surrender means to give something up
to someone else, be it willingly or unwillingly. It is what builds our resolve and character. When
we surrender we have a deep-rooted understanding that no matter what, God is in control. We
become fine tuned to His perfect will and are able act upon it as the Spirit leads. The theme of
this year, Joshua 24:15, focuses on the fundamental principle of intentionally making a decision
to surrender to God through servanthood whilst forfeiting all else. The Israelites needed to
pledge their loyalty and remove the other gods they had amassed amongst their possessions as
previously commanded of them in Deuteronomy 6:4. Today, although we may not have physical
representations of “gods” amongst us as did the Israelites, we too have amassed other things
that are distracting our focus, replacing God, and in turn our loyalty to Him. God requires 100%
commitment. He is a jealous God. The life we live must resemble God’s instruction. Instead, our
lack of focus has cultivated certain behaviours and cultures that we are trying to mould to
resemble God, yet they are born of human agenda.
What are the things that can help us live a life of surrender? Understanding the power dynamic
that exists between ourselves and God is a good start. God is the supreme and we live under
His authority. What He says, goes! Preserving our bodies as His temple will invite the Holy Spirit
to dwell in us, leading and guiding us in the ways of the Father. Humility is the only way you can
recognise and accept God’s authority. Humbleness enables you to allow God to speak over your
life. Lack of, results in you dictating your own path. Remember, God departs from the proud.
Apostle Paul on numerous accounts, refers to himself as a slave to the gospel or a slave to
Christ (Romans 1:1). A servant is not greater than their master. Slaves do not dictate what must
be done but contrary, the master stipulates the course of action. Often a time, we surrender to
God as a last resort. We try to dictate to God our preferred option as opposed to allowing Him to
lead. For example, we see a job on offer and we say “God that is the one that I want” instead of
asking Him what job would be the best fit. Proverbs 19:1 says that “people may plan all kinds of
things, but the Lord’s will is going to be done”. At the end of the day, God wants us to surrender
to Him willingly even when there are other options available to us. This is true humility. We are
acknowledging other options available to us, yet consciously choosing to allow God to take
control. Essentially what we are saying is “as you direct me God, I will follow.”
Baptism is about dying to our flesh as we rise together with Christ. Galatians 2:20 goes further
to explain this principle. Complete surrender is essentially denouncing our existence for the
glory of God. You see, God knows all. Nothing is hidden from Him, even our future. So when
you accept Jesus as your personal saviour, it is important to turn away from worldly desires.
Do not become a person that practises lip service but your heart is far from Him (Isaiah 29:13,
Matthew 15:8). Living a life of surrender means living from the heart. Not seeking God only
when things are hard or only giving glory through your suffering. It is also about still worshiping
when everything is well with you.
In numbers 9, we see how God lead the Israelites, a cloud by day and fire by night.
When it was time to stop, camp was set up. Be it for 1 day, 6 months or even years.
When the cloud or the pillar of fire moved, they would break camp and move on as it moved.
God was in complete control and the people recognised God’s authority. Today, people fail to
see that to be alive is a miracle in itself. Learn to live your life by faith. Believe that God is your
shield and the one in control. Abraham left his father house by faith, believing in the promise
spoken to him. Remember, humility or surrendering to God is not a sign of weakness.
In conclusion, there is nothing more important than living a life that God has outlined. “The lord
is my shepherd; I have everything I need” Psalms 23:1 is an important reminder of that.
Knowing that God is there for you, means believing wholeheartedly that even when challenges
come, they encounter God first. Whatever God asks will always benefit you. God carries our
burdens and His yoke is easy. Material things do not make you happy. Jesus is the one that
gives peace and joy from within. Never stop seeking to learn because by stopping you imply
that you know everything. Romans 12:2 teaches us that there are new things to learn everyday.
It is up to you to change your mindset and surrender to be able to accept them.