In May, we talked about what it means to Examine Your Heart. When you assess your heart and the motivations behind it, God brings to light the why behind what you’ve been doing and gives you the opportunity to align your why to His.
This month, we dig into what it looks like to Surrender Your Heart and submit to the leading of Jesus and His motivations in your life.
In competition, we’re taught not to surrender. We play with everything we have, refusing to give up one inch on the field or one point to the opposing team. It’s all or nothing, and we refuse to give in. That’s the power and thrill of play. We’re fierce with our convictions and play with a deep sense of loyalty to our team and what it represents.
Surrender is unyielding, but what about when it comes to our faith? If we take the same perspective off the field as on it, are we closing ourselves off for deeper meaning? If we are to Pursue Life, shouldn’t we stop putting off the upside-down ways of Christ that actually bring us to a place of abundance?
Sometimes, giving in is the greatest decision we can make.
It’s time to surrender.
Surrender Your Heart
We choose to relinquish control and submit to the authority and power of God.
We tend to think of surrender as something bad. We surrender in defeat, in giving up, in losing. The negative connotation comes when we feel we are saying we are not enough, we don’t have what it takes or aren’t able to do the task, so we have to admit we don’t have it all together.
But what if surrender meant something else? What if we chose to see it as something good?
You’ve heard the knock at the door of your heart. You’ve been brave to examine the motivations of your heart and maybe realized they haven’t lined up to where God is inviting you to go.
Will you choose to let God guide your life?
Surrender is a yielding, a giving up possession of our lives and recognizing we never truly had control in the first place. It’s a personal decision. We choose to relinquish control and submit to the authority and power of God.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
You’ve opened your heart. You’ve allowed God to shine His light in areas you haven’t wanted Him to see, but you took a brave step to admit that maybe you haven’t been moving in the right direction.
You’ve examined your heart. You’ve taken a look at the whys behind what you do. And Jesus has been knocking on the door to your heart, wanting to make His home with you.
Now, it’s time to take that next step and surrender your heart. God’s seen every inch of what’s inside you, and He hasn’t left. He’s placing Jesus in front of you and asking you to make a choice: will you surrender your heart and give Him prime placement?
Surrender to Jesus
Jesus surrendered to the Father’s will as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Knowing what was before Him, Jesus willingly laid down His life for the sake of you and me.
We in turn surrender to Jesus as our Savior, fully God and fully man, who cleared a path to everlasting life by way of the cross.
It’s not our will, but God’s, and that comes through accepting that Jesus lived a perfect life on earth, obediently died on the cross, and conquered sin and death forever. By Him we have salvation; there is no other means.
“He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. ‘Abba, Father,’ he cried out, ‘everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’” (Mark 14:35-36)
Surrender to New Life
In Christ, our old ways and habits are traded in for a different lifestyle. Out with the old; now, a new way is ushered in. As we surrender to the Lordship of Christ, He begins to teach us how to love God deeper, love others and look after their well-being and live out His Kingdom on earth.
No matter what we’ve done, said or believed, once we turn our life over to Christ, His blood has us covered. God sees us as He sees His Son, and we grow in Him and bear His image.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Surrender to God’s Pursuits
If we surrender our lives to the leading of Jesus, the next step is to trade in our old pursuits and motivations for ones that are guided by God. What does He want us to focus on? Is it being kinder to our teammates? Looking for ways we can serve our community? Or maybe it’s simply giving Him more of our time each day.
Once God has hold of our heart, He shapes it to how He sees best. He begins to place in us new passions, a new way of seeing the world around us, and instills a desire to love like He does. The way we pursue life and athletics has an eternal tint to it now as we keep our eyes open for what God has in store.
“We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be purse in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your actions to the LORD and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:1-3).
As we willingly choose to pivot from our old ways of living and turn towards the life in full God promises in Jesus Christ, we’re transfused in an entirely different motivation to see our sport and those we play with impacted for the Kingdom of God.
Rejoice in this new pursuit of life in Christ! His ways are worth it.
Consider: Are you willing to surrender your ways and life to Jesus Christ?
Action: Take the step of faith and accept salvation through Jesus, preparing your heart to receive His love and motivation.
This quarter, we’re exploring what it means to Pursue Life. This month, our focus is on how to Surrender Your Heart. Join us as we journey through this exploration and prepare to Pursue Team next month and quarter.
One way to openly engage with your heart is through FCA’s The CORE, a journey through eight essentials on how to engage in God’s Word, be equipped in the basics of faith and be empowered to help others grow in Jesus Christ. Bring a friend along and join the journey!
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
Other Pursue Articles:
January: Imperative: Read The Truth
February: Connected: Pray The Truth
March: Accountable: Reach For Truth
April: Be Honest: Open Your Heart
May: Be Intentional: Examine Your Heart
Photo courtesy of Unsplash