by Andreliz Torres
As I sat there in the sound booth during night 3 of The Voice Conference, I heard Pastor Sonia repeating, “C’MON, THE VOICE!” after Chris Estrada preached about being “Built Different.”
*Insert plug to download the Mainstream app & to listen to the whole TVC weekend.
As she is repeating, I hear a mixture of frustration and encouragement, but most importantly, an urgency.
She’s wanting us to surrender. Give everything up and submit. Trust God with everything. Nothing left behind.
My anxiety is rising as I’m wondering, “Do I even understand what it means to give everything to God?”
Psh. Not at all. So how am I supposed to do something that I don’t entirely understand?
Sometimes we’ve avoided so much of our issues and feelings that we need to dig deep and figure out what’s truly inside of us so we can give EVERYTHING to God. He already knows us completely, but are we aware of everything so we can give every part to Him?
Ever since TVC, I’ve been on this journey with God to fully give my everything to Him. But I had to start from scratch. I love this passage in 1 Peter Chapter 1 in the Amplified Version:
13 So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 [Live] as obedient children [of God]; do not be conformed to the evil desires which governed you in your ignorance [before you knew the requirements and transforming power of the good news regarding salvation]. 15 But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct [be set apart from the world by your godly character and moral courage]; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy (set apart), for I am holy.”
– 1 Peter 1:13-16 AMP
I think this is a great representation of how to surrender everything to God because we’re called to be holy. To be holy means to let go of our fleshly desires, obey God, and be set apart. Sounds a whole lot like surrender…
The beginning of verse 13 it says, “So prepare your minds for action…”
How do we prepare our minds for action? We deal with our junk! God has allowed me to step back and actually deal with the things inside of my mind on a deeper level. These include (but are not limited to):
- Dealing with my feelings of rejection, wanting validation, & the fact that change is inevitable and it’s okay (My flesh hates change, but my spirit thrives in it).
- Combating the lies in my mind with what the word of God says, on a consistent basis, and restructuring my thoughts.
- And finally, making a physical list of the things I know the enemy likes to distract me with and not allowing those things to actually distract me.
Surrender your mind, your issues, your feelings, your distractions, YOUR TRUTH…
and replace it with God’s truth.
The second part of verse 13 states, “be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
There is so much to dissect in this, but being self-disciplined stuck out to me. We must be disciplined to be “sober in spirit”. For me, God wanted me to be disciplined in having healthy boundaries with myself and with friends & family. And it wasn’t anything bad or considered as sin. They were small habits that I’ve had for a long time that affected me spiritually & mentally.
An example of a boundary I set for myself is that I wouldn’t allow myself to stay in bed after 30 mins of waking up. It might sound dumb, however, as someone who has dealt with depression, staying in bed for more than that after waking up brought on a familiarity that was not good and I saw myself fall into terrible, old habits without even realizing. Eventually, I started having depressing thoughts and what I knew as truth became distorted.
It’s actually wild what a difference that boundary has made in my life. But God had to reveal this to me because I didn’t think of it as an issue initially. So I challenge you to ask God to reveal any bad (or not the greatest) habits and provide a boundary to build discipline that can actually change you completely.
For some of you… you already know what you need to do to become spiritually and morally alert. You just either don’t think it will help or you aren’t disciplined enough to be consistent with it to see a difference. Do something to change that! Don’t be still when God wants you to move. This goes along with the next verse.
Surrender your control…
and replace it with God’s best for you.
In verse 14 it says, “[Live] as obedient children [of God]; do not be conformed to the evil desires which governed you in your ignorance [before you knew the requirements and transforming power of the good news regarding salvation].”
We need to be obedient children of God. Let’s not move backwards (or even stay still..) into our old ways to satisfy our evil desires for a moment. We know better now. We know the hope and the peace that God brings when we obey Him.
Sometimes we act like we didn’t just hear God lead us in a direction because we’re afraid or uncertain what that holds for our future. I know I always have to make SURE God wants me to do that scary thing before I do it…
But the BEST part about being a child of God is that He always wants the best for us! He is always for us! We need to stop getting in the way of our own blessing. God is leading the path for us, yet we stop in our tracks.
The 2nd part of verse 14 says, “do not be conformed to the evil desires which GOVERNED (in other words: influenced) you in your ignorance.”
God transforms our hearts and desires in our relationship with Him. And as we grow closer to Him and learn more about the Word, we are less governed by evil desires and more by God and His truth.
Surrender your desires…
and replace it with God’s desires.
The last few verses say, “15 But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct [be set apart from the world by your godly character and moral courage]; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy (set apart), for I am holy.”
When I read this part, I instantly thought about Pastor Kaimana’s TVC session (again, listen to TVC weekend on the mainstream app). She spoke about loving God the most. And not just loving Him a lot, but giving up worldly things to be able to love Him even more… the most. She mentioned Galatians 6:14, which talks about the cross and because of the cross, our interest in the world has been crucified, and also the world’s interest in us is gone.
If our interest isn’t in the world, then that means we have to live differently. We have to be set apart and be like our holy God. And of course, that’s not to seem better than anyone else… It’s so that we can fully be in God’s will for our lives and be used by him without distractions, lies and deception. The world won’t understand this way of living, so naturally they are against it. The world might not love us, but God does and that’s all we really need.
Surrender your reputation…
and replace it with God’s holiness.
Join me in this prayer!
Lord, we thank you so much for this new year and a fresh start. I pray for a hunger for you like never before. I pray for a hunger to grow deeper in where you want us to be. Holy Spirit, prepare our minds for action. Prepare us for what the year will bring. Allow us to become steadfast, disciplined and alert. Remind us of what you have already spoken. May we be obedient to you and your Word. Lead us where you want us. Provide ways to deal with our junk and remind us that we are meant to be set apart. Use us for your will and give us strength and wisdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.