“Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’” (Matt. 16:24-26)
As a young adult, I contemplated ending it all. God spoke into my life and told me to “live for Him.” I fell to my hands and knees in awe of His grace, His captivating love and undeniable presence. In that moment, I surrendered it all to Him and arose a different person.
Amazed by the beauty evolving from my growing relationship with God, I was eager to dive into the Bible morning and night. The redemption that took place was intoxicating.
The next few days, months, weeks and years God radically transformed my life as I learned to quit simply identifying with a religion and started recognizing that my relationship with God was my purpose for living! While celebrating the peace, joy and redemption that flooded into my life, I was fueled by a passion to walk by faith. Daily surrendering my fears, doubts and failures was my primary focus.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)
Despite the miracles God has done in my life, I still struggle through seasons of fear, doubt and complacency. Sometimes I treat my daily quiet time as if I was merely eating breakfast, not meeting with the one true King – my Savior, Redeemer and Creator. At times I’m ashamed of how easily I treat the spiritual as mundane, of how I’m distracted by daily life or even ministry activities, of how unintentional I can be in my relationships.
It doesn’t take long before I notice I’m not loving God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind. It’s in those moments I pause, step back and get real with God. I need to genuinely connect with Him; pray over what I’m walking through; and draw near and surrender to following Him once again.
You see, surrendering your life to God, following His leadership and living out His love is not only the decision of a single moment. It’s also a daily decision to surrender your all to Him, to dive deep in to His Word and to be real.
Lauren Cartwright lives in Burlington, VT, where she serves as a collegiate missionary and is involved in women’s ministry. She blogs at www.pursuinghope.org