To a degree, our life is the sum of the decisions that we have made whether good or bad. It’s easy and popular to blame others for everything that has gone wrong in our lives or made us who we are, but the truth is we all have free will. Most of us have some regrets because of some of the choices that we made. We look back on them now and go, what in the world was I thinking when I did that? There are probably entire chapters in your life that you wish you could just rip out and throw away. College? Toss it. High school? Toss it. Your first marriage? Toss it. There are a few years in my life that I wish I could have just thrown away. The truth is that most of us are not where we thought we would be when we turned 35, 45, 55 or 75. We thought we would be in one place and instead are in an entirely different place.
Think about this: How would your life be different tomorrow if you surrender to God’s will today? We cannot change what was but we can change what will be. We can make the decision to surrender our ways to God’s ways and it will have an incredible impact on the trajectory of our life from this point forward. It is possible to know and do the will of God if you are ready and willing to surrender your ways so you can follow His. The goal of every believer should be to honestly pray “may your will be done in my life.” What you do with your life is of great importance to God because of what He is doing in the world. In spite of all the confusion it is possible to surrender your life to Christ so that you can follow His will. You can use your free will to surrender to God’s will for your life.
The author of Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Submission involves surrendering. It involves surrendering my own selfish desires and motives to the rule and reign of Christ. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul writes: “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5
In other words it’s saying, “God I trust you and surrender my will to you so that I can follow your will for me.” This is important because in the kingdom of God a surrendered life is a victorious life.
This is how you can surrender your will and follow God’s will:
First, learn God’s Word. The bible is God’s written word. It is inerrant, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and useful in all matters of Christian doctrine and practice. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The bible is where you learn about the promises of God. Promises like: salvation, provision, encouragement, deliverance, redemption, love, grace, and mercy. God will never lead you to do something that violates his word. We learn God’s Word by reading it and by participating in a group where we can ask questions and share stories.
Second, understand God’s ways. God’s ways are revealed in his Word. The bible reveals how God has worked in the lives of many, many people over thousands of years. The more you know how God worked in them and through them the easier it will be for you to discern the will of God in your life. God’s Word reveals how to manage our finances, family, sexuality, relationships, and everything else. Once you know God’s ways it’s easier to discern God’s will.
Because God is interested in you he wants you to follow His will because it is the best for you. God loves you and wants to lead you. He wants to provide for you like a good, compassionate, loving, kind, and gracious father. But you ask: “What if we really think we are following God’s will and everything falls apart? Was that God’s will?” Sometimes it is God’s will for believers to suffer for him and persevere through trials. Other times the sins of others and even our own sins have a profound impact on our lives and we have to pick up the pieces and go from there. For whatever reason, sometimes God allows bad things to happen to good people to teach us or help us grow closer to Him.
Third, apply God’s wisdom to your life. This is what we need to understand: the more familiar we are with God’s Word and the more obedient we are to God’s ways the easier it will be to apply godly wisdom that helps us stay centered in God’s will. And when we apply godly wisdom we will be able to discern the personal will of God for us. But to get there you must surrender your ways and follow God’s ways. How will your life be different tomorrow if you surrender to God’s will today? I don’t know, but I do know that when we live a surrendered life we are living a victorious life. Apply godly wisdom today and you will live with fewer regrets tomorrow.