By Ellie Nieves
Have you ever felt anxious, angry, nervous, fearful, frustrated, or emotional? In that moment, did you take a deep breath and then exhale out? Exhaling can calm your spirit, clear your mind, and help you to surrender baggage that weighs you down. In moments of anxiety, fear, and stress, God wants us to lay our burdens before Him and to surrender our will to His. He wants us to learn to exhale.
The Path to Surrender
God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want Him to. Paul prayed three times for God to remove a thorn that he had in his flesh. But God did not remove the thorn. Instead, God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). It wasn’t until Paul surrendered his will to God that he understood that God was performing a powerful work in his life.
Surrender is a difficult concept for many women to grasp. This is particularly true when we misunderstand what the nature of our relationship with God should be. When we make Jesus Lord of our lives, He does not become our personal genie granting all of our wishes. Rather, God calls us to acknowledge Him in every area of our lives, allowing Him to transform us into the image of his son. It is only when we surrender our will to His that God can begin a great work through our lives, allowing us to live purposefully.
Learning to Exhale
In the practice of yoga for health and wellness, exhaling is an essential skill that you must learn. Practitioners recognize that breathing is closely tied to our well-being. Therefore, yoga practitioners spend a significant amount of time learning to exhale. Similarly, surrender is essential to our spiritual growth. It is closely tied to how we’re doing in our walk with God. Our ability to surrender is a reflection of our spiritual well-being. Hence, like yoga practitioners, we need to devote ourselves to learning how to surrender.
Learning to surrender is not an easy task. The path to surrender is paved with many stumbling blocks, beginning with our desire to control all the aspects of our lives, believing that we know what’s best for us, and letting go of our preconceived notions of how we believe things should be.
The next time you find yourself wrestling with God, take a deep breath and exhale. Here are some steps to help you surrender:
1) Stand on God’s Promises: The Bible contains hundreds of promises from God. Take the time to study them out. Repeat the promises of God out loud. You will begin to notice a pattern. God promises to care for His children and to always provide for them. If you are a child of God, you will learn that God has a plan to prosper you; not to harm you; to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). The more you study out these promises, the more you will grow in your faith. Faith is the precursor to surrendering to God.
2) Count the Cost: Understand that there is a price to surrendering your will to God. He requires that we hold our relationship with Him above all other persons and things in our lives. The Bible tells us in Luke 14:26 that anyone who comes to Jesus but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters – even one’s own self – can’t be His disciple. Admittedly, as Disciples of Jesus Christ, we don’t always know in advance what it is that God will ask us to give up for Him. But as we grow in our walk with Christ, He will reveal the idols in our lives.
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