You just gotta give it to God, honey” …What does that even mean?
By Brie Gowen
I wasnt born into a Norman Rockwell painting kind of a family, and going to church on Sunday wasnt something we did. Even later after my mom and I moved to the Bible Belt and she married a good Southern, Christian man I still did not understand fully what it was like to fall on your face and be a lover of Jesus. In fact, looking back, even though I did the church thing through school that was the socially accepted norm for a small town family, it wasnt until I was in college that I finally understood what being a Christian really meant. Turns out it wasnt just a title to hold, but a decision to follow Christ. To love Him.
So by the time I decided I wanted a relationship with this Savior who had so selflessly died for me I was weighted down by decades of baggage. I had suffered rejection that had led to feelings of low self esteem, that had led to poor decisions aimed to make me love myself a little bit more, but that had inevitably only led to more feelings of worthlessness. In my handicap position of being a newbie Christian still under bondage from my past mistakes that I couldnt let go of I remember being told a phrase that I still hear uttered quite frequently among believer circles. Im pretty sure its even in cards as its a really popular sentiment. I was told that this would fix things for me. If I could just do this Id be all good.
You just gotta give it to God, honey.
Give. It. To. God.
What does that even mean?
For some, they may wonder, how? How exactly do I do that?! I know I did.
See, heres the problem with being human. We want to fix things. We want to have the answer, and we want to fashion the solution. We need the directions. The ones with pictures. And we want the knowledge. It started with Eve and a tree, and today still we want to have our hands in resolving and knowing how to take care of business, even better than the Creator. For me, it was perfect. It was an action I could take and therefore be free of the scars a life of sin had left behind. All I had to do was give it to God (however that worked) and Id be golden.
But as you can imagine I had trouble. I kept trying my hardest to give it to God, but my sinful nature pulled me in the other direction. My life wasnt magically turning itself around, problems still arose, and pain from the past still plagued me. What was up with that?! Maybe I hadnt given it to God correctly. How was it you were supposed to do that again? That thing I needed to do, I just wasnt doing it right, and after a while it felt easier to stop trying so hard.
So heres what Ive learned. If thirty-nine years on earth have taught me anything it is this.
I can do nothing. Seriously. Apart from Christ I can do no thing, and erroneously thinking I can perform some hoodoo task to make things peachy just doesnt work. You cant give it to God, and the operate word is you. Surrender isnt something we dothat fixes things. Its simply a decision to let God have control.
Its not writing down your pain and sin on a piece of paper and dropping it in Gods mailbox. Its not something you do, but simply acknowledging that its done. It was completed over 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. You just believe it. You turn from anything that says the contrary, and you keep your back to those lies. You accept the gift of Salvation and understand that the same Lord who erased your sin can also heal you of the pain it caused in your life. Its faith that continues to follow Him even when you cannot see the end of your story. Its all Him, and youre not doing anything to save yourself. Its already been done. If youre giving God anything then youre giving Him your heart, youre loving Him more deeply, and trusting Him for all the rest.
So maybe we shouldnt be telling people to give it to God, but instead telling them to let God. Let Him into your heart. Let Him move in your life. Let Him take control. Let Him heal you. Allow Him to wash you white as snow. Its nothing you can do, but just knowing its already been done. Take heart in that.
Do you turn from sin? You betcha. Do you relinquish your prior life and die to self? Indeed. But these arent so much works you perform to be in the pink. Theyre an acceptance of a gift Hes freely given, and its not a specific step-by-step guide to getting good with God, but rather a relationship. Love Him. Spend time in His word and listening to His voice. Youll find He takes you, and giving isnt even a thought because your hands are already wide open in abandon.
So dontyougive it to God.
Instead just letHim.