“…There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death….” (Proverbs 16:25 KJV).
Self-autonomy refers to the personal power - based on the God-created ability of human will - to make decisions without outside interference. Basically self-autonomously people TRUST in themselves. “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe…” (Proverbs 28:26 NIV).
Once you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior most believers STRUGGLE with giving up self-autonomy. However, God “….made …Jesus, whom ye crucified, both [your]…Lord (sovereign CAREGIVER) and [SAVIOR]… (Acts 2:36 KJV).
Like Jesus, while upon earth, believers are to willfully and voluntarily choose to submit to God’s sovereignty and personal care over their lives.” “…"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42-43 NIV). “…Christ …entrusted himself to him who judges justly…” (1 Peter 2:20-23 NIV).
In order to entrust yourself to God’s sovereignty and loving care; self-autonomy has to be relinquished. “…yet not My will, but Yours be done…" (Luke 22:42-43 NIV).
Autonomy is also related to the word control. Control is when YOU determine your own actions, thoughts, emotions, or plans. “But the people replied, “…We will continue to live as WE WANT TO, stubbornly following our own evil desires…” (JEREMIAH 18:12 NLT).
Control is when YOU govern your own restrictions or liberties. “…But my people would not listen to me. They KEPT DOING WHATEVER THEY WANTED, following the stubborn desires of their [OWN] evil hearts…” (Jeremiah 7:24 NLT).
In Strong’s lexicon one meaning of control is to hold back, shut up, halt, stop, detain, or restraint.
Salvation makes Jesus Lord of your life by “RIGHT.” God “….made …Jesus, whom ye crucified, ... [your]…Lord… (Acts 2:36 KJV).
A relinquishing of self-autonomy is part of the Christian journey. This means you have voluntarily and willfully CHOOSEN to hand over the right to CONTROL your OWN life to God's sovereign RIGHT to control your life. “…If the Lord will, [I] shall live, and do this, or that...” (James 4:16 KJV).
However, losing self-autonomy makes people feel helpless, scared, terrified, naked, exposed, or weak. “…After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.). Jehoshaphat was TERRIFIED by this news...” (2 Chronicles 20:1-30 NLT).
To lose self-autonomy or control is frightening for many. “…Jehoshaphat was TERRIFIED by this news...” (2 Chronicles 20:1-30 NLT).
You will either try to regain self-autonomy/control or you will CHOOSE to submit to a higher power. “…Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and BEGGED the Lord for guidance.” (2 Chronicles 20:1-30 NLT).
Some events, situations, or circumstances don’t allow people to maintain self-autonomy/control. “One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” (Job 1:13-20 NIV).
Job could NOT maintain self-autonomy over what happened. He could NOT control what happened. Job relinquished self-autonomy/ control with the right attitude. He said “..though he (God) slay me, yet will I trust in him (or depend upon him)…” (Job 13:15 KJV). Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord…” Job 1:20-22 NASB).
When I had my brain bleed, I lost self-self-autonomy/control over parts of my health and life. Like a domino effect, one by one, I lost self-autonomy/control over my balance, my relationships, my independence, my choices, where I could live, my ability to multitask, my preferred lifestyle, my ability to eat what I wanted, my original speech, and my ability to filter all of my words.
I hated being so out-of-control. I hated being so dependent upon others. I hated being at the mercy of others too. I wanted my self-autonomy back. I wanted my control back! However, the question soon became “What does God want?”
First of all, God wanted to strip me of MORE of my fleshly pride. God gives you what you NEED. I NEEDED to wear helplessness and vulnerability like a neon sign until fleshly prided DIED. My fleshly pride make me fell like everybody could witness some kind of weakness in me.
I imagined I was truly living in a fish bowl. Suddenly, I had an undeniable “need” for the love, caregiving and support of others.
Without knowing it, I had programmed myself to avoid “needing” others as much as possible. I THOUGHT it was a sign of weakness.
I THOUGHT maintaining personal self-autonomy, control, and independence was a sign of being a strong, blessed woman. It WASN’T!
The LOSS of FURTHER self-autonomy MADE me acknowledge my TOTAL and COMPLETE need and dependence upon for God in EVERY area of my life.
I had ONLY relinquished CONTROL to God in the areas of MY CHOOSING. I had so much MORE to surrender.
Surrendering ALL my self-autonomy, control, and independence was actually surrendering to MORE of God’s love, caregiving, mercy, and his grace.
Surrender; NOT self-autonomy became a blessing. My disability became like a magnet attracting Christian love, kindness, new friendships and a GIFT of deeper humility.
God reached out to me through others, and I humbly reached back. It was EXTREMELY hard to be so publicly helpless and out-of-control, but a loss of self-autonomy will take you to unfamiliar places.
My loss of self-autonomy was so public I couldn’t diminish or hide my helplessness .
I was usually on the other side as a GIVER, but not so much as a RECEIVER, especially to this depth.
I watched, allowed, and surrendered to people who ministered to me through many Christlike avenues of caregiving. “Ye are of God, little children …We are of God: …Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love…” (1 John 4:4-8 KJV).
I recognized God’s disciples by the way they demonstrated love to “…one to another [and to me]…” (John 13:35 KJV).
When a loss of self- autonomy leaves you helpless and out-of-control; surrender to God's loving care. Surrendering to God is actually surrendering to THE LOVE he personally has FOR YOU. “…God is LOVE…” (1 John 4:4-8 KJV).
Surrender takes humility; Godly humility (Godly humility EMPOWERED by the Holy Spirit). Godly humility becomes a POWERFUL submission to the ONE true LOVE. “…God is LOVE…” (1 John 4:4-8 KJV).
Godly humility proves to be a very adequate teacher, guide, and support when you CHOOSE to TRADE self-autonomy for LORDSHIP!!!
Godly humility is also a sign that the LORDSHIP (CONTROL), of YOUR life, has been voluntarily put into the proper hands. Godly humility means you have CHOOSEN to humble yourself to the LORDSHIP of LOVE. “…God is LOVE…” (1 John 4:4-8 KJV).
God “…is patient …is kind. [God]…does not envy …does not boast, [God's love] …. is not proud. [God's love]…does not dishonor others … is not self-seeking ... is not easily angered, …keeps no record of wrongs. … AND….never fails” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 NIV). “…God is LOVE…” (1 John 4:4-8 KJV).
I CHOOSE to further HUMBLE myself to the LORDSHIP of love, to patience, to kindness, to honor, to unselfishness, to grace, to mercy, and to someone who will NEVER fail to continually CARE for me (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). “…I am the Lord, I change NOT…” (Malachi 3:6 KJV). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13 :8 NIV).
“…If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves, …” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV). “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10 KJV). “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time…” (1 Peter 5:6 KJV).
Surrendering to the LORDSHIP of LOVE allows you to become content and peaceful. “…Be content with what you have, because God has said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you…” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). “God is [your] refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1 KJV).
Apostle Paul said, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want…” Philippians 4:11-12 NIV). His secret, “…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13 KJV).
Surrendering to the LORDSHIP of LOVE will REVEAL that ONLY God is truly autonomous, in control, and sovereign. “…Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Psalms 115:3 NIV). “… [God]… does as he pleases (not mankind) with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4 NLT).
My loss of personal self-autonomy or fleshly control enabled me to become MORE dependent on the LORDSHIP of LOVE. “….All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come…” (Job 14:14 KJV). “…If the Lord will, [I] shall live, and do this, or that...” (James 4:16 KJV).
In order to process through my helplessness, my loss of control, and my independence; I had to detach myself from my lingering fleshly pride. I had to totally and completely entrust myself to God; the God of LOVE. Jesus said, “…LEARN from me, for I am gentle and HUMBLE in heart…” (Matthew 11:29 KJV). “…Christ …entrusted himself to him who judges justly…” (1 Peter 2:20-23 NIV).
My spiritual development, especially in Godly humility, grew in leaps and bounds; allowing me to experience a deeper, fuller, richer, and more productive relationship with the God of LOVE and his LORDSHIP.
God is rightfully sovereign over the life of the believer, but the believer does not always CHOOSE to relinquish that sovereignty to God. “…But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward” (Jeremiah 7:24 NLT).
I learned God was NOT sovereign over EVERY area of my heart. God knew that there was STILL fleshly pride and a rebellious desire for self-autonomy in my heart. The GOD of LOVE “cares” VERY much about getting rid of the unrighteous CONTENT of my heart. “...God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart…”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB). God looks at the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV). It is“… from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts…[PRIDE, INDEPENDENCE, selfish CONTROL, etc.]…these … come from within, and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 KJV).
It is wise to surrender to the LORDSHIP/GOD of LOVE, because he CARES about YOU. He CARES about your HEART, which “…is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…who can know it [except God?]…” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
Christ died so God could be sovereign in the lives of his people, particularly through the Lordship of HIS Love. “…Ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. …” (Leviticus 20:26 KJV).
Growing in Godly humility enabled me to submit deeper and deeper to the Lordship of HIS Love and personal CARE for me. I learned, first of all, “…do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…” (Romans 12:3 NIV). Second, always remember, “….there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not?” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 KJV). And finally, it is important to know, “… there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18 KJV).
Submitting to the Lordship of HIS Love SAYS that God has FINALLY gained sovereignty or CONTROL over your life, which is his “RIGHT” anyway as your Lord and Savior. “…Because YOU BELONG to him..” (Romans 8:1 NLT). “…[HIS loving Lordship is for] those who BELONG TO Christ Jesus…” (Galatians 5:24 NASB).
It’s becomes easier to submit to the sovereignty of God when you authentically experience situations and circumstances that REVEAL HIS LOVE, his personal CARE for you, his goodnesses, his amazing graces, his mercy, his glorious presence, and his MANY spiritual blessings. There is NONE, not even YOU, like him!!! “… I am God, and there is none else… I am God, and there is none like me…" (Isaiah 46:9-10 KJV). “… there is NONE like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.…” (Jeremiah 10:6 KJV).
God deserves to be the LORD over the believer’s life. He paid the price for the “right” simple to LOVE “YOU” and personally CARE for you “…The just for the unjust…” (1 Peter 3:18 KJV).
Praise the sovereign God for all “… [the] great things [he hath done] for us…” (Psalm 126:2-3 KJV).
I will “…confess with [my]…mouth, the Lord Jesus ….” and humbly surrender to the LORDship of LOVE (Romans 10:9-10 KJV).
By submitting to others, who loved me, through my helpless medical condition, I learned to submit in a greater way to the LORDship of LOVE. All things really do work together for good. “..All things work together for GOOD to them that LOVE GOD, to them who are THE CALLED to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV).
I was EMPOWERED, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, to surrender again and again to the LORDship of LOVE. “…It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).
The indwelling Holy Spirit directed me to the LOVE of God. “…direct [their]… hearts TO the love of God…” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NASB). “…May the Lord lead your hearts INTO a full understanding and EXPRESSION of the love of God …” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NLT).
What GREATER place is there to go, that to HIS LOVE? “…Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God…” (John 6:67-69 NASB). “… there is NONE like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.…” (Jeremiah 10:6 KJV).
If you are not FULLY surrendered you are “NOT” FULLY God’s disciple. You “…cannot [fully] be (Christ’s) disciple…” (Luke 14:26 KJV).
A willing and voluntary loss of personal self-autonomy is a SIGN of the COST you are willing to PAY to “…come after [Jesus]…..” (Luke 14:27 KJV).
The less options you have to take the path of self-autonomy the narrower the path becomes that leads to a GREATER authentic, surrendered life to the LORDship of LOVE. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14 NASB).
When God is the LORD of LOVE in your life, it will be evident through your authentic dependency on his POWERFUL indwelling PRESENCE. “…That he would grant [YOU]… according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by HIS SPIRIT in the inner man…” (Ephesians 3:16 KJV). . “…It is God which worketh in [you]… both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).
Humble surrender develops from real-life experiences that promote and produce spiritual fruit, which is like a pruning, so the fruit will GROW "GREATER." “…Dear brothers and sisters …when your faith (dependency upon God) is tested, your ENDURANCE has a chance to grow. So let it grow….” (James 1:2-4 NLT). "....The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in [y]our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Galatians 5 NLT). “…We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then THE WAY YOU LIVE will … will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you WILL GROW as you learn to know God better and better…” (Colossians 1:9-10 NLT).
The LORD of LOVE may use the loss of self-autonomy to enable you to actually become truly humble, more dependent upon God, and to gain a DEEPER respect for his sovereignty. King Nebuchadnezzar is an example of someone who became humbled, loss independence, and gained respect for God's sovereignty. “…Everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4 NIV).
God’s sovereign LOVE is also experienced through a life progressively growing and developing in the grace, knowledge, and image of Jesus Christ. “…Grow in the grace and knowledge or our LORD and SAVIOUR Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 3:18). “…God …predestined [you] to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Romans 8:29 NIV).
When you have surrendered to the LORD of LOVE you have voluntarily and willfully chosen to relinquish your self-autonomy. “…[Your heart cries] …if the Lord will, [I] shall live, and do this, or that...” (James 4:16 KJV). “… [I NOW]… live by the faith of the Son of God. …” (Galatians 2:20 KJV). “…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…” (Philippians 4:13 KJV). “…Jesus Christ IS IN [me]…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). “…by the GRACE of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV).
Self-autonomy LIMITS you to your FINITE abilities. Humble surrender to the LORD of HOLY LOVE removes the LIMITS and opens your life up to INFINITE possibilities!! “…The things which are impossible with men are possible with God…” (Luke 18:27 KJV). “….I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 KJV). “…NOW UNTO HIM THAT IS ABLE to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV).
Jesus said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38 KJV). “…not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me….” (John 6:38 KJV).
Jesus knew he couldn’t do autonomously what he could do surrendered to GOD. “….NO MAN can do these miracles that thou doest, EXCEPT GOD BE WITH HIM…” (John 3:2 KJV). “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and POWER, and how he went around doing good and healing all ….because God was with him…” (Acts 10:38 NIV). “…Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and POWER, performed great wonders and signs among the people…” (Acts 6:8 NIV). “…God did extraordinary MIRACLES (power) through Paul…” (Acts 19:11 NIV). “…I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and MIRACLES (power)…” (2 Corinthians 12:12 NIV).
“…Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and GREATER WORKS than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…” (John 14:1 KJV). “…the Father that dwelleth in [YOU], he doeth the works…” (John 14:10 KJV).
Humbly surrendering to LORD of LOVE is NOT easy, because the flesh has learned to live independent of God and is hostile to God. “…The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so…” (Romans 8:7 NIV).
Therefore, the trouble with humble surrender is the FLESH. “…The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do (surrender) what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do (surrender)what is right, but I can’t. I want to do (surrender) what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do (surrender) what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I [am] …a slave to the sin (a mind governed by the flesh) that is … within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am!” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
“…Who will free me from this life that is dominated by [heart] sin?” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
“…Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
I heard Bishop Johnson of Mount Pleasant in Baltimore, Maryland say the INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT has the POWER to put DEMANDS upon the FLESH that EMPOWER you to do the things that PLEASE God! Therefore, “… [May God] … grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…” (Ephesians 3:16 KJV). “…May the God of peace, … that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will…” (Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV). “…May the God of peace, … that great Shepherd of the sheep …work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV). “…For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure…” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).
In addition, if you CHOOSE to humbly surrender yourself under the LORDship of HOLY LOVE, his way of life will become YOUR way of life. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers (participants) of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound …[you will be fruitful in] the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 1: 4-9 KJV).
When a believer finds themselves in situations or circumstances where self-autonomy is lost it is good to remember God is a God of correction. “If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all” (Hebrews 12:8 NIV). “….For whom the Lord loveth he CORRECTETH……” (Proverbs 3:12 KJV). “…Those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4 NIV). “…that we might be partakers of his holiness….” (Hebrews 12:10 KJV).
A believer will never know IF they are truly submitted to God’s sovereignty until they have to prove it. “…Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3 KJV). Job said: “...though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” (Job 13:15 KJV).
Believers are sent to earth to serve God’s purpose, first and foremost. Like Jesus, we did “…not come to be served, but to serve….” (Matthew 20:28 NIV).
One of the Hebrew words for serve is abad and one of the definitions is to work. God’s true people came here to WORK. Jesus said, “…for the works which the Father has given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36 KJV). “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38 KJV).
Jesus' purpose, for coming to earth, was fulfilled by his serving the WILL of God and doing what he was sent to earth to DO. “Then Jesus explained: "My nourishment (fulfillment) comes from doing the will of God (serving God's purpose), who sent me, and from finishing his work” (John 4:34 NLT).
Jesus literally “became” God’s personal servant, from his heart, even while suffering. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things he suffered…” (Hebrews 5:8 KJV). . “…The faithful followers of the Lord … keep their promises even when it hurts…” (Psalm 15:4 NLT).
Jesus carried the heavy wooden cross across the city, sweated blood, had the nails hammered into his hands and feet, hung upon the cross for days, and died a criminal's death, EVEN THOUGH he was God's SON. Even though he was, “… [God’s] Son, yet learned he obedience by the things he suffered…” (Hebrews 5:8 KJV).
Jesus carried the heavy wooden cross across the city, sweated blood, had the nails hammered into his hands and feet, hung upon the cross for days, and died a criminal's death, EVEN THOUGH he was God's SON. Even though he was, “… [God’s] Son, yet learned he obedience by the things he suffered…” (Hebrews 5:8 KJV).
God knew Jesus would suffer during his purpose upon earth and yet, he “…spared not his own Son [from going through the process of suffering], but delivered him up for us all….?” (Romans 8:32 KJV).
Another Hebrew word for serve is sharath and one definition means to become a “personal servant to.” Jesus definitely did “…not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 KJV).
It is clear Jesus humbly submitted to God and personally served HIM wholeheartedly. Jesus confidently said, “…The ... works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me” (John 5:36 KJV).
Jesus was God’s personal servant while on earth and he humbly submitted to HIS PURPOSE, no matter the cost, by actually becoming “…a ransom for many...[by humbly surrendering to God's LORDSHIP and]… [by] bec[oming] obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Matthew 20:28 & Philippians 2:8 KJV).
He was absolutely and totally surrendered. Jesus is the ultimate example of how we are to go through a voluntary loss of self-autonomy. “…I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38 KJV).
Every believer is to “become” a personal servant to God. God called Jesus his “beloved Son” in whom he was well pleased (Matthew 3:17).
One of God’s most important purposes for every believer is to “…be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29 KJV).
It doesn’t matter how you choose to lose your self-autonomy to God; CHOOSE TO LOSE IT!. Surrender to God. Let the indwelling Holy Spirit empower you to depend upon Jesus. "Jesus answered, and said…This is the work of God: that ye believe on him (DEPEND UPON HIM) whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29 KJV).
Jesus “…Christ suffered for you…, leaving you… an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly…” (1 Peter 2:20-23 NIV).
He sent the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower you do the same thing. “…God … sent forth the Spirit of His Son “INTO” OUR HEARTS…” (Galatians 4:6 NASB). “…It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV). “…Now may the God of peace, … that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV).
Jesus became God’s personal servant on earth and humbly submitted to his sovereignty. Jesus suffered too because he took on “the likeness of sinful flesh…,” (Romans 8:3 KJV).
Even though it didn’t change his holy nature, when Jesus took on the “likeness” of human flesh he literally experienced what it was like to be like you or human. “… [That why he can] be touched with the feeling of [y]our infirmities...” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV).
Jesus DEMONSTRATES, to believers, how to choose to walk through a loss of self-autonomy. “ … In the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;…” (Hebrew 5:7-8-9 KJV). He choose to lose his self-autonomy too; “…yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV).
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his flesh, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin…” (1 Peter 4:1 NIV).
The loss of self-autonomy was challenging to Jesus too. “… He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them and knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42-43 NIV).
Jesus KNEW it wouldn't be easy to lose self-autonomy. Thus, Jesus demonstrated how to voluntarily, willfully, and lovingly chose to humbly submit to God’s sovereignty. The INDWELLING Holy Spirit is ABLE to HELP YOU do the same thing too. “…It is God who WORKS IN YOU…” (Philippians 2:13 NIV). “…the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works…” (John 14:10 KJV).
Jesus kept his focus on God’s sovereign will. Jesus’ humble surrender transformed the entire world. “…he became author of eternal salvation unto ALL …” (Hebrew 5:7-8-9 KJV).
Jesus was promoted and is now “highly exalted” with a “name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). “… He (Jesus) had a name written, that no man knew … his name is called The Word of God…” (Revelation 19:12-13 NASB).
In addition,“…at … the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 KJV).
A loss of self-autonomy will be a struggle, but if you entrust yourself to God’s sovereign PURPOSE (will) you will be blessed.
Training to humbly surrender self-autonomy to God may last for hours, days, weeks, months, or years and the experiences may NOT be pleasant. It is developing you to become an obedient servant like Jesus Christ.. . “No chastening (correction) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable FRUIT of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby...” (Hebrews 12:11 KJV). “… [God allows correction]…for our profit, that [you] might be partakers (participants) of his holiness...” (Hebrews 12:10 KJV).
When God allows or permits a loss of self-autonomy it is not about what is actually happening TO you as much as it is about what is happening IN you. God cares about your heart. “…The LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART…” (1 Samuel 16:7 NASB). “….[It is] from WITHIN, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts … wickedness, deceit, … pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from WITHIN; they are what defile you…” (Mark 7:20-23 NLT). “... I [am] …a slave to the … [self-autonomy]... that is … WITHIN me …” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
God SEES the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV). “…No one needed… to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart…” (John 2:24-25 NLT). “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know everything I do…” (Psalms 139:1-6 NLT).
Remember when God took Israel through the wilderness (trials) for forty years? He did it to humble them, to test them to depend upon him, to see if they would keep his commandments or not, and to reveal to them “….what was in [their OWN]…heart…” (Deuteronomy 8:2 KJV).
Forty years is a LONG time to be without self-autonomy or some sense of control, but sometimes it takes people a long time to see their OWN rebellious, prideful, and stubborn condition in the light of God’s HOLY truth.
Some believers have walked with God for many, many years and “STILL” participate in an autonomous life of secret sin. “…my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward” (Jeremiah 7:24 NLT). “But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires” (JEREMIAH 18:12 NLT).
Many believers CLAIM to be God’s people, yet have not truly turned from their autonomous wicked ways. “…If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways…” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV).
God wants HIS people to “BE” HOLY like him; that’s his standard. He does NOT mollycoddle with sin on ANY level JUST because it’s you doing the sin. “…Be holy, because I am holy…” (1 Peter 1:16 KJV).
God loves YOU, but he will NOT pamper or indulge your ongoing, autonomous sinful lifestyle. “... Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God…” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NASB).
True respect and enlightenment of God’s sovereignty will humble a true believer. Humble surrender exalts God’s LORDSHIP of LOVE over a believer’s life and they voluntarily and willfully choose to give up self-autonomy. “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” (John 3:30 NLT).
God’s LORDSHIP of LOVE will become crystal clear, especially when the loss of self-autonomy comes along and exposes what is truly in your heart. “…my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts...” (Jeremiah 7:24 NLT). “...the people replied … We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires” (JEREMIAH 18:12 NLT). “…for thy heart is not right in the sight of God…” (Acts 8:21 KJV).
When the loss of self-autonomy comes along and the heart is not right before God, you will know for YOURSELF. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...” (Matthew 15:19 KJV). “… [It is] from WITHIN, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts … wickedness, deceit, … pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from WITHIN; they are what defile you…” (Mark 7:20-23 NLT).
Believers may SAY they give their hearts to God, but “NOT” their self-autonomy, which come out of the heart. “…He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7:6 KJV).
Therefore, a loss of self-autonomy is about the “… trying of [your]… faith [which]...worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect (spiritual mature) and entire, wanting nothing…” (James 1:2-6 KJV).
If God is to be truly the LORD in your life, it will come through a voluntary loss of personal self-autonomy. “… [God] knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10 KJV). “….The proof of [my]…faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7 ASV).
You may not understand the situations and circumstances in which you lose your personal self-autonomy, but most likely, it serves a bigger PURPOSE than what is happening. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?” (Romans 11:33-34 KJV).
God “… ways [are often]…past finding out…” and his ways will NOT always make human sense (Romans 11:33-34 KJV).
In the story of Lazarus and the little girl in John 11 and Mark 5, it seems Jesus simply didn’t come to the situation “on time.”
In our loss of self-autonomy it may seem “too late” for Jesus to show up and fix what seems out of control.
It is normal to feel a loss of self-autonomy when someone we love dies anyway, or gets sick anyway, or leaves anyway, or a marriage breaks up anyway, especially after all we “thought” we did to keep things “IN” control.
What is the point of trusting God if the situation or circumstance “seems” hopelessly out of control and the possibilities “seemed” to have DIED ANYWAY?
After reading and studying these two biblical stories where Jesus did not come until death occurred, I also wondered “why?” It’s over and everybody is packing up to leave, so why is Jesus showing up now?
Jesus had a GREATER and more sovereign PURPOSE.
Usually, a loss of self-autonomy makes you want to “give up” or to start blatantly accusing God of not working things out the way YOU wanted or how you thought he promised, or it’s a time to start complaining, or a time to become scared, stressed, and worried.
Lazarus’ sister, Martha said, “… as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming … Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died… ” (John 11:20-22 KJV).
She boldly accused Jesus of not being there and implied it was TOO LATE, so she said, “… Lord, by this time, he stinketh: for he hath been dead for four days …” (John 11:39 KJV).
In the other story they thought he was TOO LATE too and “…they laughed him to scorn… “(Mark 5:40 KJV). Is God still sovereign in these stories? Is God still the LORD?
Jesus showed up in his sovereign timing and with a sovereign purpose. Martha, Mary, and the others were DONE and situations were NOW long out of their control. People were weeping and wailing over Lazarus and the little girl (John 11:17-22, Mark 5:38-39).
When the situation looks dead or out of control, the LORD says,“…only believe (depend upon him to WORK it out),” because God is still sovereign (Mark 5:36 KJV).
God has NOT loss control. “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go...” (John 11:43-44 KJV).
“And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” (Mark 5:41 KJV).
God is sovereign over dead, out of control situations. PROVING personal self-autonomy has limitations.
However, HEARING God’s WORD activates the indwelling HOLY SPIRIT and the indwelling Holy Spirit (the fruit of faith) will empower you to continue to HOPE in God. “…Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing…!" (Romans 4:18 NLT). “…you will abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 15:13 NASB). “…God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely.... Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 15:13 NLT).
“…Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding…” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV). “…You will abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 15:13 NASB). “…IGod, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely.... Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 15:13 NLT). “…FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, and hearing by the word of God…” (Roman 10:17 KJV).
You may have loss self-autonomy and can’t fix the situation, but humbly surrendering to the sovereign WORK of the indwelling Holy Spirit will turn things around. “…The things which are impossible with men are possible with God…” (Luke 18:27 KJV).
Lay down your trust in your personal, self-autonomy by humbly surrendering and acknowledging God. The bible says, “… In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
No matter how long it’s been the sovereign God is “STILL” able to DO far more abundantly; BEYOND what you have asked for or thought of. “…[He can] do far more abundantly beyond all that [you]… ask or think, according to the power that works within [you]…” (Ephesians 3:20 NASB). “…Only believe…” (Mark 5:36 KJV).
Even when the situation or circumstance DOESN’T or no LONGER makes human sense; keep trusting in his sovereignty and accept “…his ways [are often]… past finding out…” (Romans 11:33-34 KJV).
The loss of self-autonomy is very, very frightening for many, but it does “NOT” mean the situation can’t be turned around. “…The things which are impossible with men are possible with God…” (Luke 18:27 KJV).
God’s HOLY ways are often highly incomprehensible and often beyond figuring out with human reasoning. “But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those who love Him…” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV).
God tested King Hezekiah. “… God left him, to try him that he might know all that was in his heart…” (2 Chronicles 32:31 KJV).
Why did God test his heart? Hezekiah did a lot of good things, especially when he restored the temple and its worship practices.
Well in spite of ALL his good deeds, his heart was not right before God and God knew it. “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart WAS PROUD and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 32:24-25 NIV).
God in his sovereignty knew Hezekiah’s heart and his outward deeds did not fool or impress God. “…Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him [by God]…” (2 Chronicles 32:24-25 NIV).
God clearly saw a rebellious, selfish, independent from God, and prideful side, of his heart, that was hidden from others, but exposed to God. “… Hezekiah’s heart was proud…” (2 Chronicles 32:25 NIV).
God, in his sovereignty, changed Hezekiah's situation and circumstances, which imparted his self-autonomy. Hezekiah's situation and circumstances made him take a CLOSE look at what was truly in his own desperately wicked heart. The heart “…is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…who can know it [except God?]…” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
Hezekiah saw for himself the sin of fleshly PRIDE hidden in his own heart. God zoomed in on the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV). “For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts… wickedness… PRIDE... All these evil things come from within, and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 KJV).
Hezekiah “lost self-autonomy” and CONTROL which aided him in recognizing the pride in his own heart and his blatant ingratitude toward God. “… Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him…” (2 Chronicles 32:25 NIV).
Hezekiah did not give God his glory or show respect for his presence and goodness; nor did he give him his rightful place as LORD.
After a while, Hezekiah “… repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them… (1 Chronicles 32:26 NIV).
God, in his sovereignty, allowed a situation where Hezekiah could truly examine himself and CHOOSE to turn from his wicked ways. Hezekiah “… repented of the pride of his heart… (1 Chronicles 32:26 NIV).
In the stories of Lazarus and the little girl Jesus showed up in God’s sovereign timing!!! And at God’s appointed time, “…[all could see]… the glory (presence and goodness) God, [and]…that the Son of God …[was also]…glorified thereby…” (John 11:4 KJV).
The enemy of God’s sovereignty is man’s refusal to let go of personal self-autonomy and with the right attitude. “…I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth…” (Psalms 34:1 KJV).
When God is not LORD over your situations and circumstances the outcome will be a lot different than Job’s, Joseph’s, or the Hebrew boys. God is in control, but he is not controlling. “… I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore [YOU]…choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV).
Even in a loss of self-autonomy you can voluntarily and willfully choose to rebel against and have a bad attitude about what has happened or is happening. “… [YOU] … choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV).
Self-autonomy and pride will always be in conflict with God’s sovereign PURPOSE (will) for your life. “…My people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts…” (Jeremiah 7:24 NLT).
Fortunately, Hezekiah learned his lesson and allowed the situation to intervene in a way that empowered a transformation in his heart. Hezekiah “… repented of the pride of his heart… (1 Chronicles 32:26 NIV).
God rightfully has sovereignty over your life. You agreed when God, “….made …Jesus, whom [was] …crucified, both Lord and Christ…” and you believed “…on the Lord Jesus, and …[was]…saved…” (Acts 16:31KJV).
If you have been through or are going through a loss of self-autonomy surrender to God; surrender to the LORDSHIP of LOVE. “…"Father … not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42-43 NIV). “…If the Lord will, [I] shall live, and do this, or that...” (James 4:16 KJV). “...Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 KJV). “….all things [will] work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose…” (Romans 8:28 KJV).
To be self-autonomous is to depend upon the limitations of your own control. To live BY FAITH or dependence upon God is to be empowered, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, to EXPECT the unlimited abilities of God’s sovereignty to control your situations and circumstances VICTORIOUSLY. “…The things which are impossible with men ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD…” (Luke 18:27 KJV). “….I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: IS THERE ANY THING TOO HARD FOR ME?” (Jeremiah 32:27 KJV). “…NOW UNTO HIM THAT IS ABLE to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or THINK, according to the power that worketh in us…” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV).