By: Lakeacha Bethea-Christmas (July 2010)

My pastor,  always says that transparency brings about deliverance.  Through my writing I seek the Holy Spirit for guidance with every word I write.  Through my experiences I pray that someone will be blessed.

So many times I have said to God, “Lord this situation is too big for me to handle.  I surrender all to you!”  Then when the situation’s not resolved fast enough I picked it back up and tried to fix it myself.  The reality was that my solution was a band aid to a situation that required crazy glue.

During one of my many relapses of taking my eyes off God and placing my eyes on my situation, God asked me a question – “Are you surrendering or surviving?”  As we know, He knew the answer, yet the question was for me to answer.  I became intrigued and a bit convicted by my confession – I was surviving.  I thought I had been so careful to stay in my word, continuously pray and repent when something impure would enter my heart, yet here I was again focusing on my circumstances.  As soon as I could get in front of a computer, I began working out how to reverse my survival mentality and surrendering my all to God.

To surrender means to yield or give over.  In surrendering, we give over ourselves and our situations to God.  The problem with most of us in surrendering is if the results are not immediate we take back the situation and attempt to work it out on our own.  God does not move in our time He moves in His time.  Like the old saying goes “He may not come when you want Him but He will be there right on time.”

We want so much from God.  We expect Him to wait on us to need Him; then spring into action when that time comes.  NOPE!  God is not a genie, a magician nor our own private miracle worker.  The same way we require some things from God, He also requires some things from us.  We do not want to put in the work required for Him to lead us in battle.  When troops enter the armed forces they must go through training to become ready when war breaks out.  They go through intense training to be broken and purged from fear, laziness and self-thinking.  They must surrender all they know in order to become equipped with all they need.  Like the armed forces, there is also training or a process we must go through in order for God to totally prepare us to fully surrender.

God takes each of us through a process.  This process is not easy but it is necessary.  Like any battle, before the battle can be fought the army must be trained.  The troops must go through boot camp, which is a mental breaking process.  Because of the rigorous regimen during boot camp, some of the troops want to quit, die or rebel; however, by the end they deem the training necessary and worthwhile.  Through all the breaking they become ready for battle.
In God’s boot camp, there is a breaking process as well.  God must break our carnal desires to follow our own will which is usually the will to survive.  His ultimate goal is for us to follow His will which is the will to live an abundant life.  John 10:9-11 says “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”  So during this process, there is a lot of pain, stripping and sacrifice which must be done in order for God to purge out the old and instill in us a new heart, a new spirit, a new personality, a new objective and more strength.  See, the enemy has set the battlefield in our minds.  Romans 8:6-8 (NIV) says “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”  Therefore, if the enemy can keep us in survival mode, he can continue to steal our joy, confidence, peace and happiness.

I will admit, it is much easier said than done.  As I stated earlier, when things get tough I want to retreat back into survival mode.  The problem with survival mode is the fix is temporary.  Once we have solved one situation here comes another and another and another.  Unfortunately, survival mode usually means we are doing things alone.  In the kingdom of God, when we surrender all to God, He takes control and fights for us.  All God asks of us is that we allow the process and praise Him through the battle.  As in any battle, when defeat looks inevitable, that is when God steps in and turns our situations around.

James 5:7-8 (NIV) says “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”  I equate this passage to playing a football game.  Your team might be down by one touchdown in the last minute of the fourth quarter.  The coach strategically places his players on the field and puts in the quarterback he trusts to make the big play.  If the team goes into survivor mode by rushing the ball down the field too fast, instead of patiently and obediently following the quarterback’s plays to gain the most yards, the team loses.  If the process is in order, their patience will pay off and the touchdown will be scored.

After much conviction, prayer and repentance I choose to surrender.  Everyday might not be a sunny day and although I might need to take a moment to be human, I must keep two scriptures in mind~ (1) Galatians 6:9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not;” and (2) 1John 4:4 (NLT) “…You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Survival mode is easy, yet easy usually proves to be temporary.  Let’s surrender to God, go through our process and let Him lead the way.