I used to think that God would take what we can give Him of our lives and be happy. “Oh look, Kellyann has given me Sunday morning isn’t that awesome!” I am becomming more and more sure, however, that while God will take what we can give Him as a start, it is not where He wants us to stay. He wants us to get to the place of complete surrender. And I use the term “want” very loosely because I actually think He demands that we give Him everything and He works with us to get us to that point.
Jesus last words to the disciples while He was alive are intense and two passages in particular seem to be saying to me that God wants it all. John 15:4-11 is the description of the vine and the fruit on the vine. Verse 4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” As long as the branch is connected to the vine, it has no choice but to do the will of the vine and produce fruit. It’s what the branch was made to do! A branch on the ground is nothing more than garbage as it can’t fulfill it’s calling, it’s inner purpose…it can’t produce fruit and just withers and dies. Jesus is our vine and if we want to live the life He has created us to live, we must be completely surrendered to Him and fulfilling His callingin our lives which is to produce fruit that brings glory to God. There is no choice. Just as a branch isn’t going to one day decide on it’s own to jump off the vine, we must live so dependent on God that we will neither choose to disconnect from Him nor will he choose to cut us off the vine.
In this same conversation Jesus talks again about complete surrender. John 15:13-14 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” In these 2 verses, Jesus isn’t just saying He’s our friend because He is going to lay down is life for us. He’s defining friend as someone who is willing to give everything they have, lay it all down, for another person. The flip side of Jesus giving His life for us is us giving our lives for Him. Laying down our life for Jesus to show that we are His friend. That’s complete surrender. That’s not just Sunday morning, that’s all day, every day, 365, 24/7. If I am to lay down my life for my Friend, I am dying to anything I had planned for my life and saying, “You take me where you want me to go because my only desire is you, God. My life no longer belongs to me, it is yours.”
Nothing about complete surrender is easy except that once you start heading in that direction you experience a life that is exactly how God intended and that is close to Him. You may find that those dreams of yours start coming true the closer you get to God because they were put there by God in the first place. Or, you may find that those dreams of yours start to change and look different because they are conforming to the dreams and plans God has for your life. There may be some pain as you are transformed into the person God created you to be but the pain is temporary and is used to mold you and shape you. In the end, God’s plan for you is created out of this amazing love for you that truly, we can’t wrap our brains around.
Trust God. God is not flawed like humans are so whatever hurts you may have had in the past that are stopping you from complete surrender you need to pray about and ask God to take them and heal them. Trust God. What you may think is best in and for your life may turn out to be only a garbarge heap compared to what God wants to do with your life. Trust God. Give Him everything so that He will be your everything and make your life exactly in tune with His purpose and will.
Complete surrender is the only option to a life truly fulfilled.