My Blog List

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Freedom in Surrender (or, "Stop Thinking and Obey!")

There is freedom in surrender. 

This idea has been playing over and over in my head since last night. The thought just sort of came to me out of nowhere and made itself at home in my mind. The freedom part of it doesn't surprise me -- God's been revealing a lot to me over the past couple of weeks about His intentions for us to have freedom in Him. But the surrender part surprises me, because I can't recall hearing anything about this concept recently.

Last week a friend of mine posted a quote by Oswald Chambers on her Facebook status:
Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly... You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will think yourself into a cotton wool.
I'd been wrestling that very morning with whether to continue on a path the Lord had set before me previously. For a long time, this path was crystal clear to me. Metaphorically speaking, the sun was illuminating the world; the crisp air was refreshing me; the birds were creating a cheerful melody for me to enjoy; the leaves on the trees were waving at me as a light breeze ran its fingers through them... There was no doubt in my mind God wanted me to walk in this direction -- I was surrounded by beauty and His hand was evident in everything I saw!

But life isn't always sunny and bright, and sometimes this same path seems to be washed out in the aftermath of a downpour or simply covered in a fog that makes me feel like I'm walking through soup, unable to see what exactly I'm planting my feet on... On days like these, I tend to take every step in hesitation, wondering whether it's wise to keep walking, sometimes feeling more than a little bit lost as I try to navigate this journey.

Last week after I'd been wrestling with whether the Lord really wanted me to continue walking this path -- which He'd clearly said "yes" to only a couple weeks earlier on another stormy day -- I came across the Oswald Chambers quote on Facebook, and suddenly the answer was clear once again:
You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will think yourself into a cotton wool.
Being a melancholy I am prone to over-analyze (or over-think) EVERYTHING. I don't think analysis is a bad thing in and of itself... On the contrary, my tendency to think things through thoroughly before acting has probably kept me out of a lot of trouble throughout my lifetime. But when God has clearly given me direction, my over-thinking can be a hindrance that causes me to question what He has already answered and stand still when I should be moving forward.

I'm learning that obedience requires that I surrender my doubts and fears to Him and simply keep walking, trusting Him to lead the way and take care of me. This is the only way to experience joy and freedom in my walk with Him. And I'd MUCH rather walk in joy and freedom than stay trapped in my own thoughts, afraid to surrender and obey!!

Just because my path sometimes seems unclear or risky doesn't mean it's the wrong path! I have to remind myself, as pointless as wandering through the desert must have seemed to the Israelites, God was leading them to the Promised Land. He is leading me, too. I will trust His leading, I will surrender my fears, I will walk in obedience, and I will enjoy the freedom and joy He offers as I follow Him!

2 comments:

Carrie said...

Excellent post, Kaysi. I'm right there with you.

Kaysi said...

Thanks, Carrie... It's always good to know I'm not alone. =)