Since I've started this journey of attempting a surrendered life publicly, I've had lots of time to mull over the question: What is surrendered living?
In my head, I think I know the answer, even though I've never been able to live it out day to day. Even in the three days since I began this journey.
This weekend, I did some of my Bible reading in the Amplified version, and God used these words to speak to me about surrender:
"But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name--" John 1:13
This gives me the picture of an infant, who is completely dependent on mom to be taken care of. As we grow, we separate from our parents and become more and more independent, which is the way it should be. However, as we become the person we are, if we children of God, we should then learn to depend on Him. This is how the Amplified Bible translates 'believe.' It's not just a head knowledge or a heart feeling, it's a lifestyle.
I can say I believe in God, yet make decisions every day that go against His character.
I can say I adhere to God, yet never slow down to spend real, quality time with Him.
I can say I trust in God, yet question the things that happen in my life that I don't like or understand.
I can say I rely on God, yet never stop to seek His guidance before making choices.
And these are the practices of surrendered living that I'm committing to. To live out a complete belief. To submit EVERYTHING in prayer. To be willing to give up things that are good (chocolate cake, fun TV shows, being a part of a dozen activities) for things that are better (fruit, time with God, focused work) -- if He calls me to. He may not lead me to give up some things I'm not wanting to give up, or He may. Living a surrendered life means I am willing to give those things up - even my birthday strawberry pie.
It is a constant battle - my want to and my want to - they are often at great odds. This morning, I started the day with prayer, but not with my Bible. I will commit to getting to it later, with a promise not to watch TV til I do. I've been eating better, but still compulsively. I have been exercising again, despite body aches and creaks.
I am the type of person who's willing to put a lot of effort in, but I know me: I won't maintain it. To maintain a surrendered life, I know I will have to rely on the Lord, trust in Him, adhere to Him, and give up all desires other than to love and live obediently to Him.
This is my prayer today.