Think about when you are most satisfied. Something important to you makes you feel good or happy. Yet this may not be the thing that actually satisfies our soul. We need “soul satisfying.”
The satisfied life is a content life. Content does not equal happy, but rather it is a full life with purpose and meaning. The soul satisfying life comes as we align our purpose and meaning with what matters most in life. And what matters most is best comprehended in light of Jesus’ life and words.
And soul satisfying is birthed in surrender.
A Surrendered Life
In the last two posts we discussed that the satisfied life begins and continues as we depend on the Spirit moment by moment. It is not in just one big encounter or experience, but it becomes a way of life.
The satisfied life is a life of confession– as we agree with God regularly about our sins and choose to turn to Him.
The satisfied life is a surrendered life.
All of these: dependence, confession and surrender are intertwined. It is difficult to separate them. As we walk a life of dependence, we become aware of our sin. When we confess our sin, we desire to surrender our lives. As we surrender we find we need dependence.
Yet surrender, giving up and waving the white flag, doesn’t sound so appealing nor does it sound like the road to satisfaction. Surrender is not natural. Giving up our rights feels contrary. It is uncomfortable and a road less traveled.
Giving up for Greater Gain
If dependence is trusting in God moment by moment, then surrender is giving up our rights continually.
Giving over our right of control sounds difficult and negative, but in the hands of a loving and gracious Father it is our very best option. Often beautiful things occur through surrender:
In the morning, dark bows way to the coming light.
A seed falls to the ground and dies. Yet as Jesus says, it produces much fruit.
A mother gives in to pain, little sleep and around the clock demands for the gift of a child
The Road to Surrender
In order to give up our rights and surrender it helps to embrace a few things.
First, we must understand that surrender is good. Surrender makes way for the beautiful — for a fuller, more meaningful life. It enables us to live day-to-day with a purpose that is beyond us. For this is what Jesus said would make our life complete, by staying connected to Him and allowing our life to be defined by Him.
Second, surrender will involve difficult choices. We choose the lasting over the temporal. The approval of people, the short-lived pleasure, the unbridled words, busyness and distraction step aside for the lasting good.
Third, surrender continues by faith. By faith we exchange our desires for His desires. What is on Jesus’ heart matters. His mission, becomes our mission. We walk the surrendered life by faith.
Fourth, to live surrendered is to live in “willingness.” We desire to continually be willing to hand things over and to align ourselves with Jesus and what matters to Him. It is turning from the sinful patterns in exchange for soul satisfying. One of the best questions I can ask myself is, “Am I willing?”
His Last Words, Our purpose
Jesus’ last words were His commission to His disciples. This is where our purpose is revealed. And to be involved in His mission is to surrender what we think life is about (being a provider, having all the answers, making a name for ourselves, building a resume, having a family, being successful, etc) and exchange it for what He says matters most.
He said to them before He left for heaven,
As you are going, make disciples…
Our life is to be one that is following Christ, growing like Him and inviting others to do the same. This is our purpose as a follower of Christ.
The surrendered life is one that is just that — a willing life conforming to Jesus’ life and purpose, becoming more like Him and involved in His mission. This is when we are most satisfied.
This is soul satisfying. The essence of the Christian life is what God does in and through us, not what we do for God. Christ's life is reproduced in the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit is to be directed and empowered by Him. -The Satisfied booklet
This is a beautiful life. Jesus said so.
For more on the satisfied life see the two previous posts!