Surrender

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

 

                                                           Galatians 2:20

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 

 

                                                            Luke 9: 23-24

 

He must increase, but I must decrease. 

                                                           John 3:30

 

I was reading a non-fiction book in which the author relayed a story about a time in which he was out with a group of friends at the lake, and one of the friends started to drown. I can’t for the life of me recall if it was the author who had been a lifeguard or his friend, so I’m going to attribute this to the author, but as the story goes, the author did not jump in immediately to save his drowning friend, despite the shouts from the group he was with. Precious time seemed to slip by, and yet the author waited, until it seemed almost too late. It was at the point where the young victim finally stopped flailing and kicking that the author jumped in and saved him, bringing him back to the shore. The group was able to revive the young man, and he seemed to have no lasting effects. After the excitement wore off, one of the persons in the group asked the author why he waited so long to try to save the victim, the author explained that he’d been taught in his lifeguard training that the instinct to live is so strong that the victim would have panicked and potentially latch on to the young man, putting himself and his potential rescuer in danger, possibly creating two victims that day. Instead, he waited until the victim had no fight left, thus ensuring an easier rescue for all involved. The victim had to basically surrender himself to the possibility of impending death before he could be saved.

 

What a fitting analogy for our humanness and salvation, don’t you think?

 

There is no greater power in this universe than that of our Heavenly Father, creator of Heaven and Earth. He could snap us in two if He wanted; He could will us to His bidding; He could overpower us with just a thought—there is no doubt about the relationship between Creator and created, and where the balance of power lies.

 

And yet He doesn’t. He simply waits for us to surrender to Him. For some of us, He waited a little, but for most of us, I’d say He waited a long time, and still waits (from our perspective) for us to surrender all. And if you’re like me, you sometimes wonder why that last bit of “all” is the very thing that makes you you. “Why did He give me an insatiable need to understand things? Why did he give me an analytical mind if He didn’t want me to use it?” I often wonder. And so I struggle to make sense of things, I flail around in my lack of understanding, trying to overcome the very characteristic woven into my DNA by the Creator Himself. And He waits patiently as I fight until I am spent, acknowledging His supremacy and glory as I yield my will to His. And even though it seems counter to the way the world views it, it is in that sweet surrender that I have found my freedom—my freedom in Him, my freedom through Him, my freedom with Him. Unshackled by the heaviness of what I thought I had to do in living my own life my way, I am free to walk with Him, not because I have to, but because I want to. He bids me to trust Him, and I do, because He is mine, and I am His.

  

Prayer Requests

  • For those who don’t know the love of Jesus Christ
  • For first responders who risk their lives daily, and for their families who live with the possibility of not seeing their family member come home
  • For military, especially those serving overseas, for the same reason as above
  • Praise for all the hard work that church members have done to prepare for Saturday’s celebration
  • For leaders in all levels of government, both here and worldwide.
  • For those on our prayer list, as well as those who aren’t, but could be

 

Friends, we are at an exciting point in our church life. The Vision Task force is working on plans to ensure that we are within His will on where He wants us to go. This Saturday’s 25th anniversary celebration is the first step on a wonderful journey of transformation. I hope to see everyone celebrating on the church grounds with delicious barbecue, live music, games, and a bunch of fun activities. It starts at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m. We’ll also have breakfast Sunday at 9:00 (no Sunday School). 

Quotes

 “God is everywhere—even in the darkest places and in our darkest moments.”

“Sometimes you think you’re being buried when you’re really being planted. God is using this season to grow you.”