Don’t Let Apathy Kill Your Surrender

 

Life can have such a hardening effect on me at times. Things that once moved my heart or stirred my calling become callous moments I can thoughtlessly handle without a tender heart or the Spirit’s help.  I witness another sad story; another broken marriage; another day spent at the office with limited results; another failed opportunity; another life filled with emptiness, and I remain untouched.

While on the outside I may appear to handle life gracefully, inside my heart grows numb, breaking apart into infertile pieces of dry crust. The Spirit struggles to penetrate and renew. I feel useless and unchanged by the Word. I feel stuck.

Maybe you have experienced this rut? The symptoms are obvious in myself and may be familiar to you too: my compassion wearies, I smother my emotions, everything feels fake, and I stop crying out to God. Deep inside we want to follow God, we want to grow as a Christian, and we want to be surrendered to Him.

But it’s hard to surrender when your heart feels plastic.

Usually surrender is preached in the context of chaos. People and situations are spinning out of control; there is nowhere else to turn; the end of the road must lead us to a place of absolute surrender. I’ve been there before too. We are forced to let go and let God take control. But where does surrender apply in spiritual apathy? How do we surrender when we have convinced ourselves that this is all there is? If we just don’t care, how can we surrender to a God who does?

Begin here: Cry out to God your Father.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
O Lord, hear my voice! 

Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

(Psalm 130 ESV)

Out of the depths of your apathy, pain, distraction, temptation, idolatry, insecurity, fear, or failure, cry out to your God. Like I mentioned earlier, one of the symptoms of a hardened heart is silence before God. We just don’t say anything to Him. We stop communicating with Him throughout the day. We stop looking for Him in situations and people and His Word.  Life rolls on as normal and we prance around decorated like a Christian, while inside we are dying like a sinner without hope.

From the Psalm written out above, pay attention to what you learn about God. Here are a few hints: He is the God who hears your voice, a God who forgives, a God with whom there is steadfast love and plentiful redemption! Reading the Word and believing it as truth will begin to breathe abundant life into your deadness. “In His word I hope…” Ask the Lord to give you an undeniable hunger for the Word and pray for a listening heart.

David admits in Psalm 130 that he is waiting and watching for God more than the watchman waits for the morning. What are you waiting for? What holds your attention more than anything else? Who are you listening to?

Put the gospel in the right perspective. Has the enemy convinced you that your sin is not that awful and that Christ came to save people with worse problems than you have? Like David, you need to remember that if the Lord should mark iniquities, who could stand? If God decided to total up all your sins, all your mistakes, could you expect a clean report? I certainly couldn’t! Spend some time thanking Him for the gospel and learn to walk worthy of His surrender.

If His surrender and sacrifice still means nothing to you, then you need to ask yourself if you are truly God’s child:

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-6 ESV)

 Whether your heart has never had an awakening, or it simply needs to be renewed, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ will break the bonds that hold you and set you free. He paid the debt for our sins, and it cost Him His life. Only through embracing His surrender can we surrender to the abundant life He has for us. And we can live by the same power that raised Him from the dead, God’s supernatural power. He can break through the numbness and apathy we feel and enable us to live fruitful, surrendered lives — by Him, and through Him, and for Him.

 

 Kaysie Strickland is a Jesus follower. Her passion is to establish people in God’s Word, beginning with herself. She is married to her best friend and works at the best ministry (in her opinion), Precept Ministries International. You will most likely find her near a cup of tea. She loves simple wonders like handwritten letters, oak trees, and the gospel.

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One Response

06.01.12

You make me SO proud … not only of just loving you, but loving how you ‘got it’ about loving and serving our Lord Jesus… (and your writing is amazing) :)

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