Perfection vs. Surrender

What does the Bible say about surrendering our whole lives to Jesus? This is something that I have been struggling with for a long time. One without rest is one without life.... I feel like the spirit of life breathed into me this past week, something I needed desperately. I have always struggled with control, and of course, sin's head turned to me with yet another way to control. This time with how I look (ugh), how I act, and ultimately being seen by others as perfect. Everything in my life begs me to have it all together, and yet Jesus, the only one who has real authority over me, has never asked me to do that. All He has asked of me is that I surrender. I see over and over again how the world tricks us into wanting to be perfect, to have all the answers, to have it all put together, to never say "I'm wrong" or "I'm sorry" or "I'm not okay." What is this? Where does it come from? This is the sin surfacing in my life, but it's more than sin, it's what the Bible calls attack. If we weren't under attack then why would we need to be so set up for battle? (Ephesians 6:10-18) I've never felt my life so under attack as I have these past few weeks... buying into the lies that I know are lies, and desperately longing to see the truth.

Let me tell you about the Devil. The Bible says that "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" Yes, he does. He comes to feed you lies, put a stumbling block in your midst, and keep you from going any further in your life with Jesus. Jesus came "that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10) If Jesus gives life, then why would we want the counterfeit? No matter how tempting or appealing on the surface, at the end of the day they do in fact feel like "flaming arrows of the evil one," as Ephesians says.

So how do I fight back the need for control and the vulnerability I have come to by not putting on the armor of God? For one, (thanks Phil Whickham for giving me beautiful truth) these lyrics have been an incredible encouragement to me this week,

Sisters, Brothers, thieves, and lovers,
come on, come on, eternity
turn your faces, from fine eyed places,
heaven’s grace will set you free.
The time is now, for lifting souls.
The time is now, for letting go.
From your skin, to your core.
Let light, and love, come rushing through the door....

Every time I get to this part of the song I just want to shout with praise to God for the amazing grace He gives. For me to finally say it's time to let go, it's time to put my life in the hands that are greater than any other, to the only one who can give me the fullness of life that will set me free. I know I will never be satisfied by what this world has to offer me, constantly longing for the freedom and beauty of Heaven. In the midst of the restlessness that comes along with longing for Heaven, there comes sweet anticipation and curiosity to see what life could possibly look like without sin, without the threat of the Devil or the battle between Spirit and self. Another truth that I have clung to this week -- "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14) That has been my prayer each night this week, that in the midst of battle I would be still and let Him fight for me. And since I can't put the armor of God on myself, I finally can surrender completely my will for perfection. I can surrender to the God of the Universe so that He can fight the battle for me. Like I've heard so many times before, if we had eyes to see the spiritual things happening around us, there would be war. He is fighting, all He asks for is that we be still and know He is there. He will never leave us or forsake us.

PS: In case you're interested, I'm also in love with this woman's story.
Natasha RedDevil, Jesus