April 9, 2019
“We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.” (2 Cor. 4:11 TPT)
Surrender, this process of constantly choosing to die to ourselves, is not easy. Paul wrote this passage to the Corinthian church, declaring that we choose this path because of what we gain in it. Surrendering our lives so that Jesus may live in and through us. This is a firm truth. One that we see layered in scripture. Our inability - His ability. Our decrease - His increase. Our sin - His perfection. Our shame - His Redemption.
Knowing truth is not the same, however, as willingly choosing truth. Paul even says this when he talks about his struggle “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15. We know truth, we desire to follow in that truth and yet we often find ourselves struggling to be willing to submit to it. Paul faced the same dilemma. Why is that? Why do we struggle to willingly do what we know to do? When it comes to surrender, that oftentimes is a struggle, because surrender does not feel good. It is a death to flesh, which is what Paul was specifically referencing in Romans. We have this desire to feel good and surrender is described as the complete opposite of feeling good. In fact the language the Bible used was “death”. Death = bad. At least that is what our flesh says.
So how do we willingly give in to surrender? It’s a focus change. Death to flesh doesn't feel good, but neither does giving in to flesh. 100% gratification of flesh, leads to a different death. One that is permanent. Surrender is a choice to accept the pain of killing the life that is given to desire, for the joy of a life that has real purpose.
The life of Jesus living in me? Sign me up for that. We need to stay focused on that side of surrender. The life-giving, freeing, purposeful, doing what I was created to do, revealed in and through me. I am not willing to go through pain for pain-sake. Being willing to surrender, has to begin with understanding what surrender does. When we shift focus, keeping our eyes on the one we are surrendering to, holding on to his promises and purposes, we find ourselves more than willing to surrender.
It becomes the only thing we want to do.
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
Pray that God would reveal the life he has for you on the other side of surrender
Seek his heart, ask God to reveal himself to you, knowing who it is you are surrendering to