Who doesn’t want more, right? More peace? More joy? Steadier finances? It sounds like a marketing pitch, doesn’t it? 😉
I’m perpetually reminded how good we’ve got it as Christians. There’s a podcast I listen to regularly where the caster talks about seeking peace. He’s already ruled out Christianity so he spends a fair amount of time looking.
So why don’t we have it? That actually was a question that consumed a good portion of my college years. God says He wants to give us joy and peace, but I felt like I just had stress and survival all the time.
I’ve come to believe what moves us along that spectrum of joy/peace to stress/survival is surrender. See, on our own, we can’t redeem ourselves and we live in a broken world. The results of sin are always miserable–whether it’s our sin or someone else’s. Lifestyle diseases are rampant in our society. People are so busy they don’t have time for relationships with God or with others. But we’re told that we need to do it all on our own. We’re like messy rooms trying to clean ourselves–we don’t even know what clean looks like or feels like, so how are we supposed to get ourselves there?
This morning I was reading back through my journal–the one where I write down what God says to me. I’ve been reading through it daily for almost two years now, reminding myself over and over of what God’s taught me. This quote re-struck me: “The primary reason [God] asks us to surrender everything to Him is to make room to receive what He wants to give. Try as we may, we will never bring anything to God and leave empty-handed unless we forget to take His gifts home. God’s nature is to give.” ~ Beth Moore, Stepping Up: Psalms of Ascent, 169.
God is a God who gives good gifts (James 1:17).
I can’t give myself good gifts, just like I can’t make myself a millionaire. I mean, obviously, I could work hard and do my best to earn that much money, but so many things are outside of my control. The market could crash tomorrow and leave me bankrupt. A war could come to our country and destroy my finances. There are loads of things that could happen that I can’t predict or prepare for.
When we surrender, we leave room for God to give us His best–the best that He says is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20, NIV). I want that. I want more than whatever my mind can come up with. I know I have limits inherent in my thinking, limits I don’t even know are there. But God doesn’t have those limits.
I’m firmly convinced that the solution to getting more is to give God more. Mindset has so much more to do with reality than we realize. Any area of my life can be transformed simply by surrendering it to God and then letting Him give me more. Any area in your life can be transformed simply by surrendering it to God and then letting Him give you more.
So where are you lacking peace or joy or enough-ness? Have you surrendered it to God? Are you content to stay in that place for the next twenty years or do you want more?