My Grace-Full Life

5.28.21 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Control & Surrender

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• “Not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39b)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I had so much fun last night — some of my friends and I went to see my favorite band, MercyMe. The concert was at a minor league baseball park in Hickory, NC, and we had… well, they weren’t technically seats but more like a square of grass in the outfield. Personally, I think all baseball parks should be converted to concert venues. That was so fun, and we had fantastic weather!

I’ve been looking forward to that concert for months, and I did something I rarely do… I let someone else drive. If you know me personally, you know this does not happen. I’m ALWAYS the driver because I want to be in control. I’m a terrible passenger (frequently gasping and stomping on the floor searching for my invisible brake pedal while holding onto the door). Plus, I’m a notoriously slow driver who gets nervous when others drive too fast. As my friend Jennifer (who drove) joked, “If you’re going to drive Denise around, you have to go five miles under the speed limit and keep your hands at 10 and 2!”

Yep.

You may not have the same issues I have with being a passenger, but my guess is — you do have some area(s) of your life where control is an issue for you. It’s okay to admit it — I just did. And I have several others. Self-professed control freak here.

Yet surrendering control is a ginormous part of the Christian life. When we give our lives to Christ, we say, “I am giving my life to you.” But often, our flesh holds on, vice-gripping things like our children, jobs, money, and more. We say it’s all in God’s hands, but when it comes to what’s most important, we have a hard time trusting Him.

I’m far too guilty of this. It’s a constant battle in my life. There’s a reason my 2021 Word of the Year is “surrender.”

Let’s go to Matthew 16:24 today. It says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and  follow Me.’” Denying oneself is to surrender control. It’s saying, “I am going to follow Jesus, no matter the personal cost.”

It’s easy to get caught up in that at church or in Bible study, or even at a Christian rock concert. Those powerful moments when we are very aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence encourage us to surrender.

But life. 

When we struggle to surrender control, the answer lies in more of Jesus’ words — “Not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39b)

The hardest prayer we will ever pray is, “Not my will, but Yours.” Because we know God doesn’t always do things the way we would. To surrender our control is to choose His will over our own.

At the concert last night, lead singer, Bart Millard, reminded us that God is good no matter how bad our circumstances. Their song, “Even If,” is all about that truth.

So my challenge to both you and myself today is this: Shove over and let Jesus drive. And then, tomorrow, wake up and shove over and let Jesus drive. Keep surrendering control of your life because it wasn’t a one-and-done thing when we gave our lives to Christ. It’s something we do every single day.

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for modeling, “Not my will, but Yours.” Ask the Holy Spirit to help you deny your fleshly desires for control and take up your cross daily to follow Jesus. Ask Him to help you surrender control and be willing to take the backseat to God’s will. Ask Him to help you surrender — every day.

SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.

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