Many of us are like a horse being broken—we kick, we resist submitting to God, we shake off His hand upon us, we pull against the tug His spirit on the reins of our hearts and we act wild, independent and free.
But in the end, if we do not bow the knee and surrender ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we will not find our God-given purpose—ever. We will never find the reason for which we were born, the reason for which God made us.
If you are unwilling to bow in surrender to God, the unfortunate thing is that God will never be able to use you the way He wants. Instead of a broken and yielded servant, all He has to work with is a very inconsistent part-time servant. He will be able to trust you some of the time, but most of the time you will be all over the place. Occasionally, like the wild horse, you will be willing to let Him get near you. But most of the time, you will be running and going your own way.
We all have to bow the knee. God requires it of us all. I have to. We all have to come before the Lord and say to Him, “Lord, I’m willing to lie down completely. I am willing to surrender completely. I trust You. You have never done anything to hurt me. You’ve never done anything to betray me. You’ve never done anything that would ever lead me to believe Your plans for me were anything other than ultimately for good.”
Whatever difficulties, whatever challenges, whatever training, whatever reining-in that God has had to do with us, it is done to give us life. The bridle of God upon our necks is not intended to restrict us to death—it is meant to release us to life. It has been done with a purpose. It is by His mighty hand of purpose that He has done these things with us so that we will find our predetermined purpose in Him.
God’s hand will always be a mighty hand of purpose regardless of whether you and I acknowledge Him, regardless of whether you and I do what He calls us to do. But if we are willing to live in complete surrender to Him, then we will experience His fullness of joy and our sense of eternal worth.
[ARE YOU PRACTICING “SELECTIVE SUBMISSION”?]
Submission seems for some of us to be the hardest test we face. Have you ever heard someone say—or maybe you’ve said it yourself: “I’m not putting up with this anymore. I’ve had it. I’m gone. I’m outta here.”
I think Christians who say that are underestimating the fact that God takes our walk with Him more seriously than we do.
We overlook a fact of the Christian life, which is this: When we have enough junk in our lives, God may choose to let things go wrong in order to work into our lives some things that are right.
But we who are new creations in Christ should want to get this thing right. We should want to honor God. We should do whatever He chooses to have us go through, “Lord, bring it on—because I know Your plans for me are good.”
Nothing is more essential to the success of our Christian lives than our being fully submitted to the will and the ways of God. Yet we often find ourselves practicing what I would call selective submission. We love God, we want to follow Him, we want to fellowship with Him and we call him Lord, but do we walk with Him humbly, as our Lord and God?
Unbelievers can do what they want, but the people of God are to do whatever He wants. We see people living the life that we want to live, and we think, That is the life that I am supposed to have, only to find out after we have pursued it that it isn’t really what we wanted or what we needed. But the truth is, every one of us who is a Christian is called to be a full-time disciple, fully submitted to God’s will and purposes. There is an eternal destiny for every one of our lives; there is a God-ordained plan, there is a God-designed process, there is a God-supplied product that He wants to bring us into and accomplish in each of us.
God knows what His highest and best is for each of us, and whether we selectively obey Him or assume that we know what is best for us, we will miss abiding under the mighty hand of God and finding His will for our lives.[ADAPTED FROM THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD BY DALE EVRIST]
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