“There are plenty of Christians to follow the Lord halfway, but not the other half. They will give up possessions, friends, and honours, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves.” (Eckhart, 15th century mystic)
When you surrender, you recognise that you’ve been defeated. It’s a position of weakness, requiring humility. It means that you acknowledge that your rights and welfare are out of your own control. The person to whom you surrender has power over you. You no longer have authority over your own life. You have begrudgingly or willingly laid down whatever weapons or assets that were used to resist and to defend yourself in the jungle of life. To surrender is to admit powerlessness, and to cast yourself on the mercy of whatever or whoever has defeated you.
Similarly when we agree to a total surrender to the lordship of Christ in our lives, it involves recognition of defeat, admission of powerlessness, acknowledgement of weakness, and humble dependence on the mercy of God. Paradoxically, our waving the white flag of submission to God’s right over our lives is the key that unlocks the gate to many future victories in his name. Yet painful as it is to surrender to Christ, it’s our great privilege to do so in service of the King; and the purpose of our surrender is to bring glory to him, who longs to entrust us with the power to accomplish his plans and purposes through us.
So, at the risk of pee-ing you off(!), over the coming weeks let’s consider five aspects of total surrender: the purpose, power, practicalities, pain and privilege of total surrender.
In my own life, total surrender is a distant goal — an ideal even; and yet that goal or ideal is nearer today than it was yesterday, and by God’s grace each one of us will eventually reach that goal as we enter his throneroom and bow down before the King of Kings in humble adoration.
If you want to read ahead you can purchase Simon’s book of daily readings — ‘Choose Life 365’.
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