As I sat in front of the turquoise water, ear buds in and the bustle of the beach tuned out, my heart started to soften. My breathing became deep and the anxiousness that filled my chest slowly dissipated. His presence surrounded me as I marveled at His creation. He'd been waiting to speak and I'd been avoiding the conversation.
It wasn't until that very moment, worshipping on the beach, I realized Jesus was asking me to surrender.
Surrender isn't a foreign concept to me. At some point or another in my faith walk, God has asked me surrender every piece of myself to His will. Never all at once or forcefully, He's methodical and rhythmic with my heart.
The first few times he asked me to surrender an area of my life I was terrified, being a self-proclaimed control freak. As with any relationship, the more time I spent with Jesus the more I trusted Him. Slowly the comfort I once felt from having control shifted to comfort in handing it over to Jesus.
God has always led me with bread crumbs, little by little as to not overwhelm me. Despite my flesh wanting to white knuckle grip areas of my life, my soul knows when Jesus makes a request...He's right and can absolutely be trusted.
To surrender means to cease resistance, and I was resisting because of fear.
"Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love’s perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached love’s perfection." (1 John 4:18, The Passion Translation)
The Passion translation of 1 John 4:18 jumped from the screen and all at once it made sense. My fear of surrendering to God was rooted in Him possibly “punishing” me in the future.
Jesus embodies perfect love and perfect love casts out fear. Jesus' death on the cross was the ultimate surrender; He was sinless, yet still sacrificed Himself to pardon us.
Remembering this puts everything into perspective.
Even if I surrender my fears to God and somewhere down the line He requests another level of surrender, He's still good, kind and loves me. Our entire faith journey is about leveling up in our relationship with Jesus and deepening our dependence in Him.
The Caribbean sun shifted across the sky, hours passing in what felt like minutes. My heart postured in a receiving position, the bottled up fear began to fade away. The Holy Spirit reminded me that dropping the baggage of fear doesn't have to be scary as long as Jesus is the focal point.
He wouldn't call you to surrender unless it was to shift you into a better version of yourself, through Him. He sees you, I mean truly sees you, and still chooses you. This next stage is going to require a new level of vulnerability and at times may be uncomfortable. However, when Jesus calls you to it you will not lose. You already possess everything required, not because of your strength, but because of Christ Jesus in you. Jesus is always the winning hand.
Thank you for Your example of perfect love and it's constant pursuit of our hearts. Thank you for Your grace when we get it wrong and Your wide open arms that always welcome us back. We know fear is not of You, allow Your peace to wash over us and renew our minds. Thank you for reminding us who we are but more importantly, Whose we are.
The Passion Translation (TPT). The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC. Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com.