Featured image for “Identity in Christ Part 10”


Big Picture


Let’s take a step back and review what we’ve discussed so we can keep everything in context.​​ 

As a result of Adam’s sin in the garden, we are all born separated from the life of God. (Rom. 5:12) But when we receive Christ (by faith), we are “reconnected” with God’s life. As a result, all of our God-given inner needs (love, acceptance, security, significance, peace, etc.) are met in Christ – we are complete in Christ! (Col. 2:10)​​ 

But even though we have the life of Christ, we don’t always experience his life, thus our inner needs “seem” to be unmet, e.g., we may often feel unloved, rejected, insecure, etc. Therefore, we attempt to get these needs met according to our flesh. However, all we do in our flesh only results in death (soulical death). (Rom. 8:6)​​ 

On the other hand, when we walk according to the Holy Spirit we experience the abundant life that Christ came to give us. So, how do we walk by the Holy Spirit? By simply surrendering to his leading. Surrender first involves having the same attitude as that of Christ – “not my will, but yours be done”. Surrender means that we release our rights and trust God to meet all of our needs. But surrender is not a one-time event. ​​ It is a moment-by-moment choice, thus, we can only surrender “in the moment”.


Common Misconceptions About Surrender​​ 


To help you better understand, I want to discuss a few things that may be confused with living a surrendered life.​​ 

The first is “resignation”. Resignation is not surrender. Resignation involves an attitude of, “If I can’t have my way, I’ll just have to go along with​​ <whatever circumstance that is controlling my life>.” This often results in anger towards God, as well as depression; because it is not what we would choose if we had the ability to change it.​​ 

An attitude of surrender is one of relinquishment.​​ I willfully choose to release my rights and privileges. I trust God to meet my needs in his way and in his time. This choice leads to freedom, while resignation leads to further bondage and bitterness.​​ 

While it may sound good,​​ commitment and/or rededication is also not surrender.​​ These are all about what​​ I’m going to do​​ for God; thus, they are almost always done according to the flesh with the person making the commitment still “in control”. ​​ 

For most of us, having an attitude of surrender doesn’t come naturally and it doesn’t come easily.


Brokenness, the Prelude to Surrender


Most, if not all of us, must go through a painful process that has been called brokenness before we are ready to surrender.​​ 

Brokenness refers to the process of breaking man from putting confidence in anything other than God.​​ 


​​ “for we are the​​ true​​ circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”​​ Philippians 3.3​​ 

This process is orchestrated by God so that we learn to walk in complete dependence on him, knowing that only in Christ are all our needs met.​​ 


Out of My Control


Our flesh loves to be in control. But God will allow situations to come into our life in which we have no control. We may face failure at every turn and wonder “why?”. Know this - God does not want us to succeed in our flesh. He wants to be the source of all that we do. He is the one who gives us the will and the power to do all that he calls us to. ​​ (Phil. 2:13)​​ 

When going through brokenness, the sources of “life” i.e., our old flesh patterns, that seemed to work in the past will eventually be exposed and no longer give us what we are seeking (actually, they never did). As God pinpoints these things, we have to let go of them or continue down the painful path of brokenness. As Jesus said, we must lose our life in order to save it. (Luke 9:24)

While Frank Sinatra may have done it his way, God will not let​​ His beloved do so. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life …”. (John 14:6)


God Will Not Give You More than You Can Handle?​​ 


There’s a common misunderstanding that says "God will not give you more than you can handle." This idea likely arises from a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13. So, is that true – God will not give you more than you can handle?

Read about one of the Apostle Paul’s experiences -​​ 

8​​ For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came​​ to us​​ in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;​​ 9​​ indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would​​ not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;​​ 10​​ who delivered us from so great a​​ peril of​​ death, and will deliver​​ us,​​ He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,​​ 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Paul said that he was “burdened excessively, beyond his strength”, so much so that he thought he was going to die. This certainly sounds like Paul’s situation was more than he could handle!​​ 

Why was he allowed to go through this affliction? ​​​​ - “so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;”! As long as we can handle our situation, we don’t depend on God.​​ 

As evidenced by Paul’s declaration above, the breaking process can be very painful. It is frequently accompanied by deep-seated pain, depression, disappointment, confusion, frustration, humiliation, etc.​​ 


Sound Like Something You Want to Sign Up For?​​ 


If you are a Christian, you can count on going through the process of brokenness. God loves you too much to leave you struggling in your self-sufficiency; because as long as you walk in self-sufficiency, you will never experience the abundant life Christ came to give you!


​​ “The Lord cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself thru us until the proud self within us is broken. The hard-unyielding self, which justifies itself, wants its own way, stands up for its rights, and seeks its own glory, at last bows its head to God’s will, admits it’s wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus, surrenders its rights and discards its own glory, that Jesus might have all and be all.”​​ The​​ Calvary Road​​ by Roy Hession



Ask yourself (and God) –​​ Am I struggling against God’s breaking process? If so, ask God to show​​ you​​ the areas of your life where you’re not completely depending on​​ Him alone.


My Struggle –​​ I can testify to the pain of the breaking process. Sadly, I didn’t recognize it in the beginning and struggled against the hand of God for many years before I was aware of what was happening. Even so, it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I went into a deep depression with​​ almost constant​​ suicidal thoughts. But in that dark season of my life, I remember hearing the still small voice of the Lord saying, “There’s no other way”.  ​​ ​​​​ 


Scripture References –​​ Luke 14:26-33; Romans 5 - 8; 1 Corinthians 10; 2 Corinthians 1; Philippians 3.


Back​​ Next​​ –​​ Brokenness Part 2