Daily Surrender. Really? Like isn’t surrender failure? Fail everyday? In a way yes, in a way no. If your vantage point is that God wants the worst for you and has it out for you, then sure. If your vantage point is that God wants the best, is the best and inexplicably loves you, then you are failing forward.
From another vantage point, God is perfectly holy and we are not. We’ve not arrived and this side of heaven we never will. Every single day we have room for growth. Every single day we have something we can surrender over to God, something we have not yet given Him complete control over. At the heart of this value, it is saying, "Jesus you are everything, I offer you everything.”
Where do we see this in scripture?
7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” ~Luke 17:7-10
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:7-8
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. ~2 Corinthians 10:5-6
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~Romans 12:1-3
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? ~Matthew 16:24-26
Other passages: Mark 14, Acts 3, 1 Peter 1, Rom 2, Matthew 3, Heb 12, 1 Peter 2, 1 Thes 4
What should this mean to us as followers of Jesus?
A question to ask yourself: how can I pursue Christlikeness today? We all can answer this question with a point of action. An answer this side of heaven will never be, “Nope, I’m just like Him, I’m good.” So before going any further, realize this truth. Don’t beat yourself up, GROW. That is the goal. The goal is to grow. Growing pains are real. Sacrifice hurts, surrender hurts, yet we are still to grow in Christ. Show yourself grace and move forward towards Christ.
1 John 2:6 says “whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” So study the life of Christ, and identify areas you are not walking like Jesus walked.
Another way in which you can self-identify areas to grow in is to look at the Fruit of the Spirit. As Christians, we are looking to bear fruit. Healthy trees bear healthy fruit. If the Spirit is living inside of us, healthy fruit should grow out of our lives. Here is what Gal. 5:22-23 says; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. What area may require some personal sacrifice as you give it over to Christ?
The last point of self-examination I’ll share is on the notion of love. They will know us by our love. Christ is love, and we are to walk like Him. If Love defined Him, it better define us. Here is what 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 has to say about love; “4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Where might love call you to surrender? Sacrifice? Where can we grow in love to be more like Jesus?
Got any helpful resources?
Yup, check it:
Books: Louder than Words, Pursuit of Holiness, Addicted to Busy, Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
What is one practical step I can do this week?
Pray. This is not to be all “Pastor Jason.” Seriously, if you want the Holy Spirit to reveal to you an area you need to grow in, ask Him! Pray, “God, I want to sacrifice to be more like you. What is an area I need to give over to you?” Then check it with Scripture and a trusted friend. THEN ACT!