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Obedience Is NOT the Goal, Surrender Is
Following Christ is not about obedience, it's about surrendering your heart, your soul, and your very being to your Creator. That only happens through trust.
Surrender, Not Obey
Forcing yourself to obey God’s commandments rarely works out well, yet many Christians measure their lives based on that idea. The depth of your faith is not determined by your ability to follow the rules and doctrine, but by your willingness to surrender yourself to a God who loves you.
Obedience is often an act of fear, whereas surrender, in this context, is an act of trust. Surrendering your life to God shows you trust more in His will for your life than your own wants, needs, and desires. It shows you believe His plans are greater than what you can imagine.
Trusting the Father
As a parent, instilling obedience is not my primary goal. Many parents try to force their kids into obedience, only to find that those kids will eventually rebel - if not now, they will later. Instead, I have focused on earning my kids’ love, respect, and trust, so that when I tell them something, they willfully submit to the idea. They trust me.
Adults can see the bigger picture, beyond what a child can understand. Kids may think they know everything but quickly find out that’s not true. Especially tweens and teenagers! They are convinced they have all the answers, and getting them to listen is challenging.
As a Christian, you may be like those young kids - convinced that you have all the answers. It makes you trust more in your own thoughts and ideas than God’s. You won’t let go.
But God, like your parents, has far deeper knowledge than you. God is omniscient, as in all-knowing. How can you possibly believe that you know more than Him? Trusting Him, then, is the first step toward a deeper faith.
Surrendering fully to God comes through indifference, that Ignatian approach we discussed last week. Indifference challenges you to not prefer health over sickness, wealth over poverty, or long life over short. The key to indifference is that it only works when you fully surrender to the idea.
After close to 15 years of applying this approach, I can say that it’s not always easy, but it will completely change your perspective. My life, especially in recent years, has had its share of trials, yet I continue moving forward because I believe that God has a plan for all of it.
Are you ready to surrender to God’s will? If so, read last week’s article on indifference as a start. We’ll continue building from there. And if you’ve liked these articles so far, the best way you can help is sharing or forwarding this to others. Let’s grow this community together!