The Gift of Surrender
I have known the Lord all my life, and I have grown up in church all my life. My great grandfather was a pastor, and my parents were pastors - which meant I practically lived at church. I had a wonderful upbringing filled not only with all the things church, but also wonderful preaching and teaching of God’s Word, for which I will be forever grateful.
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was just a 4 year-old little girl, so I have belonged to Him for as long as I can remember. I have loved Him and served Him. I have read Scriptures, gone to Sunday school and vacation Bible school, attended Bible studies and conferences, and sang on worship teams and in choirs. You name it, I’ve probably been a part of it.
But there was always a deep nagging that something was still missing in my life.
I have always had a longing to do more for Jesus, to be important to Him, and to accomplish His will for my life. I recall sitting through church camp prayer services just begging Him for some sort of awakening or real knowing of what my true purpose was supposed to be. I remember asking Him to show me why I’m here, how to fulfill my calling, and what I was meant to do in order to be “in the center of His will.”
I’m sitting here writing this as a 41 year-old woman, and I can tell you that this longing has never gone away. But, there is something that has changed. I’ve had an awakening, if you will, a revelation to my lingering question. As it turned out, the answer was as simple as this:
Abide in Him.
My purpose, the way I can know I am in the center of God’s will for my life, is simply to abide in Him.
The word abide, according to dictionary.com, means this:
“to remain; continue; stay; to have one's abode; dwell; reside; to act in accord with, to submit to; agree to; to remain steadfast or faithful to.”
Let's take a look at what The Bible says about abiding in Christ:
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.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:4-17, ESV)
If we abide in Christ (continue with Christ, reside with Christ, act in accord with Christ, submit to Christ, remain faithful to Christ) we will bear much fruit, God will be glorified, and our joy will be made full. He tells us here that He chose us and appointed us to go and bear fruit.
He's asking us to seek Him, to rest in Him, and to be filled by Him so that as we become more and more like Him others will see Him in us and be drawn to Him. Lives will be saved, changed, restored, refreshed, and renewed; and, as a result, His kingdom will continue to multiply!