“God always has and always will look for men and women who say to Him, ‘I trust you so much, I’m all in. I want your way not mine. I am willing to live by faith!'” Chip Ingram
Many people believe in Jesus.
Far fewer surrender to Him.
Why the gap?
Well, through belief we get a lot of things from Jesus. Which is great! Nothing to sniff our noses at.
But we would be wrong to think that getting from God is all that Christianity is about.
Surrender is about those things we give back to God.
Romans 12:1 is a great verse that reminds us of the “surrendering” aspect of our relationship with Jesus:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.
Essentially, surrender happens when we recognize that God’s way of doing things is infinitely better than our feeble attempts to navigate life.
The scope of surrender is as broad as all the ways scripture talks about how we live under the lordship of Christ.
We can surrender our thoughts to Jesus. Or our attitudes. Or our actions.
Yet many people who claim faith in Jesus aren’t at the place of surrender. They’d rather have Jesus in the passenger seat. Or maybe the back seat. (Or worse, the trunk.)
So, they keep telling Jesus “no” and keeping Him at bay.
Jesus understood that humans have a tendency to like to run their own lives, and so he said these words to His disciples:
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. (Matthew 9:23-24)
Bottom line, life begins to make sense when we get ourselves under Jesus authority.
Jesus calls for our offering to be living and holy. Notice, God doesn’t want a dead sacrifice; He wants a living one. He intends for His people to live in joyful surrender to Him, finding our pleasure in Him, instead of worldy pursuits. Naturally, since the Lord our God is holy, an offering presented to Him must also be holy — pure and given to His service alone.
To call ourselves a Christian but resist Jesus’ instruction just makes our faith schizophrenic. As much as we try to maintain control of our lives, the reality is we become way less settled in our spirits. It may not make sense to us, but surrendering to Jesus brings a lot of inner peace.
When we surrender to Jesus, we become more useful to Him. That makes sense doesn’t it? When we let Jesus lead and we are willing to follow, things go much better.