When Surrender Means Doing
by Craig Booker
As we pursue the truth in understanding what it means to truly surrender, God honors our heart and will reveal himself to us. When we approach God with a heart that is willing to yield our personal will to the will of God, He will often draw us closer typically through small, but seemingly large acts of obedience. There is nothing that pleases God more than when His children forgo their own will to follow the will of God. Our obedience to His commands reveals to God that we truly love him. There is no better way that we as Jesus followers can show God we mean business than by following His direction. As we learn to surrender our will to His, we will find that sometimes surrender means doing.
"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me..." John 14:21
As I continue to pursue God and do my best to follow in the example that Jesus left for us, I have found that God will often ask me to do something when I am bathing in my own fear. It is as if God is saying, "I see your fear and I challenge you to....X." That is my own whimsical interpretation of God. I do not believe that God is being insensitive to my feelings of fear. If you will allow Him, God will meet you in the midst of your fear. Whether that be as a source of comfort or to bring you out of a state of fear, God meets us there.
Gideon Hides from the Midianites
In Judges, we find Gideon in the midst of his fear, threshing wheat in a winepress to hide from the Midianites. How do I know Gideon was fearful? A winepress is by no means a proper place for Threshing wheat! It was in this place of fear that God sent an angel to appear to Gideon. At first, the cynical part of me suggests that God was being a little bit ornery in this scene. Judges 6:12 says, "When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." On second thought, I see that God was speaking truth over Gideon. God saw something in Gideon before it was fully realized. God called Gideon a mighty warrior!
Gideon Takes a Stand
After walking with Gideon through a battle with his fear and self-doubt, God called Gideon out of this fear. It was here where God called Gideon to surrender by doing.
That same night the Lord said to him, "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering." Judges 6:25-26 NIV A part of me wonders just how intense this battle was for Gideon. In Judges 6:27, we see Gideon struggling with his fear to surrender. Despite his fear for what his family and the townspeople would think, Gideon found a way to move forward in obedience anyway.
I absolutely love this story about Gideon! It shows Gideon being broken, vulnerable, and struggling, yet he found a way through his fear to obey God. It is here where Gideon understood that sometimes surrender means doing. Now, I am not certain of what God will call you to, but what I know is that like Gideon God will stretch you to come out of a place of fear and surrender to Him by doing.