HOW DO WE SURRENDER COMPLETELY TO GOD?
“ ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
Usually, when we talk about complete surrender, the focus is on a single, decisive moment in time when we finally give up everything to the Lord. I used to imagine that moment with a soundtrack of “I Surrender All” playing in the background while every significant person in my life magically appears and congratulates me on joining the ranks of those who’ve ‘finally arrived’.
That, however, is not reality.
The only ones who actually give up everything in one moment of full surrender are those who die a martyr’s death – literally. For the rest of us, surrender comes down to a daily resolve. Even the Apostle Paul declared “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31).
Wait a minute. Didn’t Paul eventually reach a point where his surrender to Jesus was complete and final? Possibly, when he wrote “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). But that was just days before his martyrdom. Up to that point his perspective was “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12).
Bottom-line: There’s no escaping the daily challenge of surrendering to the Lord.
And so, like Paul, I too need to die daily. However, I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be as complicated as we tend to make it. Full and complete surrender really comes down to one simple thing: saying “Yes” to Jesus the next time He asks something of me. That’s what surrender is all about. I’d like it to be a grand commitment I only need to make once – and then it’s over. But true surrender doesn’t work that way. Which, when you think about it, makes sense. Mustering up the strength to leap over tall buildings in a single spiritual bound is overwhelming and totally intimidating. But trusting the Lord for enough strength to simply say “Yes” to the next thing, that’s within reach. And then, by His grace, I can find the strength to trust Him to work in me a “Yes” heart for the thing after that … and the thing after that … and the thing after …
Lord, I thank You that I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not. You already know that. Help me to say “Yes” to the next thing you ask of me. Help me to say, “Yes” to You. And thank You for saying “Yes” to me. Amen
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