Published 9:03 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019
“Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NIV.
It’s a fact that a countless number of people claim to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and have made many vows regarding their salvation and their walk with Him. One of the vows regard this text, “denying self” and that means “surrendering all.” The scripture means what it says; you surrender your desires, plans, skills, gifts, talents, relationships and resources to Him and Him only. Even though this sacred pledge is made with sincerity, passion and enthusiasm, oftentimes many have realized that maybe surrendering all poses too many restraints and challenges along the Christian journey. Even though we know it’s the thing to do, it’s this matter of what comes along with being His total possession, and thus, available for His purposes. Mind you, we gave Him the keys to our lives; keys that we held wrongfully as our own and after some time on the journey, we realize that God took us at our word and began to test our devotion in accordance with His plan. It is at this junction that what we thought was liberating and relaxing, became quite the opposite, when the reality of life’s journey began to unfold.
That is, seemingly the dividend to “surrendering all” was now not what one expected from our loving Savior. Based on what is happening while our all is entrusted to Him: Loved ones slipping away, peaceful circumstances erupting in chaos, relationships gone south, financial insecurity, long dry spells, and it goes on and on. You may agree that is unsettling. However, one must come to the realization that Jesus our Savior makes our vowed devotion more than theoretical. He will not let us live under an illusion that we have surrendered all to Him when we haven’t. In our hearts, we must let everything go but Him. How often have you said or heard the term “Let go and let God?” It’s a true saying.
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I employ you today, as we journey down the cobblestone pathway of resurrection road during this season of “Lent,” that you realize that He takes us up on our offer of “Surrendering All.” When we tell him that we will follow Him all the way and that we will go anywhere and do anything for the glory of His name, we must mean it. He already knows whether we are authentic in our devotion, but do we? Frankly, it’s taking notice of our own reactions that gives us our answer. When we are found at odds because He has not given us what we wanted: it is because we wanted some things more than we wanted Him. Yes, “Surrender All.”
James Taylor III is the pastor of the Jericho Baptist Church in Farmville. His email address is email@example.com.