“What?!? That title doesn’t even make sense. Give Up and Surrender are the same thing!”
According to Google:
“Surrender” means “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.”
“Give up” means “cease making an effort; resign oneself to failure.”
Surrender and giving up are two very different things.
God does not want us to give up on the dreams he’s called us to. He gave us those things that make our heart leap. Don’t stop your effort, don’t resign to failure, no matter how impossible it seems.
Even if it’s a situation you find yourself in that you don’t want to be in.
An unhappy marriage? Even if the original marriage was a “mistake” and God didn’t call you to marry that person, if you’re currently married, God is calling you to stay married. Don’t give up with a divorce.
An unplanned pregnancy? God is calling you to be a parent (or maybe adopt out). Don’t give up with an abortion.
A life that doesn’t feel worth living? God is calling you to keep living – he has a plan for you. Don’t give up with suicide.
A fatal illness? God is a healer, often in this life, and always in the next. God is calling you to walk a difficult road, displaying faith through weakness to everyone around you. You are inspiring them to keep going.
God will meet you on the journey. Never give up.
Here’s a game I often play with myself to keep going when I feel despair or hopelessness. If I knew this crazy thing was actually going to work, what’s the next step I would be taking right now? What would I be doing? And then I do that.
Doing the next right thing allows God to move on our behalf. But if we give up and do nothing, we tie his hands. “Cast your bread upon the waters for you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1)
God does want us to surrender, however. God is not our enemy or opponent, but we often treat him that way. We often resist him by trying to do it our way in our own strength.
So how do we surrender to him? What does that look like? It looks like partnering with him. He’s our “business partner,” whether it’s an actual business, a marriage, parenting, or whatever. We talk it through with him. Often. Who ever heard of business partners never discussing the business?
A good litmus test that we’re surrendered to God in an area is that we’re not anxious or stressed about the outcome. We are doing our part – we keep doing the next right thing – but we trust he’s going to do his part and make it work. Eventually.
And if it’s not working, then we trust he’s teaching us something. We talk it through with him, and keep doing the (possibly adjusted) next right thing until it works.
So what about you? What do you think? Does this resonate? Leave us a comment or shoot us an email. Tell us your story. And please, if you think this would bless others, share it on Facebook or your favorite social media. We look forward to hearing from you!