When I was a little girl, I enjoyed hanging posters on my wall. Some of them were more edifying than others, but one of my favorites had a picture of a rainbow with the words from Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” When I felt discouraged or needed a bit of courage, these words reminded me that God was at work in my life, and He would bring His plans to completion. These words still bring me comfort. I now have a daughter of my own, and we remind each other of this truth on a weekly basis because it’s so easy to forget.

So often, I start to believe the lie that everything depends on me, that I’ve got to figure everything out on my own. When I believe this, my hands grip tightly to anything that makes me feel like I have control rather than holding my hands open in a posture of surrender. I may start searching the internet when I don’t feel like I have enough information. Not enough money? I begin to hoard rather than trust God for His provision. When I experience the limits of my time, I somehow find myself mindlessly scrolling my social media feed, rather than stewarding my time well. It’s discouraging that these things give me the illusion of control, while the Sovereign King of the Universe is watching me strive rather than resting in Him.

But my daughter is watching me. My son is watching as well. The children I teach in Sunday School are watching. They all watch to see if my actions match my words. My words tell them that we worship a Mighty God who is sitting on His throne ruling the world. Do my actions show them I believe this to be true?

I Am Not My Own

Skye Peterson recently wrote a song called “I Am Not My Own” that was inspired by Heidelberg Catechism question one. It’s hard for me to choose a favorite verse, but if I had to choose it would be the final verse because it voices this submissive posture before God.

I am not my own and now my heart is free
O Maker, come and make what You will of me
There is nothing broken that You cannot repair
So Lord, I leave my life in Your loving care.

I belong to the Lord, oh, I am not my own
I belong to the Lord, I am not my own
I will honor Him for this I know
I belong to the Lord, I am not my own.

When I listen to Kristen Getty, Skye Peterson, and the Getty girls sing this song, I am reminded that we were made for living for the True King and being discipled in His Kingdom, by the power of His Word, in community with His people, so that a watching world can see what being made for more is all about. It is powerful to hear multiple generations sing together the truth that we are indeed made for more than this world has to offer. As we trust that God has created us for good works that He has prepared for us to walk in (Eph. 2:10), we are confident in inviting Him to take our lives as an offering for what He wills.

I’m thankful for these Scriptures and songs amid this fast-paced world wanting to offer both my daughter and me empty promises of fulfillment found in specific items purchased, little squares on a screen, or time wasted on things that have no eternal value. I’m also thankful for friends who help me think wisely and point me to truth. Jesus promises rest in His finished work on the cross on behalf of sinners like me. I can stop striving and rest in Jesus and His plans for me.

What are you holding on tightly to—desiring to have control rather than allowing the Lord to complete His purposes in you? Just today, the Lord gifted me a repentant heart when I was making an idol out of a lesser thing. He is better than anything I could fashion for myself. Satisfaction is found in Him alone.

Modeling Surrender to Those Around Us

Is there somewhere you can model a posture of open-handed surrender to what the Lord has planned? Who is watching and listening to you? Do your actions match your words? God provides all that we need. When He convicts us of our unbelief, we can go to Him in repentance. We can also show those around us where we were wrong. For example, I can apologize to my children when I’m convicted of being idle with my time rather than spending time connecting with them. I can also ask the children in my Sunday School class to pray for me to be faithful to the things God has called me to. He is trustworthy and sovereign, ruling and reigning on His throne. When I’m struggling with arrogance rather than having an attitude of humility, I can ask my family and friends to remind me of what is important.

As we speak of the glory of His Kingdom and seek to honor Him, we make known to the next generation His mighty deeds and the splendor of His kingdom (Psalm 145). We tell them and show them that the True King can be trusted!

We are made for more than this world has to offer. The children in our homes and in our churches are made for the good works that God has prepared for them. When we offer ourselves in surrender to what the Lord has for us, we are living for His Kingdom purposes rather than our own. None of us do this perfectly or completely, but together we can remind each other that we are the King’s subjects and heirs to all the benefits that His Kingdom has to offer.

I’m thankful for the Apostle Paul’s resolute and sure statement that He who began a good work in us will finish it. They are words that were meaningful to me as a child and are just as meaningful to me as an adult. Lord, help me to live each day as if I believe it! Now excuse me while I go search online for a poster for my daughter’s bedroom. Maybe for mine as well.

Katie Flores

Katie Flores is the Children’s Ministry Coordinator for the PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministries. She lives with her husband and children in Birmingham, AL where her favorite volunteer role at Covenant Presbyterian Church is teaching 4k Sunday School. Katie oversees the efforts of CDM to connect and equip those who serve in discipleship ministry to children. These efforts include leading conferences, developing resources, and equipping through CDM’s certification program.