Then said Jesus unto his disciples. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.Matthew 16:24
Surrender begins at salvation and is lived out daily in the life of a believer. The primary application of this passage pertains to salvation. If I deny myself and follow Christ, I will be saved. I must give up my own desires to gain Christ. If I insist on keeping my life, refusing to submit to Christ, I will be lost. I will ultimately lose that which I sought to retain.
By God’s grace, I have chosen to follow Christ. I have “lost” my life to have it replaced by His life eternal and, for this, I am eternally grateful.
Today, however, I find myself focusing on the principle taught in these verses as it pertains to my daily life. The busyness of life and the demands on my time often obscure the line between my will and the will of God. While I long to say I have surrendered all, I’m not so sure that this is true. In fact, I know it is not. I want to surrender to Christ in every area of my life, yet I find myself echoing the words of Paul:
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.Romans 7:19
I “would” surrender all, but I do not. I “would not” cling to my own will and my own way, but I do.
So, what can I do?
In a message by Bro. Jeremiah Andrews, he pointed out that full surrender is the result of an obedient heart. He shared three truths that put this into perspective for me:
- If my relationship with God is what it ought to be, obedience won’t be a problem.
- One of the surest signs that my relationship with God is not what it ought to be is that I forget what’s important. Forgetting about God in my daily life results in disobedience.
- The way to get from what I am to what I need to be is to obey God from my heart.
The road to full surrender is yielding my will to the will of God. However, it is often difficult to discern between my will and His. My will has an uncanny way of imitating God’s voice – especially when it involves something I really want to do – or something I really don’t want to do.
However, if my relationship with God is right, discernment gets easier for, “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
When my relationship with God is intact, His will becomes my will, and surrender naturally follows.
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