Walking through life as a Christ-follower is beautiful, hard, redemptive, frustrating, mercy filled…all at the same time. While we would wish that surrendering our allegiance to him was as easy as saying a prayer, we find ourselves again and again wrestling with God over who is in control of our life. That we even think we are in control of anything in our world is sadly humorous, when in reality, whether we acknowledge it or not, God is the one who oversees the world as well as our lives. I catch myself fighting this fact and it is often bewildering to me, because God knows, he is far more well suited to direct my life than I am. God also knows what a struggle it is to keep myself from climbing up on the throne and edging him out, somehow thinking I am more qualified for the position of heading up my life.
Oh my. What a misguided premise.
Just who, really, am I in Christ? How do I love him and live for him in the fullest sense? How do I find my truest self, as opposed to hiding behind “looking good,” doing the right things on the outside but still trying to be in control on the inside?
Back in March, I was challenged by a godly friend to get a group of women together to study this challenge of authentic Christian life. I stuck my toe in the water to see if others would be interested in joining me, but the response was not what I’d hoped for.
It was not the right time.
It’s still not.
In the months that followed, I have been praying and pondering my way through the idea of living in authenticity, which is only found in communion with Christ, for he is the creator and sustainer of all life. I’ve found that I have experienced a whole lot less of it than I would have hoped for by this point in my life. I’ve concluded there is no time to waste and living my best life is not about self-actualization or self-direction or self-improvement or self-anything. It’s about embracing who I am in Christ and finding my truest self in him.
I have a long way to go, but there a few things I’m learning on the journey so far that I’ll be further unpacking over time.
- Once we really begin to understand the magnitude of the love of God, it is easy to surrender ourselves to him.
- Surrendering to God is the only way to fully experience the love he has created us to know and live in.
- When we bring our best to God while leaving our worst hidden away, we deny ourselves the gift of being fully known and fully loved.
Perhaps we are so afraid of surrender because we fear losing ourselves. The exact opposite is where the real truth lies. Surrendering ourselves fully to God is the only way to truly know and embrace who he created us to be.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. —Matthew 26:24 (ESV)