Surrender Control // Learning To Relax

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

It’s Time to Relax: Keeping Your Eyes on Me

Fear me but do not be afraid of me. I hold this whole world—your life—in my hands. But I practice surrendering it too. I love you—I love my plans for you. So, I leave my hands open. I am fully in charge, completely in control. Yet I let you choose your own fate.

Love me or not? Follow me or not? Trust my plans or not? What do you choose?

I know your every coming and going, your habits and temptations, your desires and dreams. I know what will bring you joy, what is good for your heart. I help you discover these things. But because I love you, I mainly guide and let you figure it out yourself.

Will you keep your eyes on me? Do you want me to awake your desire for more of me? Do you want me to help you feel my love for you? Ask me. Ask me.

And relax.

Relax into my arms and feel my embrace. Relax as I give you real water in your search for truth. Keep your eyes on me and don’t fret about praying the “right” way or pursuing a certain procedure. There is no “best” Bible study. There is no recommended preacher.

I have given you the tools to recognize truth. I have written upon your heart a desire to live a life of justice, of love, of mercy.

Eyes on me. Eyes on me.

Exercise:

We’ve been indoctrinated by the world. We’ve been conditioned by culture to believe that this is all up to us—everything in our worldly lives, everything in our spiritual lives too. It’s all up to us.

We’ve been indoctrinated, but we’ve also been deceived.

You see, when we simply want more God in our lives, as most of us do—when we want a life of relationship and shared joy and freedom and meaning—we’ve been taught that we get more of God by doing more and more things, and doing them right. We’ve been taught to emulate “successful” Christians and to implement all of their practices. But in the midst of all this doing, we very often forget about what we wanted in the first place. We forget about God.

In the words we just heard, though, God invites us to do something different. He invites us simply to relax. He invites us not to do more, but simply to surrender to His love.

So, perhaps today we can practice surrendering—perhaps we can try to let go of whether or not we are doing every right thing and everything right. Maybe today we can practice just saying okay to the love we already have from God—love that remains even in the face of our darkness, our brokenness, and our mess.

Because here’s what I want you to know: when you allow yourself to just be loved, imperfections and mistakes and all, you allow relationships to grow and flourish. When you just sit and receive His love, you allow God’s grace to flow into your life and into your circumstances. And His grace is what you needed all along. His grace is what enables you to do what you can never do on your own. His grace changes things in your worldly life and spiritual life—things that need to change. His grace is precisely how we get more of God—not by our efforts, but by His power.

Jesus, my King, my Savior, I love you so much, and I need you now.

I confess I worry about whether or not my decisions are right, about whether I’m doing enough. Most of the time, I just feel like I’m messing up, and I worry about the consequences. I worry that my mistakes separate me from You.

I confess I try to make up for all of this by doing more things—in order to try to earn back Your love and acceptance. And in the process, I confess, I often get so focused on doing those things that I forget about the most important thing: You.

I see now this is a vicious cycle, one that keeps me away from You—and I want You to break it for me. I want to change. I am ready to change. I am ready to let You work in me. I am ready to let go. I am ready to relax and let Your power work in my heart. I am ready to surrender. I trust you.

Come, Jesus. Do in me, whatever You want.