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Striving vs. Surrender

"Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him..." - Psalm 37:7

I’m an Army brat! That means my family moved around the United States every two years while I was growing up. New friends, new schools, new houses… I was mostly pretty excited to have those experiences. However, I found that every time I moved (especially as I got older) I would find myself STRIVING TO FIND MY PLACE. I would be striving to prove myself and explain myself. I had no shared history with anyone. So in my flesh I would find myself STRIVING to make friends as fast as possible, to make the team, and to fit into a new environment with new rules. Striving can be EXHAUSTING! After a couple months, I would SURRENDER to the Lord and realize that I just needed to be DAWN… The Dawn GOD CREATED ME TO BE! And no one else!

As a Christ follower, one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn (and still am learning) is the difference between STRIVING and SURRENDER.   

Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God…”

Psalm 37:7 says, “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him...”



• Make great efforts to achieve or obtain something

• Struggle or fight vigorously



• Agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc. because you know that you will not win or succeed

• Give the control or use of (something) to someone else


As a “Type A” personality, I am naturally driven, competitive, and strong-willed. Due to my nature, I want to do things my way and I don’t want others telling me what to do. Hmmm… Doesn’t sound very much like “Christlikeness” does it? However, surrendered to the Lord and under His guidance, my life and heart can be transformed into being more like Him. 

2 Timothy 2:24 says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient…”

Whenever we encounter difficulties in life, the temptation to strive and lean on our own understanding is great. However, we must act opposite of our nature by releasing the matter into the hands of the Lord and then rely upon Him to guide us in the resolution of the matter. It requires a great deal of patience and complete surrender to the Lord. SURRENDER — So hard to do! But when we do it, there is freedom! God shows up and provides exactly what we need. As a follower of Christ, I am giving up my own will and surrendering my thoughts, ideas, and actions to the will of the Father. It’s a “dying to self” to allow Christ to live through me. My prayer for myself and for you is that we would not live a life of striving, but one of SURRENDER!

Philippians 1:21 says, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 2:7-8 says, “…but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding…”




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