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571 - The Fifth Step – Surrendering to God’s Sovereignty
Episode 57127th October 2023 • Leaving Laodicea • Steve McCranie
00:00:00 00:11:55

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He is God, and We Are Not

By nature, we are control freaks. We pray for divine healing, but only after our physician shakes his head and says, “Well, there’s nothing left to do but pray,” and our medical insurance runs out. We claim Matthew 6:33, where Jesus promises to meet all our needs, but again, only after we max out our credit cards and can’t make the minimum payments. In other words, we try to fix everything our way, in our own strength, and ask no one for advice or help. It’s only when we come up short that we pray and ask the Lord to bless our efforts (emphasis on our) or get us out of the jam we seem to have stumbled into again. This is not a life of surrender. Nor does it acknowledge the sovereignty of God. The fifth step in surrendering your life to the Lord demands trusting completely in His goodness, grace, mercy, and especially— His sovereignty. Remember, He is God (and all that entails), and we are not. And the sooner we learn this truth, the closer we are to fully surrendering, and trusting Him.

Surrendering our lives fully to God requires trusting in His sovereignty— meaning He is in complete control and His plans are always best. But what does it really mean to trust God’s sovereignty? And why is absolute submission to His supreme plan vital for fully yielding our lives to Him? Let’s explore the meaning of God’s sovereignty, some biblical examples of surrender, and the reasons why relinquishing control to His authority brings peace and purpose to our lives.

Defining God’s Sovereignty

Trusting in God’s sovereignty means believing He reigns supreme over everything, including you and your circumstances. He has divine plans and purposes far beyond our human comprehension (Isa. 55:8-9). It’s acknowledging that nothing happens without His permission, and He can, and will, use any circumstance, good or bad, to grow us in maturity and glorify Himself.

Surrendering to His sovereignty requires faith that God’s way is perfect, even when life feels random or senseless or anything but perfect. We must believe He cherishes us unconditionally and understands precisely what we need in every situation, even if what He knows we need is not what we have been praying for. We must be fully convinced that God is not only “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20), but that He is also willing, as a loving Father who adores His children. And when He moves in His sovereign manner, we must know and rest in the truth that His perspective surpasses our limited human insight, and He knows best— even when we can’t see it or doubt His goodness.

Some Biblical Examples of Surrender

The Scriptures are full of examples of those who faced trials greater than ours, and trusted in God’s sovereignty. Job suffered excruciating losses— his family, fortune, reputation, and health, yet declared in worship, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Even during unimaginable grief and agony, Job trusted God’s good purposes rather than questioning His supreme authority, even when he didn’t understand what God was doing.

Abraham is another well-known example. God instructed him to do the unthinkable, to sacrifice his promised son Isaac— Abraham’s only hope and future (Gen. 22). Though undoubtedly grieved and confused, Abraham obeyed God’s command by trusting the Lord had a purpose he could not yet grasp. And God, in His sovereignty, honored Abraham’s faith by providing another sacrifice instead of Isaac and blessing him beyond measure.

Even Jesus surrendered to His Father’s sovereign will. When facing the horrific pain of crucifixion, He prayed His will would be aligned with His Father’s sovereign purpose, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Though understandably dreading the torture of a Roman scourge and crucifixion, Jesus submitted to His Father’s higher plan for His sacrifice that led to our redemption. And I am sure glad He did.

Why Trusting God’s Sovereignty Matters

There are several key reasons why yielding full control of our lives to God requires trusting in His perfect sovereignty:

One, it allows God to direct our paths (which is a really good thing). Tightly clutching onto control of our lives restricts how God is able to work in us and guide our steps. If He guides, but we refuse to follow, then we suffer. But surrendering to His sovereignty gives Him the freedom to lead and direct us daily according to His will, knowing we trust His plan and will do according to His desires. As Proverbs 3:5-6 promises, “(if we) Trust in the Lord with all our heart, and (if we) lean not on our own understanding; (if we) in all your ways acknowledge Him, and (then) He shall direct your paths.” And isn’t that what we truly desire, for God to direct our paths?

For example, frantically clinging tightly to our career plans or relationship goals that aren’t aligned with God’s wise direction severely limits how He can lead us down better paths. But surrendering our agendas creates space for Him to open unexpected doors we never could have imagined, like being called into ministry or marrying a supportive spouse of His choosing who complements us perfectly, far better than what we could imagine.

Two, it brings perfect peace amid chaotic uncertainty. When turmoil, trials, or suffering strike our lives, and they will, clinging to God’s supreme authority over all things provides comfort, stability, and hope. As Psalm 9:10 promises, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

When life turns dark, and we lose jobs or loved ones and experience grief and pain, fixing our eyes on the certainty of God’s sovereignty reminds us that He will carry us through even the raging storms of life. We can find security, refuge, and hope in His promise never to abandon us (Heb. 13:5), as He sustains us through life’s darkest valleys. And the peace He gives during these times of turmoil is beyond human description or understanding (Phil. 4:7).

Three, it puts us in a position to receive from God. Surrendering to God’s sovereignty humbles us and reminds us of our utter dependence on Him rather than ourselves. Submitting to His supreme plan positions us to come before Him with open hands, ready to accept His purpose and direction for our lives with joy and thankfulness. As 1 Peter 5:6 encourages, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

For example, admitting our human limitations and praying sincerely, “Not my will, but Yours,” prepares our hearts to receive His amazing guidance, provision, and blessings that exceed our wildest expectations. And maintaining a teachable, humble spirit makes room for God to shape us into the image of His Son, which is one of the reasons for our redemption (Rom. 8:29).

Finally, It deepens our intimacy with Christ (which is the goal of the Higher Christian Life). As we loosen our tight grip on trying to control our lives, we create space for Jesus to fill us with His presence and power. Our connection and intimacy with Him soar to new heights as we learn to surrender every area of our lives fully to His Lordship. Our purpose in life becomes to fulfill the mandate of John the Baptist, who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

The more we turn away from stubborn self-reliance and give God complete authority over our lives, the more we experience His supernatural peace and joy. Our love and devotion for Christ grow exponentially as we witness Him faithfully provide for our needs, day in and day out, when we submit our motives, purposes, and desires to His greater plans. This is a picture of the life surrendered into the hands of our sovereign God.

What’s Next?

Fully trusting in God’s complete sovereignty over every aspect of our lives liberates us from trying to play God by making all the decisions and calling all the shots ourselves, which we are not very good at. Surrendering to the wonder and mystery of His higher ways permits His loving purposes to unfold and bloom in, and through, us in ways unimaginable. And living a life fully surrendered to God brings incredible freedom, peace, and purpose.

Although it’s difficult for human nature to relinquish control over anything, doing so allows the Lord to fully use us for His glory. As you reflect on this fifth of seven steps to surrender your life to Him, may your heart be compelled to abandon yourself completely to Christ. He loves you abundantly, beyond measure, and desires an intimate relationship with you. So take courage and boldly release every area of your life into His hands— your dreams, fears, relationships, doubts, failures, and future. After all, He is God, and we are but dust and ashes. And He knows what is best for His creation. So rest confidently in His infinite wisdom, love, and power at work on your behalf. Be bold and have faith to declare, “Your will be done,” as you walk in a life surrendered to Him.

And don’t wait another minute. Surrender today to the One who knows all and is all-powerful. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you do.

Our Latest Posts:

570: The Fourth Step – Presenting Yourself as a Sacrifice

569: The Third Step – Dying to Self to Gain Him

568: The Second Step – Confession and Repentance

567: The First Step in Surrendering Your Life to Him

566: Embracing a Full Understanding of Salvation



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