so you’ve given it to God. now what?

photo-1479648490851-ba0a18de1bc8Have you ever driven somewhere and finally reached where you were going and wondered: “How did I get here?” Those moments scare me, because I wonder if I was paying attention to the road at all. It normally happens when I’m driving somewhere familiar, just lost in thought.

But it happens in life, too.

Have you ever wondered how you got here?

Looking at your life with God, you’re not sure how you ended up where you are now. Maybe you were convinced you were free of this stuff. Maybe you thought you’d be stronger than you are now. But somehow, it feels like your dependency and your intimacy with Him has just faded. You didn’t mean for it to happen. But the distance feels so far and your familiarity with God feels so foreign.

And you fall back into the same kind of patterns of insecurity, jealousy, anger. You look at where you used to be and where you are now and it feels impossible to get back. You feel frustrated and anxious. Or maybe you feel nothing at all.

This is where I’ve found myself at the ending of this summer. I’ve been so far out of my routine, my daily connection to God has been a little watered down. We’re still talking. I’m still praying. But that secret place with just Him and me? It’s been a little stale and a little empty.

What do we do when we aren’t sure how to get back?

We ask.

The beautiful and sometimes really scary part of doing life with God is we can’t work our way to Him. Our intimacy level is based on our surrender. And surrender is letting it all go and giving it to God, yeah. But it’s so much more. It’s the willingness to be broken. I’m pretty sure we’re mostly okay with the first part. We’ve heard and we’ve probably seen that God really does know better than us. That handing over our lives to the One who created them is the only way to truly live.

But what we often fail to mention is the part that happens after surrender. The way that God pulls us back in. Because it can be super messy. When we ask God to take it all, to humble us, we don’t get to decide how He does it. And He really wants it all. In order to be fully known and loved, it’s all gotta go. God is after any part of us we’ll give Him, but He’s not content with the pieces we’ve decided are good enough. He’s after the broken parts. And in His sovereignty, He allows them to break just a little bit more to show you the beauty in your desperation.

Lysa Terkeurst posted this on Instagram this week, and it’s been ringing in me. “Emotions are evidence you aren’t dead inside.” The moments that feel the most shattered are most likely exactly what’s needed to bring you to where you’re wanting to go. We want to get closer to God. We want to step into deeper levels. But we aren’t usually thrilled with what it takes to get there. It’s not by reading more books or studying the Old Testament.

It takes surrender, and a willingness to do it God’s way after we say yes. It’s open ended and ongoing. If we want to do it God’s way, we can’t cling to our way. If we want His healing, we can’t self-soothe and choose other things to make us feel whole. If we want clarity, we can’t hold tight to our plans. If we want nearness to God, we’ve got to let go of our fear of vulnerability and brokenness.

God knows what He’s capable of, and He knows us. He knows what we need and we often don’t.

So whether you’ve turned away from God intentionally, or somehow you just found yourself distant; you only have one job.

Ask.

Ask for the desire to come back again. Ask for God to take over. Ask for the strength to lean into brokenness to truly see Him. Ask for desperation, for a longing for change. Ask for a desire to want to be in His word.

And ask to stick with it when God answers you His way.

God is longing for nearness more than you are. Your love for Him can’t compare to His for you. He’s on the edge of His seat, just waiting for you to ask for what He’s been waiting to give you. Just ask.

 

 

All who are obsessed with being secure in life will lose it all – including their lives. But those who let go of their lives and surrender them to Me will discover true life.”

[Luke 17:33]

 

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