Am I going crazy? I must be. I keep singing “the surrender blues.” What do I mean by that? Quite simply, that I shoot myself in the foot by not stepping completely into the grace of a yielded heart. I could be the happiest person alive (and so could you), if only I would trust more and fret less. Oh, how faith and grace smooth out the bumps in the road! My spiritual body gets black and blue from banging about without them.
How Crazy Is This?
Sure, we all do a lot of foolish things, but this one takes the cake. It’s certifiably nuts to try living with an un-surrendered heart. Think about it. Why on earth wouldn’t we want to yield our lives to the most lovely and loving Being in the universe? How could we ever get the idea we need to keep our distance from the Person who died so spectacularly for us? Even better, what kind of crazy is it that makes me think I can manage my life better than the “Only Wise God” (Romans 16:27)?
This crazy reluctance to draw close gets ever crazier when you consider that His heart is ALWAYS open to us. There’s no need to ever fear a reproach at our approach. The door to His presence is always open. At any moment, we could be luxuriating in the “Sweet Spot” of His embrace and swimming in the River of Peace. All I can say is that when the Fall happened, we must have landed on our heads! But who cares how we got so brain-damaged, what’s the cure?
Is There a Cure for Crazy?
The cure is “calling on the Lord” for He has guaranteed that He will always rescue us, if we will only call on Him until the promised help arrives (Romans 10:13). Because of my tortured past, I have so little native trust that I even have to call on Him for help surrendering to Him. This does not come to me naturally! I’ve had to do it every day since becoming a Christian. Someone once said to me, “God is good,” expecting the usual refrain. I fired back, “So far, but I’ve still got my eye on Him.”
At first blush, it seems embarrassing that we would have to ask Jesus for help trusting Him. Hasn’t He done enough to prove His love to us already? And isn’t that an admission of rank unbelief? Yes, it is. That’s why it works. The problem isn’t what He allows or asks of me—it is my failure to trust Him enough to submit to His leadership. Admitting unbelief is actually a step of faith. It is trusting that God will help me with my biggest obstacle (my unwillingness to surrender), rather than whack me for it. So, if you need help with this (as I do), take these four prayers to heart.
The Surrender Prayers
1) “Lord, help me want to want what You want and hate what you hate.” If this sounds convoluted it is, but only because we are. We are so good at self-deception that we can pray the right thing to God, without any serious intention of yielding our will to Him. The honesty of this prayer gives it power for it is admitting that “right now” I don’t want to even want what You want, but will You help me anyway? This gives the Lord permission to do the heart surgery needed. I have ALWAYS found this to work, usually within a few minutes, if I pray it like I mean it.
2) “Make me willing to be made willing to surrender everything to You.” This is the prayer I go to when I want to pull out all of the stops that have somehow set up inside of me. I don’t even know what half of them are, but He does. By this I’m saying, “Go to work on me any way You need to, because I really want to get back in the Sweet Spot and I don’t know how.”
3) “I believe, help me cast down my unbelief!” This prayer, taken from scripture, is perfect for those times when you can actually see that it is unbelief which is blocking you. By the way, don’t be afraid of seeing unbelief in yourself. God knows that it is the chief obstacle blocking all of His children from entering their Promised Land (Hebrews 3:19). Seeing it, however, is genuine progress. It is a sign that He is helping you to overcome it by first identifying it.
4) “Father, help me truly say, ‘Not my will, but Thine be done’.” This one comes from the Master at living with a surrendered heart. He showed us the way to true spiritual health. Jesus always stayed in the Sweet Spot, because He lived this prayer, even when He wasn’t praying it. Let’s join Him in His River of Peace!
You Can Bet Your Life
Usually, prayers don’t come with a guarantee. These do. I positively guarantee that if what you really want is to become a surrendered child, our Father will move heaven and earth to help you receive the grace of a yielded heart. How do I know that? Because His greatest delight and most persistent desire is for each of us to become like the Fully Surrendered One, Jesus (see Romans 8:28-29). And I also know it because He has helped me, even me the untrusting one, receive that grace every time I remembered to pray for it. May you, too, overcome the “surrender blues” with fresh sunbursts of radiant release.
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