Who’s ready to get a little bit better? How about a whole lot better? Who wants to get better today? I hope that I can serve, no I don’t hope because I know I can serve you. We are going to get better right now. And here’s the thing, at the beginning of the year, we all want to make progress like never before. BUT how do I make massive progress?
Let me share a little bit from my experience and I bet many of you do the same thing. You come up with a word of intention for the year. My word of intention from last year was forward; I wanted to move forward. Sounds like massive progress, right? In fact, I learned a lot about how to move forward, create progress… even though some things in my life I didn’t quite make the progress that I wanted to this year.
As the year came to a close, I was reflecting and looking at all the things that moved forward and there was a revelation. By the way, I am going to get a little spiritual today. I love Jesus and the Bible a whole lot. This is me, my faith and I don’t try to hide it. There is this verse in Habakkuk 3:19 in the amplified, this was my verse for last year.
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].
Even though I have been actually quoting this verse for several years over my life because life and death is in the power of the tongue and whatever you speak, YOU are going to create because that is the power you have on the inside of you.
Read through it, you see my old word from last year: Forward? Also, listen my friend, that last line says you were created for high places. I know there are some of you that love Garth Brooks and you got friends in lowly places… but you weren’t made for that. YOU were made for high places. People, there’s a destiny, calling, and purpose on the inside of you.
And my whole focus last year was to move forward with spiritual confidence into those high places of challenge and responsibility. There’s a beautiful little progression in this verse because when you look, the LORD God is my strength, my source of courage, my invincible army. There is this beautiful exchange that you see, like a supernatural divine exchange that takes place. We go from my weakness, my frailty, my ability to His Strength.
I am just going to share a list with you:
You go from fear and doubt to courage.
You go from overwhelm to invincibility. Who wants to be invincible? I’m not invincible, it is a supernatural exchange, there is a God on the inside of me and He’s my invincible army.
You go from limitation to abundance of supply.
You go from unsteady and uncertain steps to steady and sure.
And we go from low places to high places so that all these divine exchanges can happen.
And I am setting you up, because that was my focus for 2022. We will go ahead and put a timestamp on this, even though a lot of brand consults will tell you not, too. I don’t care because this is good. So that was the focus of 2022; moving forward with spiritual confidence. And I was reflecting, I do a lot of that annually in December and January and I saw all the things that moved forward. And then I went back to this verse that I have read the majority of 2022 and I saw something I didn’t see before and I want to share that with you. How do you make progress? Like, I know I made progress in 2022, you ain’t seen nothing about what’s going to happen in 2023… the Bible really does come alive. It has life, hope, and truth.
BUT I overlooked the first three words of that verse… The Lord God. They are really the most important part with the Lord being the most important. I know I am going full spiritual today, but there’s a principle here that I think you can understand whatever your frame for life is. But for me, The Lord God requires something; Lordship requires something. He can’t be Lord God, King of my Heart, King of All without one thing; surrender.
What kind of word is that? It doesn’t have the same feeling as Forward – Forward is filled with excitement. But the word for me this year is Surrender. Let me break that down for a second because to some that sounds like a passive word. There are three components to living a life of Surrender. Before I get into that, surrender is all about Jesus. The principle of surrender is letting go, releasing outcomes… because if you haven’t learned that you’re going to have to because YOU cannot control everything.
I’m surrendering to Jesus, my Lord and Savior, you might be surrendering to a higher power, the universe… letting go, living with radical acceptance. This all requires three things.
Trust is all about relationship. Trust requires an intimate, vibrant, realtime relationship with a God who loves me. By the way, if your view of God is that He is just up there in heaven waving a stick waiting for you to mess up, that is not God. The God I know is a loving God. He loves you just the way you are, not the way you should be. He loves you as you are, and He loves you so much that He is not going to let you stay the way you are. He is going to walk you into light, hope, purpose and destiny. I know that was a little tangent, but I shared that all for you.
If you are going to live a life of surrender, you have got to trust. And I trust God. I trust that He knows my best interests. I have got to trust that He’s got plans for me to prosper, not to harm me and give me hope for the future. I have got to trust in Him instead of me that things are going to turn out better. And what a release. I don’t have to have pressure on me when I’m trusting Him more than I am trusting me. When I’m trusting His plan more than my plan, Him to direct and guide me, there is freedom and a release that comes with that.
Surrender requires trust.
Surrender requires humility. I am sure this is not a popular word in our world today, but the word is humility. What does that require? It requires breaking arrogant pride and selfish ambition in life? I can’t surrender if I think I have got all the answers. I can’t surrender if I think I can figure it all out. Again, this is a spiritual principle for me with God BUT listen, if you are arrogant and prideful, there is no one who is going to want to be around you. And it is even arrogant to think you can control it all. You need to find a way to surrender arrogance and pride. That might look like bringing some people into your life that you can open up and trust. The kind of people that you can ask for help.
What would happen if you actually asked for help from some of the people that love you and want you to win, want you to rise? I was just talking with a friend today and you know the phrase: the rising ride elevates all the ships… even if you don’t know it, it is one of the things I say to my clients, and friends all the time because we will rise together. And in this conversation, we were talking about how we don’t want to elevate by ourselves. I want to take people with me. I want anyone that is around me to get elevated. The vision I have, I can’t do it on my own. You have got to break that pride.
This is where I bring some balance to this. See, for me growing up in a church my whole life, I think this idea of surrender had been talked about like it was a passive thing, like we go up to an altar call, sing, surrender and it goes on auto pilot and you don’t have to do anything: WRONG.
When we truly live in a place where we are surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, we trust Him completely. We’re in a deep relationship, we humble ourselves. We let go of pride and arrogance. Do you know what… this is the third level of obedience and obedience requires massive action. If you are truly living in a place to surrender, this is the greatest, most beautiful expression of it. If I am trusting and I am humble, then I am willing to be obedient and do whatever God asks me to do. It will require bold, audacious action that I would never do if I wasn’t living surrendered.
I know the calling on my life, I know that I am supposed to impact. I’ve tried to make my vision small and deplete the calling and destiny in my life. I’ve said, God, that was my idea isn’t it? Really, that big??? And I’ve had to lay it all down, surrender to God over and over again for Him to redirect me, keep me on track for my calling, my destiny, my purpose. And so if I am going to be obedient, it requires me to do things that I would never do on my own, do things that I’d never dream up on my own, do things beyond my own capacity… and I get to move forward with spiritual confidence onto my high places of challenge and responsibility.
That is what I have for you. The principle I want to bring to you, you may want to move forward like never before and here’s what I’ve learned over the last year and what I’m going to focus on this year. Previously, I thought the focus needed to be on the progress, moving forward BUT I’ve learned the more I surrender, the more I move forward in faith and audacity, with boldness to fulfill my calling and make an impact on other people’s lives. It seems a little bit upside down, which when you’re a follower of Jesus, that’s the Kingdom we live in. It’s upsidedown and backwards a lot of times from what the world would say.
I want to encourage you, I don’t think this is just a principle for Christians. I think that when we live in a surrendered life; trusting, humble, obedient and living for something bigger than ourselves we will make more progress from that place than we ever would trying to build something on our own for our own selfish ambition. That’s the principle, Surrender! It doesn’t have to be all about you. And when you can trust in something bigger than you, like a higher power… and there is more, there’s a relationship with the God who loves you. That’s what I’ve tapped into. That’s how I live my life, let me know if you want to have more of a conversation about that. Because I would love to tell you about this amazing Jesus, who loves you more than you could possibly imagine. And I know church, religion, even Jesus has gotten a bad rep BUT He is soo, soo good.
Surrender, surrender your life and move forward with progress in your life. I hope this serves you. I hope that you have had an amazing start to your year. And I hope that this year you are expecting like never before to make progress like never before. Now, you should go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what is on the inside of you! Don’t hold back, give it away! Have a great week.