THE VICTORY OF TOTAL SURRENDER
“It’s nail-scarred hands that release blessing into our lives. The best way we can bless people is by opening up in humility to show our own scars.” - Pastor Kent Munsey
Have you ever thought that your greatest weakness could be your greatest strength? This is what Jesus demonstrated for us. Through his moment of ultimate weakness—his embarrassing death, he brings about his greatest victory--his resurrection and the salvation of all mankind. His scars became a sign of power, and he freely allows his disciples to investigate his nail-scarred hands. The same hands that endured the cross are the very ones that he uses to bring blessing to his disciples and to proclaim victory over death as God carries him up to heaven.
“He led them out as far as Bethany and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass while he blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:50-52 NKJV).
Oftentimes it’s the hardest, most painful thing you’ve been through that will be the very thing God uses to strengthen you and to bless the people around you. Scripture tells us that by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony, we are overcomers (Revelation 12:11)! The crux of our testimony is the acknowledgment of our weakness in contrast to God’s ability. Our lives display God’s glory when we surrender all to him. Jesus tells us very bluntly, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Paul describes the paradox of power in weakness thus: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we surrender to God, we open ourselves up to him, scars and broken hearts included. We allow God to work through us when we stop trying to work and perform on our own.
We can trust that our hearts are in good hands with the perfect Healer. He doesn’t just fix the broken parts or put us on a self-improvement plan; he actually gives us a new heart. The only way we can receive full healing from our wounds is by surrendering fully to him. By surrender, we overcome because our God is greater.
So what does it look like to surrender to God? The first step to surrender is acknowledging weakness. Surrender means admitting you can’t do it on your own. Surrender means you’ve given up on self-improvement. Surrender means you’re holding nothing back. Surrender means giving your whole self to God. Surrender means you’re willing to die to yourself and be resurrected with Christ. Surrender means new life. Surrender means victory.
QUESTIONS FOR CONTEMPLATION
- Think of a time when you were afraid to share your scars or weaknesses with others, but you did so anyway. What resulted?
- What effect does it have on you when someone else opens up about an area of vulnerability or weakness?
- What thoughts and feelings does it bring to mind when you consider the pain and humiliation that Jesus experienced?
- What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you consider the history-changing victory that God brought out of the lowest moment of Jesus’ life?
- Ask God to show you any areas of your life that you have not yet surrendered.
- Ask God to give you the strength to surrender more fully to him.
- Pray that God would help you to see your pain and weaknesses as a platform for helping others.
- Thank God for the victory of your new-found surrender.