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Have you ever found yourself struggling in your walk of faith in the area of surrender, or “dying to self”? Have you, like me, ever had to figure out what surrender is supposed to look like?20180707_101429.jpg

Some of us not only had zero boundaries growing up—we’d never even heard of them.

For me, the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No by Cloud & Townsend has been very useful in recognizing how my skewed, naive baby Christian ideas about being a servant were doing me more harm than good. I won’t go into my journey of discovery here, mainly because it’s long and I’m still on it, but … I would like to briefly share something that Jesus spoke to my heart, in case it resonates with someone else.

One Sunday during worship, I was asking the Lord to help me let go of my grip on my time and my energies and do a lot better at giving to others when asked, to help me be more willing to surrender myself. See, he knows what a total brat I am about sharing my time – I rather hoard it like a kid who hit the jackpot at Halloween. It was no easy prayer to utter. It may have been accompanied by some deep inner growling.

Basically, I was asking the impossible.

I fully expected him to answer this obviously good and proper prayer. And he did—almost immediately. I felt like he answered me very clearly.

He said, “You don’t have to surrender to everyone. Just to me.”

Wait, what? Aren’t I supposed to give cheerfully and serve unselfishly?

“Yes. But just because needs cross your path, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically on you to answer every one. Sometimes you will help, and that may be deeply sacrificial. And when you give, you’ll sense My Spirit guiding and empowering you. Not depleting you. Not pressuring you. Not violating any of the boundaries that became necessary for your healing. But sometimes, what others need from you is not a sacrifice of your time and energy, but loving encouragement to bring their need to Me.”

I’m still processing this, still learning to listen to God, to discern when to say yes with a willing heart, how to gently say no, and when to say, “Let me encourage you and pray with you and not take this over for you.”

I suppose the key to Christian surrender is that we not allow ourselves to be pulled in so many directions that we’re pulled to shreds, which would make us useful to no one, but that we be willing to present ourselves daily as a living sacrifice to the Lord, and then allow him to send us, and work through us by his love, grace, and life-giving power, as he directs and enables.

Let’s be careful to take our orders from the One we serve, who does not enslave and burden, but who guides, empowers, and gives generously.

Find a similar post here: https://camilleeide.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/surrender-brings-freedom/

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