“High in Surrender” by Pastor Kent Munsey
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. - John 19:30 NIV
William Booth said, “The greatness of a man’s power is the greatness of his surrender.” Surrender is not a one-time event, but a regular part of a believer’s life. We look to the example of Jesus to see the stages, challenges, and outcomes of a surrendered life.
1. Surrender starts new things in our lives. When we surrender to God for the first time, it’s exciting, and it’s something we celebrate. It’s easy to celebrate new things because it’s an adventure. God is always doing a new thing, and we should always be surrendered to the new thing that God is doing in our lives (Isaiah 43:19).
2. Surrender births submission. It’s one thing to start something, but it’s another to be fully submitted to something. Things are exciting when they’re new, but then comes the grind, the submission, the commitment, and it tends to be kind of boring. For 18 years, all Jesus is doing is doing is growing “in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). The Christian life begins, ends and is constantly in a place of surrender. The power in our faith comes from our perseverance (Proverbs 24:16).
3. Signs and wonders will follow our surrender. When you’re faithful in a season of submission, it’s only a matter of time before you will start to see signs and wonders. When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened and the father spoke. People are still talking about Jesus’ three years of ministry because it was filled with signs and wonders.
How do we keep the faith? Stay submitted, and stay surrendered. We often want to chase signs and wonders, but if we stay submitted long enough, they will follow. Signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mark 16:17). We don’t follow signs and wonders; we follow Jesus.
4. Surrender attracts spiritual adversity. When Jesus begins to face spiritual adversity, he takes on a posture of prayer and submission. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he lowers his head below his heart. In his final breaths on the cross, Jesus is crying out to and questioning God, but then he surrenders and says, “It is finished.” The crucifixion postures Jesus in a way that demonstrates the power of surrender--hands lifted, and head bowed. When we face spiritual adversity, we can take a posture that is powerful.
5. On the other side of surrender is significance. Surrender started and ended in heaven. Jesus left his seat as God’s son, and he returned as heaven’s hero.
In the Christian life, surrender is absolutely necessary. Surrender is not about doing more; it’s about being more. The way to life is through death. Strength can only be found in weakness and surrender to God.
When we lift our hands high, we lift the pulse of our hearts above our heads, symbolizing the lifting of our faith above our minds and our reasoning. The posture of surrender is worship and prayer. The greatest transformation you will ever experience comes from the place of surrender to God.
What is God calling you to surrender or submit to in this season?
How have you seen the signs and wonders of God follow your submission in faith?
How can we follow Jesus’ example when we face spiritual adversity?
What do you believe is the significance on the other side of the surrender that God is calling you to in this season?
How does the surrender and submission of Jesus to his father’s will inspire us as we walk out our faith?