Does [Jesus] expect me to be superwoman? No. He’s challenging me to be surrendered… and the beautiful news it that He doesn’t expect any of this to happen in and of myself. ~ Laura
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:11-13
Hi there, friends! It’s already week four of the I Give Up Online Bible Study. Can you believe it?
As we’ve been studying the concept of surrender to our good, good Father, and gone deeper into the why’s and when’s, we’ve left a question unasked… and it’s the toughest one. This week we’re talking about how to surrender.
The McClure family motto is “Hold Fast.” I’ve heard it all my life. Growing up I understood it to mean “Never Give Up”, “Never Quit”, and “Keep Trying”.
Isn’t is astonishing how often we hear the message, “Try harder”? I don’t know about you, but the truth is that I can’t try any harder. I’m a get-it-done kind of girl, the responsible kind, the long-hours, hard-work, can-do, take-care-of-everyone-else, above-and-beyond type. And, my weaknesses are many, my sins and misses huge, and the gap between perfection and me is galactic. But, I can’t try harder.
Surrender isn’t perfection… It isn’t a June Cleaver demeanor in the midst of crisis. It is saying I give up trying to navigate this perfectly, or trying to know all the answers I don’t have. I give up trying to be what I am just not. Surrender should affect our character. ~ Laura
My efforts are not enough. I’m not enough on my own. Except in Jesus.
I need Jesus. The truth is that I am desperate for Him on a daily basis. Is that true for you, too?
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. — Ephesians 4:1
I’ve talked about this in past studies, but when I first heard the phrase “Abide in Me” it didn’t make any sense. Abide. How exactly does one abide? What’s that supposed to look like?
In John 15:5-8, Jesus says
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.
He is the vine, we are the branches. We just hang out with Him, hang onto Him, and He does the work of providing everything we need in every season so that in time we produce fruit. Without the freak-out of “try harder” on my own. It’s His work, not mine. What a relief!
It gives a whole new meaning to “Hold Fast”!
Given that, how can the response be anything other than worship? Adoration! Exultation! Awe! Because He is good. He is in control. And, He sees what I don’t see and knows what I can’t yet know.
Living the open-handing, Jesus-ward life of one of releasing. Surrendering. Submitting. And allowing Jesus access to every part of ourselves (even the dark corners we don’t want to face) so He can clean them out, redeem, restore, and make us new.
Jesus is better than anything else we could tightly grasp.
If you truly ask God to teach you surrender, to let you know the secret joy to surrendering to His will over our own, it’s impossible for everything to stay the same. ~ Laura
Surrender. And, Hold Fast, my friends!
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session four on our study home page and join the discussion with other participants after… Take notes in your study guide on pages 61-64.
- Go through the study questions with your group or on your own on pages 65-70.
- Read I Give Up, Chapters 10-14.
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 71-78.
- Join the conversations about the study and get to know fellow participants in the private Facebook group!
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Abba, we love You. We seek You. We need You. Apart from You we can do nothing. You are the Vine, we are the branches. Teach us to hang onto You, to abide, to be refreshed and fed by You. Teach us to Hold Fast! We love You, Lord Jesus. Amen.