I think it’s safe to say that we've all experienced a time in our lives where we wanted something bad, and I mean bad! But we didn't get it. What do we do?
I remember listening to one of Oprah's interviews a few years ago. She talked about how bad she wanted to be an actress in the movie, The Color Purple. But someone else was chosen for the role that she wanted.
She said at one point she started praying for God to allow her to be okay with the fact that she wasn't going to get the role. Then she prayed to be able to be happy for the actress getting the role. Oprah said that she surrendered to God and His will for her life.
And as it turned out, she was cast for another role in that movie which was more than a perfect fit for her.
I related so much to her story because one of my greatest desires in college was to study abroad in London. I raised half the money to get there through a fundraising campaign, but I was still short $5,000.
I remember crying hysterically on the phone with my mom, and then abruptly hanging up on her because I couldn't take the anxiety.
My mom called me back several times, but I didn't answer. I didn't want to talk to anyone.
I was frustrated and full of anxiety. But something amazing happened that day ...
After I calmed myself down, I surrendered to God and let go of trying to control the situation. I realized that I had been selfish.
I felt that my family (and even God) owed it to me to get me to London, and I didn't care if my ambitions drained their resources -- I really was selfish.
So I asked God for forgiveness and released my situation to Him. The amazing thing that happened was an overwhelming peace came upon me, and I knew I would be okay even if I didn't get to go to London.
But you know what, despite how selfish I had been, God still made a way for me to get there.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple
must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'"
- Matthew 16:24
There's something beautiful about surrendering to God. He offers peace, joy, and forgiveness, and all He asks for in return is our whole heart.
I was just thinking about this coworking space program I was in. I was able to use their space for free if I attended one of their business building workshops once a week. It was a win/win situation because their workshops were designed to help me grow my business.
Well, surrendering to God is a win/win situation as well. He wants to help us to reach our full potential in Him. Our omniscient Father wants to guide us through life (for free!) according to His perfect plan.
Like I said, win/win.
God wants you to surrender your mind, your body, and your will to Him.
A mentor once told me to focus on what I want in life because the moment I stop focusing on what I want, what I don't want will take over. That same advice can be applied to our journey with God.
The moment you stop focusing on God, the enemy will try to take over. He will use what you listen to, what you watch, and everything that you expose your mind to, to control you.
Don't even give him an inch!
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
- Isaiah 26:3
When you become a believer, God gives you His Spirit which lives inside of you. Therefore, your body is the temple of God.
His Spirit will help you to fight off temptation, and there will be a lot of temptation! But, by surrendering your body to God, He will help you to win your battles.
"Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Surrender Your Will
I don't know about you, but sometimes it can be a challenge to surrender my will to God. But then I remind myself that He knows the beginning and the end, and He knows me better than I know myself.
The same applies to you -- God knows you better than you know yourself.
He is a loving God who wants the best for you. He sees the entire picture and knows that your selfish ambitions will lead to destruction. But His way leads to everlasting life.
"The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
- Revelation 22:17
To be clear, though, surrendering all doesn't mean that you'll always get what you want, but it does mean that God will always provide you with what you need.
There's an undeniable peace that fills you when you get to the point of complete surrender to God. He will not withhold any good thing from those who are walking with Him.
Trust Him, and He will do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or imagine accordingly to His power that is at work within you (Ephesians 3:20).
So what do you do when things don't go your way? You surrender all to God and let Him show you His way.
Did you enjoy today's message? As always, I'd love to hear from you.
Comment below, and I look forward to chatting with you :).
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You were born to do great things ... with God.