One of my recent blogs prompted the following question and comment.
“Can you tell me how to fully surrender to the Lord? I have read Andrew Murray’s book Fully Surrendered a long time ago, but it was a thing that seemed too hard or it seemed I was not ready. I don’t think we’re ever really ready. I have some very hard consequences in my life now and it seems that to really hear from the Lord I need to know that I am all the way in with him. I need his protection and words of wisdom in my life. If you read this please write me something.”
For the past few days, these words have been going round and round in my mind as I have been wrestling with how to answer the question. Many books have been written on this and similar subjects, and I could possibly add a few thousand words of my own, but I really sensed that the writer of the question wasn’t looking for a long theological answer, but a practical response which really works in the everyday activities of normal life!
So, at risk of sounding simplistic, I’m going to make the answer brief and to the point and say, One step at a time! Now that may sound terribly obvious, but in my experience, it is the terribly obvious things that often get overlooked, especially when people try to look for a comprehensive answer, that will cover all possible situations and types of people.
There is only one place you can start from in your search for a solution – and that’s the place where you now are. And there is only one way you can move from where you now are – and that’s one step at a time. You cannot suddenly find yourself a few years down the road of life, or even a few weeks down the line, with all your problems solved – you can only live today’s moment – none of us can live life in any other way!
So, ultimately, the answer to the question is a little like the Chinese proverb which says: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And when that single step has been repeated many, many times you will discover you’ve travelled a thousand miles from your starting place.
So, if your spiritual objective is to live a fully surrendered life, don’t try and imagine what that might look like and then try and live up to the spiritual image you may have conjured up in your imagination, because you cannot get from where you are now to that longed for destination in one big step! So stop imagining what the end-result may be and only think about the next step – for that’s the most important step in the whole of your life – get that one right and then you can think about the next one, and the next one, and the next one and so on!
Tomorrow’s miracle is always built on the foundation of today’s obedience – and that’s the most important key of all to living that fully surrendered life. Today’s obedience will always lead you in the right direction. I don’t know any people that might fit the category of living a fully surrendered life who got there in one big step. It was always a fruit of determined perseverance, looking to the Lord for His direction about each and every step of the way.
So, having made your decision that you want Jesus to be Lord of every area of your life, simply review every step you make, one at a time, before Him. If you’re not sure what to do, wait until you are. The peace of God will guide you. God does speak to His children. One of the reasons why I wrote Ellel 365 was to help people get to the place where they would be able to know and recognise the voice of the Lord, so that each step they take will be in God’s direction for today – and having made that step we can then leave the consequences with him as we review the next one.
Holiness isn’t delivered by angels, like food from a fast-food outlet! It grows on and in us as we make the right choices on a daily basis. There are very few big decisions in life, only lots of small ones. But when you’ve made lots of right small decisions you will be surprised at how significant are the consequences of the journey you’re on.
A great artist looks at a blank canvas and then meticulously covers it with tiny brush strokes. You may look at the finished work and stand in total amazement at what you now see. But even though you can see the whole picture in its finished state, the painting is not made with one magnificent, artistic gesture, through which the whole image suddenly comes into view. It takes thousands of single brush strokes – one at a time – in the hand of a master artist to create the finished image.
And each one of us is like an artist’s brush – with it we place a blob of paint on the picture of our life. But when THE Master has hold of the brush, and we allow him to decide where the blob of paint will go, then we can be confident that out moment by moment surrendering to Him will one day give other people the impression of what a fully surrendered life looks like!