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Surrendering Control: Trusting in God’s Path Over Your Own 

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Do you ever feel like you’re trying to carefully orchestrate every step of your life? That’s because we are wired with this deep need for control–we plan, we decide, we take charge—and yet, there’s often this longing for something more, something bigger than us. Maybe that “more” is simply wanting to let go, to trust in a God who loves us and knows what to do. A Divine intervention, perhaps? That’s the heart of the journey of surrendering control: the gentle art of letting go and letting God steer

Before we dive into surrender, let’s try to understand the root of our need to control. It’s not necessarily a character flaw; it’s a survival instinct, a mechanism to combat fear and uncertainty. Control offers a sense of security and order in life. But when does this desire for control become a roadblock to growth and God’s plans for us? 

Planning is often mistaken for control. It’s when we grip those plans too tightly, when we try to impose our will on every outcome, that plans become shackles. We must remind ourselves that while we plan our ways, the Lord directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9, NIV). The key is in the flexibility of our plans, where we prepare, but acknowledge God’s power over every detail. 

In our pursuit of control over finances, relationships, and even our spiritual life, we can invite anxiety and restlessness. It’s a high price to pay, especially when the alternative—surrender—promises peace and partnership with God’s perfect plan for us. 

A path leads over a small hill at sunset showing us that surrendering control to God's way doesn't always show us the end of the road.

Surrendering Control to God

Surrender is a conscious decision to place our trust in God. It’s admitting our wisdom can’t compare to what God has in store for us. But how do we get to that point of letting go?  

Faith is the bridge over life’s uncertainties, the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, ESV). It is through faith that we begin to release those clenched fists, allowing God to write His story through us and transport us toward our greater purpose. 

A surrendered heart is one that is soft and receptive rather than hard and rebellious. It is a heart that believes God’s plans are for good and not for harm, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). Daily practices of prayer, gratitude, and reliance on Scripture nurture a heart of surrender. 

Learning from Examples 

The Bible is full of stories of individuals who faced the choice of control versus surrender. Their testimonies light the way for our own journeys. 

  • Abraham and the Ultimate Trust Fall 

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the ultimate test of surrender. Though God stepped in to provide an alternative, Abraham’s readiness to obey demonstrated a trust that went beyond understanding, rooted in a deep and intimate relationship with his Creator. 

  • The Paradox of Gideon 

When God reduced Gideon’s army to a mere 300 men, His direction seemed illogical. However, Gideon’s submissive response led to a miraculous victory that glorified God’s power and wisdom. 

The Power of Trust and Resilience 

When we surrender, we don’t succumb to a passive fate. Instead, we tap into God’s strength and resilience. 

Trusting in God means experiencing less fear. Psalm 56:3 (NIV) affirms, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” This trust empowers us to step forward with confidence, knowing that God has prepared a place for us. 

Surrendered souls are resilient. Rather than crumbling under the pressure of change, they see opportunities for growth. The apostle Paul, who had learned the secret of being content in any circumstance, stands as a testament to this (Philippians 4:12, NIV)

Listen now to a short segment of this meditation from Abide based on Psalm 56:3.

The call to surrender is not a call to a lesser life, but to a life of freedom and fullness. It’s an invitation to adventures under God’s love and provision. When we finally relinquish control, something beautiful happens—we find ourselves and our true home in the heart of Christ. 

To listen to the full-length version of the above meditation, and much more, download the Abide app. When you start a premium subscription you will gain access to our entire library of content. Use this link for 25% off.

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