January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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.”—Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV)
Today’s Scripture is a very popular one. You may see it on parking decals, water bottle stickers, Instagram bios, or screensavers, but that’s probably because these verses hold very important reminders. When you break it down, you’ll see that the beginning includes commands and roles for the reader and the ending holds a promise. These verses are commanding us to trust God with everything we are instead of ourselves, and then to submit to Him and His ways.
I will never forget the analogy Pastor Javan Shashaty used when I was a freshman in high school. He taught this Scripture and told us a story about how he was a quarterback in high school and in college. He asked us if we believed he could throw a football and knock an apple off a table in the very back of the room we were sitting in. We all agreed. He proceeded to then ask a volunteer to stand at the back of the room and put an apple on their head so he could throw the football and knock it off. There was a wave of gasps in the crowd. He then explained that there’s a difference between trusting someone as being truthful versus trusting them enough to implement or act on what they’re saying.
This is why the commands to trust in the Lord and submit to His ways go hand in hand. The kind of trust God is calling for here is one that requires surrender! Surrender is not just raising a white flag and giving up. Surrender is about choosing to lay down yourself and your ways because you know God is better and knows better. When you entrust your life to your Creator, you’re giving back what He created and possessed in the first place. You’re returning home and surrendering your selfishness and pride in view of gaining what you’ve always wanted and needed: the love, protection, and guidance of your Father and Savior.
When Jesus was on the earth, He once told His disciples this, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NIV). This is what surrender is all about. It’s the best way we can live our lives—denying our selfish needs and following Christ because we trust that He will provide, He has the best plan, He brings true joy, and He alone is worthy of our worship!
Pause: In what areas have you not lived a life of surrender? Is there anything you need to commit to the Lord today in prayer and worship?
Practice: Spend a few minutes today journaling about the things in your life that are weighing heavy on your heart. List them out, and write a prayer of surrender to God. Remind yourself to trust Him today!
Pray: Father, You are so holy and perfect and lovely! Thank You for Your grace on me when I fail to trust You with all my heart and when I fail to submit to Your ways. Help me to get better at that. Today, I entrust to You all that is on my plate and in my mind. All that I desire to control, I give to You! May I find peace in this daily surrender and move forward with grace and wisdom because You are my helper and my guide! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.