“The Value in Surrender”
March 19, 2019
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39, NIV)
“For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep.” (Matthew 16:25, TPT)
Have you ever been woken up in the middle of a dream? It can be startling when your dream is interrupted. The world and life you were living in your dream is abruptly interrupted by the more-real life waiting for you when you wake up. How was it going to end? Did you win the game? Did you pass the test? Did you remember your lines? Did you escape your fear? Did you find what you were looking for?
Let’s be honest, these words from Jesus can sound like something we might find on the inside of a fortune cookie or greeting card. We tend to like the sound of surrendering our lives to Jesus, for losing our lives for the cause of Christ...but this is not the American Dream.
In Western culture, much of our efforts and expenses are invested in becoming self-sufficient, self-made. We might even embark on a journey of self-discovery before we can even begin to think about the kind of life we want to build or ourselves, our family, our future. Self-discovered and self-made. Be whatever you want to be. Live the life you love. Do you. That’s the dream.
But Jesus’ words interrupt this dream. Jesus invites us into a more real life, more than anything we could ask, think, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Jesus’ words were originally recorded in ancient Greek, and in context of the original language Matthew 10:39 can be read,
“The self-discovered will self-destruct. But the self-surrendered, who surrenders for me, will finally find their life.”
Jesus knows our dreams. Jesus knows what we’re searching for. But he came to interrupt our sleepwalking life, stretching and searching for self-discovery and self-sufficiency. Jesus knows that living in our own, self-made dream, we will self-destruct. We will sleepwalk ourselves into disappointment, disatisfaction, and destruction. Jesus came to wake us up and walk us into a dream designed for us, walking with Life Himself.
Jesus’ interruption is an invitation. Jesus knows that there’s value in a surrendered life. For the joy set before him, for his dream, he surrendered himself to give us life with him. When we surrender our lives to him, he is our new life. He surrendered all to give us all of himself. The value of surrender is Jesus, Life Himself. In John’s Gospel, Jesus says that he is Life (John 14:6) and that he came to give life, life to the full (John 10:10).
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, who made us and knows us more than we know ourselves, he gives us a life we could never dream of on our own. He will never lead you somewhere less than the life you leave for him. With Jesus, the search is over. He is the life we were looking for. He is the dream that never disappoints and always satisfies our soul.
Thank God for the life he surrendered for you, that he considered you so valuable that he would surrender everything and all of himself for you. Thank him for offering you a free, new, and unimaginably adventurous life with him through Jesus.
Be honest with yourself and with God. Is there something you’re looking to gain that’s less than Jesus? Surrender your dreams, your plans, your purpose to God, trusting that life with him is more than enough.
Pray Philippians 3:7-8 over your life, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (NLT, emphasis ours) and Ephesians 3:20, “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you” (TPT).