What area of your life are you holding back from God?
A lot of us try our “best” to follow Jesus, sacrificing some of our money and time for His glory. Yet eventually we’re all going to stumble upon something in our treasure chest that we don’t want to surrender, whether that be your last penny, control of your life, or a sinful behavior you take part in.
When I first read the above question in The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren, I told myself that it doesn’t apply to me. After all, I’m actively seeking His kingdom, aren’t I? I’m surrendering bits and pieces of my life little by little for Him. But then it dawned on me, I’m skipping over the things that matter the most to me. I AM holding back from God. After realizing this, I want to make a list. I want to officially acknowledge these things instead of push them back into the crevices of my mind as if I never stumbled across them. So here goes…
I hold back my control. I love being in control. Though I do struggle with self-control a lot, I have no problem with controlling others. This stems from pride; I think that my way is best and that it’s up to me to fix other people’s lives so they fit my standards and are living how I want them to live. I get frustrated when I see people not doing things the way I want them to do them. I hate not having the ability to run their lives. Not only does this hinder my relationship with others, it also hinders my relationship with God. If I love Him and want to serve Him with my life, I have to surrender every part of my life. By desiring to control others, it’s like I’m saying, “Look God, I know you’re working in ____’s life right now, but I think I can speed along the process by just doing things my way. Hope you don’t think I’m stepping on your toes or anything.”
Lord, right now, I want to surrender my control of others. I want to let go of my prideful, selfish desires to run their lives. I am here on this earth to show Your glory and spread Your love, and if I’m stepping on your toes while you’re trying to work in peoples’ lives, I am not doing a good job at all at doing what I say I live to do. Please help me let go of the control I try to hold over others.
I hold back my insecurities. I think it’s safe to say that we all feel insecure from time to time, some more than others. When we choose to hold on to these insecurities and let them control a big part of our lives, however, then we have a problem. I can be very self-conscious sometimes. I care about what others think of me. Unfortunately, this holds me back from focusing entirely on God and living my life entirely for Him. When I see other people on the sidelines, I assume they’re judging me and I veer off the track, losing sight of the finish line, Jesus Christ. I know deep down that it doesn’t matter what people think of me, yet I get so caught up in the media, my appearance, comparisons to my friends and peers, I forget this concept. Because I hold back my insecurities from God, I am being held back from living for God.
Father, I know you wonderfully created me and you have a plan for me, but sometimes I get so distracted by others, I forget that I am supposed to be living for You. I can’t passionately pursue Your kingdom if I don’t accept my flaws or get rid of my insecurities that hold me back from my full potential. Please help me surrender these insecurities and remind me that no matter what people think of me, You always love me and that’s the only thing that matters.
I hold back my emotions. Emotions are a part of life. What would life be without feeling? Yet we are told to love God with all our heart, and this means we love God with our emotions. This is something I fail to do, a lot. I let my emotions get the best of me. When I’m sad, I don’t give it to God. I wallow in self-pity, lay on my bed and deny that God can help me. A few hours later, I’m back on my feet, rejoicing in Him. But that doesn’t make that one hour of turning away from God any better. When I’m angry, I usually act on it. I say things I don’t mean, I do things I wouldn’t normally do, and afterwards, I feel so ashamed. When I’m happy, sometimes I forget who gave me the things that made me happy. I become prideful and boast as if I did something on my own, when in reality, it was all Him. There’s nothing wrong with feeling, there’s nothing wrong with emotions. But when they hold you back from loving God and living for God, it’s time to surrender. I need to surrender my emotions.
Lord, I know that in times of distress or times of joyfulness, there is nothing wrong with feeling sad or extremely happy. Yet I am aware that I let my emotions get the best of me, and take my focus off of you. I need to surrender my life entirely to You and I can’t do that without first giving You my heart.
After writing out the things I held on to for so long, I feel relieved. I’ve admitted I have a problem, and with God’s help, I know I can surrender my entire life to Him. Taking one step at a time, I know I will overcome obstacles and my faith will grow stronger. For this, I am thankful. I encourage you to take a moment and ask yourself what you are holding back from God. Be honest with yourself. After acknowledging these things, don’t just stuff them back into the corner of your mind like so many of us do out of denial and fear of surrendering to God. Set about remedying these things, and don’t give up. With Christ, all things are possible.