From the first time I heard the song, Lord of My Life, I knew that it would become an anthem for me, a song I would continuously return to for renewal, healing and strength. When Lucy asked me to write a blog on it last March, I happened to be in an extremely intense season where I was traveling, working and moving non-stop; exhaustion, anxiety, and depression were my norm, and my mental state was as unstable and overwhelming as my physical surroundings. I was so consumed by my tasks emotionally, mentally and physically, that pausingwas not an option at all at the time (let alone an obvious solution!). In my head, my world would fall apart if I dropped the ball, so I simply kept at it like a crazy person, assuming it would plateau at some point even if it was a few months away. I genuinely thought I could manage just fine.
Well surprise surprise, by the end of June I was flat out, struck by a common disease called striving, and I was desperate to get help. After moving homes across different countries for over twenty times in the space of seven months, it became obvious that God was hammering away my need for and need to control, as well as uprooting me from the worldly mindset I had fallen into.He desperately wanted to reveal to me His goodness and faithfulness, to invite me to trust Him more boldly with each new literal and spiritual ‘move’ He was leading me into. Therefore, instead of resisting His hand or wrestling with Him in my strength, I decided to stop being so stubborn and surrender to His ways, which as we all know are not just higher, but better.
By declaring the lyrics of this song - Jesus, draw me closer, I choose to surrender, come and be the Lord of my life - I was consciously choosing to give in rather than hold back, to embrace growth over comfort, to exchange control for true freedom. I made a choice to replace my fear of uncertainty with a joyful expectation to see His goodness in every moment. I could no longer say I trust God and then hustle like no tomorrow behind His back- not when He’s the Lord of my life!
But moreover, Jesus needed to be the Lord over my life. For too many years I’d busied myself with making gods carved out of my own strength, out of my limited understanding and selfish needs. I completely lost sight of the One whom I owe my life to.
The lesson God has been teaching me is nothing new. Think of the Israelites i.e. God’s chosen people who were sovereignly delivered from slavery and then spent the next forty years wandering in the wilderness before they were able to enter into the Promise Land. During those forty years, they were constantly on the move, constantly being uprooted, constantly living in uncertainty. Despite the obvious physical discomforts, they experienced from living in the desert (extreme weather, limited food supplies for people and livestock, the baggage of earthly possessions etc) they grew attached to their surroundings and became entitled towards God (e.g. grumbling about having manna for the thousandth time). And sometimes with familiarity comes amnesia, to a point they forgot the God who rescued them in the first place with mighty signs and wonders. Not so great.
They started creating their own gods, and got carried away trading and building temporary homes, when all along God had prepared for them ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ as He had promised in His covenant with Abraham. But they rebelled against God in their unbelief and stubbornness (sound familiar?), and without discipline or self-control as freed slaves they would repeatedly disobey God, thinking they had the best and most effective idea.
There seems to be a pattern here:
God delivers us from death (The Law)
He leads us into a process of undoing the influences of the slave mentality (anxiety-driven productivity)
We forget God’s goodness (i.e. our testimony) along the way
We lose sight of our eternal destination (i.e. Heaven)
We start worshiping other gods (knowledge, money, relationships, success, fame etc.)
We start building our own empires (which are really just built on sand)
We keep wandering……..
(The Trinity looking at us: yea…they’re not ready for the Promise Land yet…)
We get burnt out and then wonder why
Then when we finally succumb to His will, He’s finally able to speak to us
Then hopefully from there on we choose the smarter option of letting God lead!
All I’m saying is, don’t forget where you’re going, don’t forget your mission here on earth, don’t forget your origin, don’t forget you have a Heavenly Father who loves you, don’t forget that Holy Spirit leads you, don’t forget that Jesus is the Lord of your life and that it will all be well!
My prayer for us would be to always remember that Jesus is not only the Lord of our lives, but also the Lord of Sabbath. He’s made possible and available to us a superior reality and way of living, a life of rest that sits above all the busyness and chaos on this side of the timeline. But the good news is, thanks to Jesus, we can all enter into His rest today, and receive the abundant blessings that come with yielding to His goodness and perfect will. He will not disappoint!
‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)