Give yourselves to God…
surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purpose.
Romans 6:13 TEV
The day was toast. I was toast. In an almost vegetative state, lounged across my bed with phone in hand, I scrolled through Instagram. I barely registered my son’s voice as it echoed in my ear. How long had he been sitting there? I sat up as it dawned on me that Micah had walked into my room earlier, and talked to me the entire time. As if not noticing him wasn’t bad enough, I had actually responded to him as I scrolled (“uh huh”, “really”, “wow”, “that’s funny”). I stopped my multi-tasking and stared at my child.
Now, this boy has an advanced degree in the spoken word, and he’s only 14. Micah thinks verbally and needs to dump about 100,000 words per day. In the summertime, without his classmates around, I am usually the “dumpee” for the much of those words. Just sayin’. Still, pretending to listen and focusing elsewhere is the opposite of the way I want to mother him.
Anyway, as conviction bubbled in me, I apologized to this great kid of mine and he forgave me. Then, without missing a beat, continued his story.
I confess this is not an isolated occurrence, neither are the many “unrighteous” actions or choices I make. That is why the verse above, Romans 6:13, is a surrender scripture I memorized this year, my year of Surrender.
The Lord continues to show me areas where I have not yielded my “whole being to Him“. I want to “be used for righteous purpose“. In whatever big or small ways the Lord may lead.
There are days when my life, my brain, or my actions look the opposite of Romans 6:13: my whole being is sure not surrendered to Him and I ain’t being used for a righteous purpose.
Besides ignoring my kid, lately, I have struggled with anxiety. My mind and stomach bubbling with “what ifs” and “how is this going to work?”. This summer, I exhausted heaps of emotional energy trying to figure out “how it was going to work” with my dad’s health and healthcare needs. I also worried about one of my sons, asking myself “what if?” repeatedly. After I relinquished these heavy loads at God’s feet, I would sneak back in and haul them out again.
My friends, this verse from Romans whispers to my heart. I crave the freedom my Savior gives. I dislike the burden of worry I sometimes carry. So, why do I do the opposite of what I want to do?
Unfortunately, a surrendered life is not a one-time action. Our “flesh” or “sinful nature” as the Bible calls it, creeps in for control. As we grow in grace and make the practice of submission a priority, the power of the Holy Spirit increases in us. Although, to a certain extent, we will always be a people of the flesh until life on earth ends.
However, I find the following practices keep me on track when I go sideways in surrender…
- I recite scripture (like Romans 6:13) and read passages in the Psalms (my go-to book!). I identify with David and his struggles. David’s relatable honesty as he cried out to God lifts me. This man wrestled, yet was still a man after God’s heart. His life became a practice of yielding to God.
- I also find I need intentionality and I must be anxiety aware in seasons with extra stresses, pressures, and busyness. Otherwise, I go ugly- the opposite of God’s righteous purpose.
- I call a friend. Someone to pray for me when my mountain seems unconquerable, or I am spinning my wheels.
- I give myself grace. Some days stink. Some days, I stink (and look at my Instagram instead of my son). God lavishes His grace on me and I accept, knowing that tomorrow is a fresh day and His mercies are new each morning.
- I scribble gratitude in my journal (I have an articulate son who loves to hang out with me, my dad is still living, etc.). Gratitude grounds me.
My friend, do you desire to surrender yourself to God for a righteous purpose? If so, take heart, growing in grace is a practice and a process, which can begin this moment. Your Savior waits with arms full of mercy. His Word bursts with life-sustaining promises and hope.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear Micah calling. I will get up, leave my phone, and sit with him. I shall joyfully look him in the eye and listen to as he tells me about his day.