Summary: How can I overcome the fears that might prevent me from surrendering fully to God's plan for my life?
In this series, we’ve talked about what we need to quit if we’re going to experience God’s best for us. Today, we’re going to think about how fear can prevent us from surrendering fully to God’s plan for our lives and experiencing God’s best for us. And we’re going to look at the gift God has given us to overcome our fears.
Perhaps you’ve picked up on the fact that if I am to surrender to God’s plan for my life, it will lead to me living life as Jesus did. Certainly, we will never be like Jesus in terms of deity, but we can be like Christ when it comes to character. So we have much to learn from the example of Jesus when it comes to surrendering to God’s plan for us.
One thing we notice about Jesus is that He was fearless in His pursuit of the Father’s plan for His life. Luke says, for example, that when it came time for Jesus to go to Jerusalem to fulfill the Father’s plan to face the cross for you and me, that “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 NIV). Jesus was fearless in His surrender to the Father’s plan for His life.
One of the greatest obstacles to surrendering to God’s plan for our lives and living with fearless abandon for the Father like Jesus did, is fear. Now, we’re talking about living with fearless abandon, not foolish abandon.
No, living without fear doesn’t mean being foolish. What we’re talking about today is living without fear so we might be faithful, like Jesus was. And did Jesus live as He did? By the power of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 4:1, Jesus is described as being “full of the Holy Spirit.” If Jesus relied on the power of the Spirit, how much more should we?
If you do a search online for a list of man’s top fears, you’ll find things such as fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of public speaking, fear of strangers, fear of snakes, fear of spiders, etc. But these can each fit into one of three categories of fear that prevent us to surrendering to God. Paul addresses each of these as he tells us about the nature of the Spirit we have received when we placed our faith in Christ as Our Savior.
Surrender to God’s plan for us begins with trusting Christ as Savior.
“(God) wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” - 2 Timothy 2:4 (NIV)
When we trust Christ as our Savior, God gives His Holy Spirit to us.
“And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit . . .” - Ephesians 1:13b (NLT)
Paul says if God’s Spirit, who resides in us, is allowed to presides over us, He will enable us to move past those fears that keep us from fully surrendering to God’s plan for our lives. Because . . .
1. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of power.
The Holy Spirit can enable us to overcome our fear of loss. And there are two types of loss we might be afraid of when it comes to fully surrendering to God’s plan for us.
A. Loss resulting from the call to fully surrender to God.
The fact is, if we surrender to God’s plan for us it will mean the loss of certain things, as we will be called to sacrifice in order to follow Christ. The Christian life is to give in order to receive, to humble oneself in order to be exalted, to die to self in order to live for God.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” - Luke 9:23 (NIV)
“But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ.” - Philippians 3:7-8 (CSB)
But we always receive far more than we give up when we follow Jesus; because the temporal can never compare in value with the eternal. When I follow Jesus and surrender to God’s plan for me, my life takes on eternal significance and eternal value.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” - Jim Elliott
B. Loss resulting from the consequence of full surrender to God.
When we surrender to Christ, the world will reject us; and often, we will suffer loss. Because Jesus surrendered to the Father’s plan for His life, He suffered loss at the hands of the world, too. In fact, He suffered the greatest loss a human being can face - loss of life. But He had confidence in God’s power, which enabled Him to face man’s greatest loss - the loss of one’s life - without fear.