10 Ways Surrender Leads to Success

1. Humble yourself and God will lift you up.

No one sets out to fail in life. It isn’t our goal to be last in line, unnoticed or forgotten. Instead, we are taught we must market ourselves, go for the gold, develop our platform, increase our following. Yet, God’s Word instructs: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

If Scripture actually contained the verse “God helps those who help themselves,” then every Christian could rightfully be in a race with one another to secure God’s help with their success. Yet, Psalm 75:6-7 tells us there’s ultimately nothing we can do to promote ourselves: “For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”  Want to get that job promotion, that coveted award, that position of honor? Humble yourself by acknowledging you are in God’s hands and He is the One who promotes and exalts.

 

2. Quit fighting and win.

The world – and your own flesh – will tell you to work harder and strive more in order to win, but Scripture tells us: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In the King James Version, the phrase “Be still” is translated “Cease striving.”  While our human nature will tell us to insist upon our own way or fight for our rights, especially when we feel we’re being harassed, God’s way is always different. It always involves trust, rest, and surrender.

When you find yourself in a battle or you feel like you’re facing a sea of uncertainty, not sure where to go next, remember Moses’ words to the Israelites as they were trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).

When you give up the fight, that’s often when you realize through Christ you have already won. True success is found in peace, not striving.

 

3. Go last and become first.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The one with the most toys wins”–not in God’s kingdom. Jesus said: “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30).

When we surrender the need to accumulate, to have the best of everything and the most of anything, and we no longer have to be first in line, we begin to understand God’s way of doing things. Volunteer to be last and discover the unexpected joy of God giving you a “front-of-the-line” pass.

 

4. Give it away and you’ll have more.

I grew up learning a tithing principle that sounds like this: God can do more with 10 percent of your money than you can do with 100 percent of it. I believe a more accurate saying is God can do more with all of your money when you recognize it’s all His, anyway.

In Second Corinthians 9, we are told “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work….You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion….” (verses 6-8, 11)

Giving to God, financially, is a matter of trust. And whether or not you succeed, financially, depends on your trust as well as your goals: Is it your goal to own it all or acknowledge that God owns it all and be a part of the work that He is doing in your local church, your community, and around the world? Is your goal to give or to receive? The more you give, the more you’ll have to give. That is God’s math. And that is financial success in God’s eyes.

5. Give it up and get it back, only better.

God tested Abraham’s level of surrender by asking him to give up his only heir and long-awaited son, Isaac, after promising him years earlier that through Isaac, his descendants would outnumber the sand on the seashore. Abraham was obedient to God’s request and God not only spared the life of Abraham’s son, but reiterated His promise to give Abraham so much more. (Genesis 22:1-18)

There may be days when God asks something of you that seems impossible, but God honors complete obedience and surrender. Often, when he asks for something, it’s so He can give you something far better in return. Jesus said: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29)

 

6. Give up your “Plan A” for God’s “Plan B.”

We all struggle with this one. We have our idea of what’s best for us. But God, as our perfect Heavenly Father, knows so much more what is best for His children. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Yet, we focus on what God doesn’t give or what He appears to be taking away. Psalm 84:11 tells us, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Some of God’s best gifts to us are the very things He decides to withhold – sometimes as a gift in themselves. Surrender to His best by realizing that what He withholds is often for your protection. And when God says, “No,” it might be that He has something far better to give you instead. Trust that when you surrender to “Plan B,” it might actually be God’s “Plan A,” and if so, it amounts to success every time.

 

7. Rest and you’ll be more productive.

Busyness is today’s badge of success. We even carry this over to ministry, thinking the busier we are for God, the more He must be blessing our church, our business, or our ministry project. But God would rather have us be with Him than do a bunch of things for Him. After all, Jesus told a man that in order to win the favor of God we must not work for it, but “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

Yes, we are to do our work “heartily, as to the Lord,” but we aren’t to ignore His command to rest. (Colossians 3:23) To rest is to trust. Psalm 127:2 says: “It is vain for you to rise up early,to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” That means that as you rest and trust in Him, He can provide for you.

Serve Him out of love for Him, not to earn His love for you, and not in order for Him to bless you. When you take time to rest and to remember that you were created to love God and enjoy Him forever, He brings a satisfaction to your soul and a joy to your heart (and a productivity to your work, as well.) That is restful and successful living.

 

8. Prefer the secret life, not the spotlight.

“No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret… show yourself to the world.” No, that’s not marketing advice for today’s entrepreneurs. Nor is it Rule No. 1 in “Building a Social Media Following.” It’s what Jesus’ unbelieving brothers said to Him when He refused to “go public” at the Festival of Booths in John 7:1-4. Jesus eventually went to the festival “not publicly, but in secret” (verse 10) because His time had not yet come.

What are you doing in secret? Communing with Him? Studying His Word? Letting Him examine your heart and motives? Be willing to lead more of a secret, quiet life of holiness than a public one professing it. That is success to God.

 

9. Get there faster with God aboard.

We all have our plans. And we think they’re pretty good. Until God intervenes. Or life intervenes. Or self intervenes and we find ourselves off course. In John 6, Jesus’ followers got into a boat without Him and found themselves straining at the oars, trying to push through a storm when the wind and waves got rough. They rowed about three or four miles and then saw Jesus walking toward them on the water. When they saw him, they were terrified. “Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading” (verse 21).

Be willing to let God into your boat, (or your marriage, or your project, or your plan) so He can more quickly get you where He wants you to go. It might not seem like the best plan to you. It might seem a little unconventional (walking on the water is certainly “out of the box”), but God’s way always trumps your way and mine, every time.

 

10. Lose your life and you’ll find it.

Jesus said, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”(Matthew 10:39)To lose your life is to surrender, to admit it’s not your own and you belong to someone else. That smacks in the face of self-ambition, directing one’s own life, being the master of your domain. But when you realize you were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and you submit to your Master and Savior, the life you find in return is the only one worth living.

In essence, you and I must die in order to live. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Die to self. Live to Christ. When you live the life of Christ through you, you are living a life successful in the eyes of your Creator, Master, Savior and Lord.

The Jesus way wedded to the Jesus truth brings about the Jesus life.

The way of Jesus is the way to life—real life, real human life, the good life we have all innately longed for. Jesus said:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

We all want the life Jesus offers, even if we cannot completely articulate it. The life of Jesus is the water that will quench our deepest thirst and the bread that will satisfy our deepest desires. Jesus is that living water and that bread of life.

Sadly, far too many people have assumed all that is necessary to experience that life is to confess the truth about Jesus. They have been told, “Pray this prayer. Say these words. Acknowledge this truth about Jesus. That is it. Do these things and you will experience eternal life.”

Here’s the problem: When people confess the Jesus truth and then don’t experience the Jesus life, they get frustrated and give up on the faith.

What they are missing is the very thing Jesus called us to do. They are frustrated because they haven’t yet learned to walk in Jesus’ ways as disciples. Confessing the Jesus truth is what gets us into what Jesus is doing. Walking in the Jesus way keeps us in. We need both.

“The Jesus way wedded to the Jesus truth brings about the Jesus life. We can’t proclaim the Jesus truth but then do it any old way we like. Nor can we follow the Jesus way without speaking the Jesus truth.”

Authentic disciples cannot cling to the the truth about Jesus while avoiding the way of Jesus. The Jesus truth plus the Jesus way equals the Jesus life.

Love is a powerful action

We seek wholeness in the love of God. We pursue it in a lifelong companion. We give it selflessly to our children and withhold it from our enemies. Love is an action we take part in daily.

How can you love well? Fortunately, the Bible is packed with verses about love that applies to all relationships! Below you will find verses, and even some encouraging quotes, about how to give love and receive love. Find truth to pierce your heart and mind, whether it be in loving God, family, your enemy, or yourself, just to name a few.

It is love that changes the world.

 

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  John 3:16-17

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  Isaiah 54:10

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”  

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  1 John 4:16

“God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”  

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.”  Ephesians 2:4-5

“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”  Psalm 86:15

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”  John 15:9-17

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’” 

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”  1 John 3:1

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  1 Chronicles 16:34

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”  Romans 8:28

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.”  Psalm 36:5-6

“His banner over me is love.”  Song of Songs 2:4

“The LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”  Proverbs 3:12

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Love Verses & Quotes for Your Spouse

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:12

“Great marriages don’t happen by luck or by accident. They are the result of a consistent investment of time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, affection, prayer, mutual respect, and a rock-solid commitment between a husband and a wife.”  Dave Willis

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death…Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”  Song of Songs 8:6-7

“Marriage is sharing your life with your best friend, enjoying the journey along the way, and arriving at every destination together.”  Fawn Weaver

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“A marriage cannot survive when we think only of ourselves. We need to recognize that to love someone is a choice, not a feeling.”  Christin Slade

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”  Proverbs 18:22

 

Love Verses & Quotes for Your Kids

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”  Psalm 127:3-4

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”  Charles Swindoll

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”  Colossians 3:21

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4

“I believe that if an angel were to wing his way from earth up to Heaven, and were to say that there was one poor, ragged boy, without father or mother, with no one to care for him and teach him the way of life; and if God were to ask who among them were willing to come down to this earth and live here for fifty years and lead that one to Jesus Christ, every angel in Heaven would volunteer to go. Even Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Almighty, would say, “Let me leave my high and lofty position, and let me have the luxury of leading one soul to Jesus Christ.” There is no greater honour than to be the instrument in God’s hands of leading one person out of the kingdom of Satan into the glorious light of Heaven.”  

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:11

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

“We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models – most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out.”

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”  Proverbs 3:1-12

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—’so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”  Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.”  Colossians 3:20

Appreciate your parents. You never know what sacrifices they went through for you.” Anonymous

“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”  1 Timothy 5:4

Then he [Jesus] went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”  Luke 2:51

“Love your parents and treat them with loving care. For you will only know their value when you see their empty chair.” Anonymous

“Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight.”  Proverbs 4:1

“I’ll always remember the things you have taught me and how much you love me.”  Anonymous

“The way you help heal the world is that you start with your own family.”  Mother Teresa

“Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.”  Proverbs 23:25

Love Verses & Quotes for Your Friends & Neighbors

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  John 15:13

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35

To love someone means to see him as God intended him.”

Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.”  Colossians 3:14

“Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Ephesians 5:2

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Matthew 22:37-39

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”  Augustine

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:3-4

“But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright.”

 

Love Verses & Quotes for Your Enemy

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John 4:7-8

Let all that you do be done in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14

Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.”  Proverbs 10:12

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”  Proverbs 25:21-22

“You will never really love until you love someone who hates you.”  Jack Hyles

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:9-10

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great…”  Luke 6:35

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.”  1 John 2:9-10

There may come a time when it will be possible for you to humiliate your worst enemy or even to defeat him, but in order to love the enemy you must not do it… The Greek language has another word [for love]. It calls it agape. Agape is more than romantic love. Agape is more than friendship. Agape is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men. Agape is an overflowing love, a spontaneous love, which seeks nothing in return. And theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. When you rise to love on this level you love all men, not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, not because they are worthful to you, but you love all men because God loves them. And you rise to the noble heights of loving the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. And I think this is what Jesus means when he says, “Love your enemies.” 

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”  Luke 6:27-28

 

Love Verses & Quotes for the Church & God’s Kingdom

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”  1 Corinthians 12:12-26

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:42-47

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”  1 Corinthians 1:10

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Love Verses & Quotes for Your Self Worth

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13-14

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  2 Timothy 1:7

“Let me tell you how worthwhile you are. You are infinitely valuable to God. First, God created you. Second, Jesus died for you. Third, he puts his Spirit within you. Fourth, he wants you to be with him forever in eternity. That’s how valuable you are to God. You are infinitely valuable to God.”

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  1 Peter 29

 

Love Verses & Quotes for God

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  Colossians 3:1-2

“My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.”  Proverbs 23:26

“Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’”  Genesis 32:26

“To know God is to be transformed, and thus to be introduced to a life that could not otherwise be experienced.”  D. A. Carson

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  Matthew 22:37

We love because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:19

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns!’”  1 Chronicles 16:23-31

“Jesus is moved to happiness every time He sees that you appreciate what He has done for you.”  

The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”  Exodus 15:2

God doesn’t want you to have holes

In this fallen world, everyone has holes that are punched into the fabric of their lives by painful past experiences, creating voids in their souls. If you haven’t yet invited God to heal your holes, they can limit your life and prevent you from reaching your God-given potential.

God doesn’t want you to have holes; He wants you to be whole: full of the power to fulfill all of His great purposes for you. So here’s how you can invite God to fill the holes in your life:

Look into the hole of religion. Religion that doesn’t reflect the reality of who Jesus is can leave you with holes that point you to rituals and rules as ends in themselves rather than as ways to express your faith in Jesus. When you have religious holes in your soul, you may struggle with guilt or pretence, mistakenly thinking that Jesus won’t really love you because of your sin, or that you constantly have to impress Him in order to approach Him. You may fail to trust Jesus because of holes you’ve suffered from people in the church who have betrayed your trust, and you don’t distinguish between sinful people and Jesus, who never sins. Your belief in Jesus won’t lead to any real change in your life because it will escape through the holes in your soul before you can put it into action.

Heal the holes from religion. Stop trying to earn God’s love through performing religious duties, and instead embrace the unconditional love that He offers you. Ask God to help you become more aware of His constant presence with you. Make a habit of relying on God’s power working through you to live faithfully; not your own limited efforts. When you face the reality of dealing with sinful people in the church, allow them to be human and realize you need God’s grace just as much as they do. Trust that when you pray about how to relate to difficult people, God’s love will cover each situation and work it out for the best. When you let God’s grace flow through you other people, you represent Jesus well to them, and God can then use you to powerfully influence their lives. You can grow constantly closer to God and become the person God wants you to become once the religious holes in your life are filled.

Look into the holes from roles. While it’s fine to enjoy the various roles that God gives you to fulfill in life — from your personal roles (like spouse, parent, or friend) to your professional role in your chosen occupation – if you define yourself by those roles, you’ll get holes in your soul. Your identity as a person should come only from your relationship with God through Jesus; only that can truly fulfill you. Your roles can enrich your life, but only your relationship with God can actually change your life in the ways that matter most. Your roles, while important, are temporary. But your identity as God’s beloved child is eternal. Even if all of your roles get taken away, nothing can ever separate you from God’s love for you as one of His children.

Heal the holes from roles. Realize that your relationship with God is all that ultimately matters in your life – and it’s enough, even if you don’t fulfill any other role in life than simply a person whom God loves. So make a conscious decision every day not to let your roles define you, even though you enjoy them. Don’t cling to your roles, but humbly realize that you may lose them at any time and still be okay. Invest the best of your time and energy into growing your relationship with God, since that’s what’s most important in your life. Derive your sense of personal worth from your knowledge of God’s great love for you.

Look into the holes from past experiences. Distinguish between your experiences and your story: Your experiences are just what life circumstances you’ve gone through, but your story is the journey that you and Jesus have taken together in your life. Painful past experiences may punch holes in your soul, if you let the pain they’ve left you with hold you back from fulfilling God’s purposes for you. Past experiences may limit your life and potential, unless you invite God to fill the holes that they have left within you.

Heal the holes from past experiences. Look past the pain of the painful experiences you’ve gone through so you can learn the valuable lessons that God wants you to learn from them. Realize that no experience is a failure if it helped you get to know God better. Understand what success means from God’s perspective: drawing closer to God in the effort to serve Him. Use that definition (instead of the world’s definition of success) to consider your past experiences from God’s perspective and see how worthwhile they really were. Keep in mind that knowing God is the greatest experience you can ever have, so whenever an experience teaches you something more about God, it’s a blessing. Also recognize that the story of how God has helped you overcome your past painful experiences is an incredibly valuable one that has the power to inspire other people.

Desire God more than anyone or anything else in life. You can heal from any type of holes in your soul when you come to the end of yourself, realize that none of your own efforts will be enough to heal you, and choose to rely fully on God for the healing you need. Make your relationship with God your top priority in life, and center everything else around it. Ask God to heal all of the holes in your soul and invite Him to transform every part of your life. Trust that God will fill you up with His power every day as you wholeheartedly pursue a closer relationship with Him.

Your Life this Week

We can all get in a mode of playing it safe in life. We tend to retreat from things that are hard. When we look back over time, we often have many regrets. How will you live this week? Live life this week with …

No reserve: Do NOT hold back this week. Whatever it is or whatever you are facing, do not hold back. Face it. Go for it.

No retreat: Do NOT always choose the easy path this week. There are times when God’s will is not easy. Go forward in what God is leading you to do in life. Do not turn back. Go forward with God.

No regret: Do NOT live cautiously this week. When this week is over, have no regrets. Live life to the fullest. Choose only God’s will this week

One Man’s Prayer For Mandela