DOING THE DIFFICULT: SURRENDER TO GOD

INTRODUCTION

Some people love challenges. They’ll look at something new. Something hard. And they’ll take up the challenge of doing it just to get the satisfaction or thrill of knowing they can do something they’ve never done before. Something hard. Challenging. Exhilirating.

Just so you know, I am not that way at all. I am 1,000,000,000,000% a comfort-zone type of guy. I like doing the doable. That means it’s easy and doesn’t demand a whole lot of  my time, effort, or thinking. When it comes to what’s new, difficult, or challenging, you can generally count me out, folks. I’m not touching it with a ten-foot pole! 

I won’t do the difficult—not unless I’m forced to—because life already has too many difficulties and challenges. I don’t need to  add to them. I don’t need any more trials or challenges!  I’m heading into my golden years and I love to relax, take it easy, and do what I love doing most. Can you guess what that is? It’s studying  the Bible and writing. I just love spending time with the Lord because He talks to me a lot of times—not audibly, but in my spirit—and He tells me lots of really neat stuff. Stuff that I’ve just got to share with you because, in my heart, I know He’s talking to all of us. This blog is a perfect example of the stuff God gives me when I spend time with Him. I love Him. I love what I’m doing. But I dread doing the difficult.

Here’s a question for you. When the Lord asks you to do something difficult…no, strike that. When the Lord tells you to do something difficult, something you really don’t want to do, something you think is impossible, something that’s a Are you out of your mind? I can’t do that! type of thing; what do you do?

Just so you know, you’re not the only one who’s had to do some something really, really hard. You’re not alone. We’ve all been there and done that. The biblical characters weren’t any different from us. In fact, they were exactly like us. Human. I’d like to draw on their life’s experiences and, from beyond the grave, as it were, let them share with us what we’ve got to do when the Lord gives us our Mission I M possible. By God’s grace, we can do what God’s counting on us to do! Here’s how.

SURRENDER TO GOD

Not everything that’s hard to do is hard to do. Huh? Run that by me again. You heard me. Not everything that’s hard to do is hard to do. Sometimes the easiest things, the doable things that we’ve done countless times before, can be the hardest thing to do.

Sickness is a good example. I was in bed for six weeks and when I stood up to go from one room to another, or wash a hand full of plates, I was so tuckered I had to sit down immediately. Being sick, weak, or diseased is a perfect illustration of how the doable things in life can be very difficult to do.

What I’m talking about here, though, is when we have an attitude problem. You ever have a kid who thought that taking out the trash, or cleaning her room, or mowing the lawn, was out-of-this-world impossible for them to do? We can relate, can’t we? Well, like kids sometimes, okay, maybe lots of times, we’re not in the mood. We’re not surrendered or submitted to God. We want what we want and when God tells us otherwise, wow, it’s the hardest thing to obey God.

When God tells us to do something that we really don’t want to do, if we’re His children, we can rest assured that God is eventually gonna have His own way. He has His Ways and Means Committee and He knows exactly what He has to do to get us to change our mind and get us to obey Him. Jonah is a perfect example. If we’re stubborn and hardheaded enough it may take God years to change our mind. Years with a lot of chastisements and convictions. But for those of us who are a little more supple and who don’t enjoy God’s chastening, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or persuasion for us to change our mind and agree to do things God’s way.

When we’ve got our mind made up and God tells us to do otherwise, the first and smart thing to do is  get alone with God in prayer. You can try and change God’s mind if you like, but it’s not gonna work. Pray instead for a change of your heart and mind. Surrender your will to God’s will. And ask God for the grace, strength, and desire to do His will.

  • I  love the promise of Philippians 2:13. It lets us know that, when we don’t want to do God’s will, or when we think we lack the power or strength to do His will, God does something to us—He changes our mind—so that we become willing to do His will. Here’s how the verse reads, For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
  • Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can pray and ask God for grace, mercy, and help whenever we need it. And the really neat thing about it is, we’ll get it! God will give us all the strength we need to do His will. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. I love the word there. Don’t overlook it. You get God’s grace and mercy there. Where? At His Throne. That means in prayer. You’ve done a lot of bellyaching. Have you gone to God and prayed? You get the grace when you pray.

Do you think God’s really being unreasonable with you and asking you to do something you can’t possibly do? I mean no offence, dear friend, but you’re wrong. WHEN GOD TELLS YOU TO DO SOMETHING HE GIVES YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO THE JOB: a willing heart, a willing mind, and all the strength you need to get the job done. If you have none of the above, then it’s yours for the asking! This is one prayer God will definitely answer!

Jesus came to earth knowing all along what He had to do. He knew His life would eventually take Him to Calvary. That’s where His life, His work, would end as far as the earthly aspect of His mission was concerned. It would end with a death that was violent, painful, and horrible-beyond-description-or-imagination. It was a death that was truly abhorrent in every way. And feared. When you factor in the spiritual dimension of His death–the weight of the world’s sins on Him, the hellish punishment of everyone’s sins, and the Father abandoning Him for a time (which, to that point in time, the Father had never done before), then you can imagine a little of the dread or apprehension that Calvary was to Jesus.

Moments before He was arrested, Jesus got alone with the Father and prayed, Father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass from Me (Matthew 26:39). He was talking about the cup of suffering that the Father had appointed for Him to drink. There was a part of Jesus in His humanity that didn’t want to go through the suffering. It was a very difficult thing for Him to do and His first inclination was to not do it. I don’t think I’m wrong or blasphemous to say that Jesus didn’t want to do it. Let this cup pass from Me sure makes it look like Jesus wanted out.

But, and here’s the important thing, even though Jesus didn’t want to go through with Calvary, He wanted one thing more than His desire or will and that was He wanted to obey the Father. Obeying God trumped all the thoughts, emotions, and desires that He was feeling at the time. More than wanting out of Calvary, He wanted to obey His Father and He resigned Himself to obeying Him. He surrendered His own will to submit to, and do, His Father’s will. 

Remember. This scene was played out three times (Matthew 26:39-43). Jesus wrestled and pleaded with the Father three times. We’ve done that ourselves. We’ve tried to change God’s mind about something several times before. But we finally gave up and surrendered to His will when we saw God wasn’t budging. Like I said, you can try and change God’s mind if you like. It’s not gonna work.

Remember also that Gethsemane came before Calvary. Before Jesus suffered He surrendered. Submission preceded obedience.

Beloved, SURRENDER AND SUBMISSION COME BEFORE OBEDIENCE. Some of you can’t obey God, some aren’t obeying God, because you haven’t surrendered your will to God.

GOD ISN’T ASKING YOU TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE. EVERYTHING HE ASKS YOU TO DO IS DOABLE. YOU CAN DO IT!

But, like I said at the start, even the easiest or most doable of things become really hard when our attitude stinks. 

So if obeying God is a really, really difficult thing for you to do, chances are you need to surrender your will to God. You have to go to your Gethsemane first and say Not my will, but Thine be done. Brethren, you can do God’s will. But only when you set your will aside and realize that DOING GOD’S WILL IS THE BEST POSSIBLE THING YOU CAN DO.  God bless you and help you do His will.

4 Comments

  1. queenlorene said,

    April 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Great post pastor. And it came on a day when this remimder was very needed. Jesus’ prayer in the garden is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. It shows His humanity, his frailty, his personal desires, and the true difficulty of the task ahead. THE GOD WHO CREATED OUR WORLD WAS SCARED. That alone makes Calvary so much more powerful. He gave us all he had in the world, even when he wanted to throw it away. Yet he did submit, and showed am “amazing” turn around throughout the trial. Quiet, yet authoritative. Had Pilate running in circles with agonized indecision. God gave Him that quite courage, I can just feel it when I read those chapters.

    • gaylorddiaz said,

      April 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Thank you, Lori. Just goes to show God’s timing is impeccable. I had a few other drafts to choose from, but felt in my spirit that this was the right one to post. And yes, I agree with you that the whole passion week is such an amazing portrait of Jesus’ humanity and frailty. Yet, He showed us that we can triumph over our human weaknesses, rise above them, and remain true to God’s will. The grace and strength that God gives us, especially in times of weakness, is simply, amazingly awesome. May God continue to fill you with His love, peace, and presence.

  2. Susan said,

    November 27, 2015 at 1:02 AM

    Thank you, I really need this tonight. I found your blog while googling “when God asks you to do something you don’t want to do”!
    I am a single mom of 5 and an RN full time and found myself 2 weeks ago being called upon to take in a neighbor who was suddenly homeless and has a disabled child. Knowing somehow that this was the voice of God asking me to do this, I said us with high hopes of rising to the challenge. But 2 weeks with 2 extra people in a 1200 square foot apartment, and a now indefinite end date has been pushing me almost to the point of “Sorry, I should never hav said yes to this. What was I thinking and what was God thinking even asking me. . .” Wanting badly to b used by God in this way but feeling ill equipped and strung out has really gotten me down the last few days. Then I read your blog – the missing link – my surrender. Yes, I said yes, but I didn’t pray. I didn’t surrender. I haven’t really asked God for protection and to help me WANT to do what HE wants me to do, and that’s why I’m struggling. Thank you for these insights, and thank God for the gifts he gives when we truly my down our own will at the cross. It transforms “Christian duty” from an unwanted chore to a conduit for blessing and closeness to our father’s love which is so deep.

    • gaylorddiaz said,

      November 27, 2015 at 6:11 PM

      Hi Susan. Thanks for taking the time to write and let me know how the blog blessed you. I’ll be praying for you. I’ve been in a similar situation and, with no end date in sight, it can be really really hard to persevere in well-doing. God’s grace really is sufficient. Along with a change of heart and attitude, I pray that God will provide you with all the strength, means, and provisions, necessary for this time. May you always draw nigh to Him and live in His abiding presence. God bless you!


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