How in the world do you “give it to God”?!
Have you heard that before?!
You’re having a terribly stressful situation. It’s one of those times where you feel like you’re drowning, and there’s no buoy in sight. You know that God is in control. You know because that’s what everyone says! In fact, if you do reach out for guidance or share your plight with your Facebook friends, at least one person will say it.
“We’re praying for you, honey! Just give it to God!”
Ok. Great. Now, how do I do that again?
I think this was always one of those things in my Christian walk that kind of bothered me. Early on I asked more mature Christians the same question. Like, how? And most of the time I was told to just surrender.
“Brie, literally throw your hands up in the air and say, I can’t do it alone, God!” A friend suggested.
And yeah, that’s true. I mean, God certainly hears you, and He even answers. Things improve, it seems, after that outward expression of your innermost heart desire, but inevitably it creeps back. What I mean is, you can surrender your anxiety to Jesus on Tuesday, but by Saturday something else may rear its ugly head and the next thing you know, you’re anxious again.
Ugh, I thought I gave this to God! What gives?!
So, I sought that answer too, and I was told more good advice.
“Brie, surrender is something you have to do more than once,” my mentor said. “Sometimes, it’s a daily practice.”
And you know what? She was right about that too.
Okay, so you’re saying I need to just go on and tell God I’m giving it to Him. Check.
Then, I’ll need to do that many times over throughout my life. Gotcha.
But, do you know what else I’ve discovered? It’s taken me some time, but I have realized that to give it to God takes a lot more.
For one, it’s easy to say you surrender a situation with your words, but actually carrying that through in your head is a horse of a different color. You know what I mean. You’re sitting there minding your own business, certain that God’s got this, when suddenly you hear a little whisper of a thought. It’s a soft whisper at first.
It says something like, “but what if it doesn’t work out?”
And then the whisper gets a little louder. So you think about it some more. And it gets louder and louder. Before you know it the drumming of your heart in your ears competes with the urgent cry in your head.
“You’re going to fail,” it exclaims!
The terrible “what if’s” plague you, and you’re under its thumbnail. You know God’s got this, but what if?
What if it’s not God’s will?
Maybe He’s trying to teach me something.
Maybe I did something wrong.
Maybe this is my hard lesson.
Before you know it you’re riddled with anxiety, dread, shame, and a yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach. It manifests with physical symptoms. Headache, acid reflux, high blood pressure, insomnia, weight loss, or perhaps weight gain.
Hey, wait a minute! Didn’t I give this to God?! I must not have done it right.
You did. But I’ve discovered that us humans don’t like giving stuff away. Like, we’re major hoarders. It’s against our nature to give something away, even if it’s a problem we want to be rid of. We want to hang on to it so we can fix it, and only when we realize we can’t fix it, do we give it away! But even then, as our hands of surrender are raised high, we feel like we’re missing something. So in that empty place, we fill it. It has to be filled! Sadly, it’s typically filled with thoughts from the enemy. Remember, it’s not flesh and blood we battle. Yep, it’s the enemy who fills us with the anxious what-if’s. So it’s our job to fill that vacant place of surrender with something else.
I’ve found that the act of truly giving it to God is three-fold.
First, yes, you surrender. We got that part. God is good.
Second, you must fill the vacant place where your problem resided in your mind prior to surrender. And the only thing that will fill it right is God’s truth. Y’all, you have to read the Bible. You have to! It’s the key to surrender. Because once you give your trouble to God, the devil is going to get mad. He’s going to attack you. He’s going to attack your thoughts, and you have to hit back with truth.
You have to know scripture back and forth so when the anxious thoughts come you’ll recognize them as a lie.
You’ll be able to stand firm and say, “wait, that doesn’t sound like God.”
Nowhere in the Bible does He say it’s just your lot in life, that life sucks, or you have bad luck. Nowhere. You have to speak truth to combat lies. You speak them out loud, you repeat them to yourself daily, you speak them over your life first thing in the morning before you even feel an attack. You prepare yourself for battle.
Then… you rest. You rest in His truth. Lies come, you kill them with truth, and rest in your surrender. This is the third and final piece, and resting doesn’t just mean being still. You’ll still have to fight with truth as attacks come, but to rest is to abide. It means you live in a state of believing what you’re proclaiming.
You read the truth, you memorize the truth, you repeat the truth. You repeat it over and over until it becomes passive like breathing. You exist, breathing in and out this truth, wearing it like your favorite hoodie. It becomes so ingrained in your very center that it’s not just words; it’s the very sustenance of your life. It’s the meat, and you chew on it until it sticks to your bones. That way, despite if attacks come, you’re not frantically fighting them off. Instead, you’re resting in the truth of Jesus that has already won the war. If that doesn’t make you want to jump and shout hallelujah then I don’t know what will!
Bottom line, friends. Giving it to God comes down to abiding in the victory Christ has already obtained for you. Spoiler alert… the devil doesn’t win. Anxiety doesn’t win. Depression doesn’t win. We just lose sight of that, sometimes, and that’s ok. There’s still room at the victory table, and getting a seat there starts with surrender. It’s followed by digging in and equipping yourself with God’s word. Then it’s topped off (it is finished, see what I did there) with abiding in His truth that you are in Him, and He is in you. That, my friends, is how you give it to God.