Whose the Fairest of Them All?

Surrender is not a popular idea. We are a generation of doers and winners. Surrender sounds like something for losers. There are some times, however, when it is really in our best interests to surrender. Surrendering our ego to the Spirit is one of those times. It is fairly difficult to walk closely with the Divine when our ego is in charge and calling the shots.

Our ego, by its very nature, is self-serving. It looks out for its best interests. When trying to serve God you can see how the ego could have a problem with giving up its control to a Higher Power, but to be the most effective in service in God’s Kingdom, the ego has to learn to submit or surrender to the Spirit of God.

This does not come naturally for us as human beings. From the time we are small our egos have been in control. Learning to have them take a back seat and let God direct our lives from a soul level through the power of Spirit is the ongoing work of a Gnostic Christian. It is the work of sanctification. It is the work of a lifetime.

I am a musician and have been tormented with performance nerves and jitters--even when I have been extremely prepared and ready to sing. This has bothered me over the years. I started making this a matter of prayer and contemplation and looking at the reasons for my nervousness. It did not take long to find the culprit. Ego was so worried about what other people would think if I made a mistake. Ego was concerned that I look good. Ego was more concerned with these issues than if I were a clear channel for Spirit to shine and work through.

This issue comes up in so many areas of our lives. Ego cares about impressing and looking good. The soul, on the other hand, worries about doing the will of God. In order to overcome my anxiety about using the gift that God had given me, I had to move the center of my control and reasoning to a soul level, away from my ego’s concerns, and to a higher level of functioning. At a soul level, the Spirit can more easily use me as a channel of light to minister to others through my music.

This is surrender. In reality it is not disempowering but empowering. Ego tells us that if we move our locus of control away from it, that we will suffer. Once it learns that the soul also has its best interests in mind—that the soul has agreed to a covenant with God to serve others--it learns to submit more easily.

The first time I was truly able to keep my focus in singing on being a vessel—remembering my soul’s calling and purpose—I experienced for the first time the peace, power, and joy that come from ministering from this perspective. It no longer mattered what other people thought of me or whether or not I was perfect. My main concern was to stay open for the Spirit to work through me. I was no longer in charge, but God was.

This is true in every area of our lives. It is true for me of my writing, music, and relationships with others. The process begins, is kept alive, and is successful only by daily coming to God and surrendering my will and heart to a higher purpose. I have to give God permission to take over in my life. Heavenly agencies will never barge uninvited into our lives. They have to have an invitation and the door has to stay open.

Surrender is a good thing when I surrender my life to God. I can go places and do things that I could never do through the orbit of my ego. Surrender expands my world it doesn’t narrow it. This, of course, is only learned through experience and is a matter of trust.

God tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. We must choose to enter into this process of surrender to God. The Apostle Paul spoke of his struggle to keep surrendering his ego to the control of God. We know in our own lives that it is an ongoing process but one that has great rewards. God always has our best interests in mind. It just takes us an awful long time to really believe it!

When we look in the mirror, it is the ego that asks “Who is the fairest of them all?” When the soul looks in the mirror it sees the face of the Divine reflected back and sees that same face in the face of every person and then seeks to help others see the face of God in themselves. This is a trade worth making.