Ok ok. I am familiar with the infamous scripture. Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It is probably the first verse I ever memorized. Most people even know it by heart. I am not at all discounting that beautiful promise the Lord said to His people who were held captive for 70 years. That same promise is given to us today as well.
While being held captive for 70 years sounds like no fun, you and I experience seasons of ‘longsuffering’ in our lives as well. I’ve walked many ‘longsuffering’ seasons in my life. And when I say the word “season”, our gracious God promises us just that. It’s just a SEASON. THANKFULLY!
Psalm 40 encourages us to keep the faith by waiting on the Lord and to persevere through times of trial and longsuffering as it says…
”I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard me cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, A hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord, and put their trust in Him.”
I cherish my longsuffering seasons. During these seasons, I have never drawn closer to the Lord. Seeking him with ALL that I am. I have experienced God’s love around me at all times like I’ve never experienced before. He speaks to me daily through his Word and I am so grateful to have Him right here with me. BUT I often find myself wanting to still know the PLAN. What’s going to happen? What’s the outcome? I’m fine with walking through long seasons and being stuck in the messy mud from time to time, but I want to know that ALL WILL BE FINE. That life will go back to normal. And normal according to MY normal.
But what if God has a bigger plan? A plan that is totally and completely opposite of our plan?
Our AMAZING God has promised us (in the scripture listed above) that he WILL lift us out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, and put us on a rock…a SOLID rock. A FIRM rock. And that he will put a new song in our mouth. Instead of crying out in tears and disappointment and pain, we WILL be crying out a new song of praise and excitement.
Lysa Terkeurst says in her new book entitled ‘It’s not supposed to be this way’:
“We don’t have to know the plan to trust there is a plan. We don’t have to feel good to trust there is good coming. We don’t have to see evidence of changes to trust that it won’t always be this hard.”
Ladies, this IS OUR PROMISE. “…after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, establish, and settle you on a firm foundation…” (1 Peter 5:10) We WILL be lifted out of our situation and we are promised to stand FIRM once again.
So how do we just let go of the plan?
This takes total and complete surrender, trust, and faith in the Lord. It’s one thing to say you trust the Lord and to have faith that the Lord will ‘fix’ things in due time.
But what exactly is total and complete surrender?
To live a surrendered life, a person must be willing to not only give up and surrender their sin, but also to surrender your whole idea of how things are supposed to end up.
And when I say sin, of COURSE, we will still sin daily as we will always fall short in our flesh. This is why DAILY surrender is a necessity to stay close with the Lord. And sometimes, it’s not just day to day surrender, but an hour to hour surrender.
I’m referring to the habitual sin, or the sin that is hidden that you may think is not harmful as it’s not affecting anyone. It could be white lies that don’t seem like a big deal. It could be the hidden addiction to reality tv, social media, shopping, eating…something that is so hidden that no one really knows about. Or it could be deceiving your boss. Or the sin of idolizing your work, friendships, church, or marriage by prioritizing them before God making them an idol. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. It’s pushing you farther and farther away from God’s beautiful blessings.
A lot of us don’t think we live “sinful” lives because the sin seems so minor. When in reality, it’s the small or minor and hidden sin that pile up and pile up that can lead to devastation. This habitual sin is chipping away at you day by day, pulling you farther and farther away from the Lord. God can’t enter in FULLY when sin is blocking him to enter in, to take over, and to bless you in ways that you may have never experienced before.
“Its your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (Isaiah 59:2)
And it’s not because God is cruel. No no sister, it’s quite the opposite. He loves you so much that He wants you to live in freedom and habitual sin is an internal prison that can entangle you and hinder you from living out God’s best plan for you. How can you run the race with loads of sin on your back? Talk about being held back. Hebrews 12:1 says “let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles…so that we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Remember, sin is not just the 10 commandments. It’s anything that is hindering you from a real relationship with the Lord which in turns hinders all the blessings he so wants to freely give to you if you surrender it ALL. Don’t let Satan and his army fool you. A small sin or a hidden sin in your eyes that no one else can see, can still turn into massive destruction. “for the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)
Sin will eventually lead to death…to total destruction and devastation. Most of us wear many hats with many roles attached to them. I am a wifey, a dog mama, writer, CEO of our house, fashionista, master budgeter, event planner, owner of all laundry and dishes, blogger, chef, designer…just to name a few.
Well, let me tell you something ladies…
Satan has ONE job. To kill, steal, and destroy YOU. (John 10:10) To destroy your life, your confidence, your marriage, your relationships. He roams this earth like a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8)
Rid yourself of sin (large, small, and hidden) before it leads to a life of destruction and separates you from God, missing out on a life FULL of beautiful promises and blessings.
Not only do we need to give up sin in order to surrender all, but we also must surrender the way we look at things and our expectation of the way we think things should go. It is about surrendering your whole SELF, and seeing things the way God sees them. Knowing that no matter the outcome, he has a greater good plan ahead. He loves us and Romans 8:28 tells us…”we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…”.
So while yes, you may feel anxious during this longsuffering you’re facing. You’ve felt alone. You’ve felt sad. You’ve cried. You’ve questioned. Your heart is deeply hurt and saddened. Surrendering it all to our God above will give you a quiet peace, contentment, and confidence that only God can provide. No other source can provide such peace. God will work out whatever you are going through for the GOOD. Remember – He WILL pull you out of this. Allow Him to meet you in the messy mud, and pull you out of the pit by surrendering it all. Day by day. Hour by hour.