Embracing God’s Guidance: The Active Surrender in Waiting

Every once in a while, I get a sense that the Lord is calling me to something new. I don’t always know what, but I know when that antsy feeling starts.

Sometimes I wonder if the Lord is calling me to do something radical, like changing my career path. He has certainly done that in the past. 

Other times I think he is just calling me to another day of simple obedience.

Regardless, I’ve found myself in another season of that antsy feeling lately. The last time I was here, I started Proverbs3Three.com

Maybe you know that feeling too. Maybe you are like me, and you don’t always know what to do with that feeling.

I pray for the Lord to reveal to me the next steps.

I read His Word.

I hope for his good plans to come to fruition.

But, what am I missing?

The Lord Guards the Path

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly.

Psalm 1:6a, NLT

I love these simple words. I did a little word study on these words. The word “watches” has been translated into different English words. While the NLT says “watches,” the NASB says “knows,” and the NET says “guards.” The original Hebrew word is “yada.” I love that word. It is a deep knowing. I love meditating on the idea that the Lord knows my path so deeply that he knows, watches, and guards my way.

Something about these words gives me comfort and peace. As I read them, I can picture myself in the palm of God’s hands.

That is where I want to be. That is my prayer. Lord, may I remain in the middle of your will, in the palm of your hand.

Waiting on the Lord

During a recent conference, I heard a speaker say that “waiting on the Lord is not a passive activity.” I keep considering what these words could mean.

Today, I’m waiting for the Lord to reveal why I am feeling antsy about what He may be calling me to do. Anyone who knows me well knows that I tend to act. Waiting is not my forte.

Long wait times at a restaurant? Let’s go somewhere else.

Long lines at a theme park? Let’s choose a different ride.

And yet, the Lord has me waiting…

So what does waiting look like?

Reading His Word? Of course.

Praying? Absolutely.

Seeking counsel from trusted friends? Sure.

But, if waiting is not passive, what else? What is the active part of waiting?

And this is it:

The active part of waiting is daily surrender. In my waiting, I am seeing, reading, praying, talking, searching…but am I surrendering?

Go back to Psalm 1:6a. The Lord is doing the watching over my path. Not me. Am I surrendering to his guard?

When I choose to surrender, I choose to trust the Lord. I choose to allow the Lord to determine my steps (see Proverbs 16:9b). 

Take Up My Cross

To anyone who has never surrendered, surrendering can sound passive, but scripture paints a different picture.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”

Matthew 16:24, NLT

Give up my own way. Take up my cross. Follow the Lord.

Those sound like pretty active commands and goodness, are they difficult. In a culture where having our way is celebrated and valued, surrender can sound so counter. Yet, the daily work of surrender is where the Lord calls us.

Today, I feel antsy. I know the Lord has something coming. Maybe it’s big, and maybe it’s not. Either way, today I’ll do the work of surrender. I will trust the Lord. I will not jump into something without prayer. I will meditate on His words. 

I will breathe deeply and know that following Him is better than any efforts, plans, or directions I could ever conjure up on my own.

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