Leaders in the Bible struggled with their specific callings as well as with one-time acts of obedience. Moses protested God’s call—even while he knelt barefoot as God spoke to him out of the burning bush. He didn’t want to confront Pharaoh. He told God he wasn’t a good speaker. Jonah ran from God’s call. He didn’t want to preach to the Ninevites. He knew that if they repented, God would forgive them, and he didn’t want that. He spent three days in the depths of misery before he said yes to God, and even then he continued to be angry with God (Jonah 4:1-2). Jeremiah didn’t want to be God’s spokesman. He told God he was too young to speak (Jeremiah 1:6). The rich young ruler didn’t want to sell his possessions and give to the poor (Matthew 19:22). Even Jesus, in a moment of humanity struggled with the reality of His calling as He prayed “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.”(Luke 22:42).
Surrender means that we give up control, that we deny self and relinquish things like needing to be in charge, needing to have all the answers in advance, needing to look good or to be famous. It means walking with God, often into the unknown. Trusting God to lead and provide. Trusting God to come through. Stepping away from what WE would do and following what we realize God would have us do. When we heed His calling, we are always called into this obedience because His will MUST be done His way in order to remain absolutely perfect. Imagine these scenarios and how they may have played out if these people had done things their own way. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways are higher than our ways. The submission He calls us to is to get us out of our own thinking and habits so that what He intends to do in us and through us will not be challenged.
Again, imagine the scenarios… some great things happened as the called of God acted in submission to God. We have to let go.. even of who we see ourselves to be and allow Him to be who He is in us. God gives each of us a cup of His calling. As you prepare to drink from that cup, know that it may taste because you can’t sweeten it with your own thoughts, habits and ways. You have to surrender to His will and His ways… and sometimes it will be a little bitter but the result will be the sweetness of victory in Him!