Chapter 5: Surrender and Control


Next live webinar: Tuesday, April 15th

Live access:

Chapter 5 On-Demand Recording

I apologize for the delay in the blog this week, as I came down with a terrible illness. Thankfully I’m better, and even more thankfully our awesome team can handle things just fine without me! Cecilia taught this week on the concept of control and surrender and how that applies to our lives. I heard it was beautiful, and if you missed it, please take a moment to review the recording.

Now I’m going to take this chance to share what was on my heart that I couldn’t share in our class! Surrender and control is a difficult conversation to have at times, and even more so it can be confusing to understand how to “do” surrender. I remember being in absolute agony on how to surrender all forms of control to God. I would stick my fist at him sometimes and scream “How? Do you want me to stop moving, stop living, stop trying to do life?”

I didn’t understand that control was a lifestyle. I had been controlled by people and at many points felt powerless over things that had occurred in my life. My shattered sense of “making choices” led me to think that I had the entitlement and right to choose and control outcomes on behalf of others. It also left me believing I was forced to comply to standards around me. And so I thought God wanted to seize me in a robotic form. “Do this, don’t do that.” No wonder I couldn’t figure Him out!

I wish I had the perfect description of surrender, but in summary, it became a simple cry. “I can’t.” For me, and for many others on this journey, surrender comes when we realize our best efforts have failed. While that can seem like a negative situation to find ourselves in, it requires the next important ingredient. “But God can.” This is a condition that goes far beyond focusing on behaviors. It is a condition where in the deepest place of our being we realize we are incapable of moving one more inch unless we receive His assistance. God is so much more than “to do lists.” He is a power source!

To make better sense of this, think of it like driving around our “cars” of life. Because we don’t know any better, we have seen our “car” as something that requires our own energy strength to make move. So we get behind and push our car around to get it to where it needs to be, much to the toil and labor of each excruciating breath! We can even hail ourselves as martyrs for the striving and effort it requires to perform this task! “Hey, look at me. Look at how much work it takes for me to do this.” Indeed, pushing that car around takes “strength”, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s a form of strength, but nothing like the strength by which that vehicle was designed to move! We need engine life – which equates to power! It’s truly ridiculous to think of someone pushing a vehicle with the belief that’s the best it can offer for transportation. It’s obvious that it was designed for much more.  Even more dramatically is the nature of our lives. God designed our lives to be empowered by Him, with Him leading and guiding us. He created us to be dependent on Him as the source of strength. Without Him, we are feeble, weak and even with our best efforts, simply cannot live out our intended purposes.  Take that into our relationship struggles, and we are often fighting battles we are not authorized or designed to fight without Him. We suffer significant pain and suffering as a result. Our struggle is real, but it is in vain. Our life’s purpose needs to be aligned.

There is a dramatic difference between the lifestyle of self will versus a life empowered by the Spirit of God. Through surrender, God takes over; injects our vehicle with fuel, gets in the driver seat, and sets out on a new course and new adventure. He begins to make us move, without our effort, to fulfill His will in our lives. Is it scary? Truthfully, at first it is. It is terrifying to let go despite an awareness of our ridiculous efforts we have used to hang on. That is where each of us will have walk through our fears of trusting God as a loving Father, rather than someone who might want to harm us. We will have to accept God’s character as the Bible states, more than what our own life experience may have portrayed.

And when we give ourselves over to Him, handing Him the keys, we find what it’s like to be led by Him, what it’s like to be kept by Him, what it’s like to be loved by Him. Can I gasp before you, or maybe get on my hands and knees and sob like a baby to express the reality of trading my self-sufficiency for God’s competency? Absolutely amazing. I was released from the insanity of my own efforts and learned what it was like to be injected with the Holy Spirit – God’s power activated in me. There are no words.

Wherever you are on your own “ride”, can I encourage and summons you to invite God to drive your car? It will be a wild ride, perhaps at times unsettling, but He will lead you into your authentic purpose and destination. I guarantee that. How do you do it? Ask Him.

Lord God,

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. I meant well, and I didn’t mean to hurt you, but my own system of survival taught me it was up to me to “push.” But in acknowledging I wasn’t created or designed to live without Your power, I come to your feet and say “yes.” Have your way. Take the keys. Drive me where I need to go. Show me power, show me dependence and lead me into wholeness in your time and your way.

In Jesus name – Amen.

Next week:

Chapter 6 will be discussed, and everyone will be asked to begin the inventory process. This can cause some confusion, but please use this process to evaluate your own issues that require a level of healing.


Focus on those larger issues that people have done to you.

Your own wrongdoings:

Focus on things that you feel guilt or shame about


Focus on major life events that were very harmful or hurtful


Focus on not only people, but loss of self, job, dreams, etc.

Relationship Skills:

Simply look at how your relationships broke down

Use an extra sheet of paper. We will spend two weeks on these; and beginning in Chapter 8, we’ll begin to work through some of these lists through solution-oriented application steps.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Surrender and Control”

  1. Oh Stephanie, this whole thing is so beautiful and bless you 1,000 times for being obedient. The way you are breaking everything down makes so much sense and through it I am beginning to receive His love as I never could before!!!! So glad you are feeling better! Nancy

    Sent from my iPhone

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