THE STRENGTH OF SURRENDER

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Now that’s an odd title, isn’t it? What do you think of when you read the word surrender? I’m quite sure “strength” is not what comes to your mind! Most people think of someone who has been defeated, waving a white flag and giving up. They might well picture someone who has lost all of his strength, weakened to the point where he simply cannot go on.

What a word of encouragement I have for you today! The founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, once said, “The greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender.” Notice what he did not say. He did not say that the greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his . . .

  • Status
  • Superiority
  • Salary
  • Success
  • Smarts
  • Schemes
  • Significance

The life of Christ is the perfect example of this truth in action. Never has there been a life more fully surrendered to the will of God. And never has the greatness of a man’s power been more evident than in the surrendered life of Christ. Hear once again His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane:

“Abba”, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

Here, in His darkest hour, sweating droplets of blood, Jesus was fully surrendered to the will of His Father in heaven. Yes, He cried out to God the Father to take the cup of wrath from Him, because everything is possible with God; but never did He ask anything apart from the sovereign will of His Father in heaven.

When He came into this world, Jesus said, “Here I am . . . I have come to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7). And He never wavered in His glorious surrender. As Jesus knelt in Gethsemane, His soul “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38), He didn’t pray “If it is possible for you,” but rather, “Everything is possible for you!” Our Lord is the perfect picture of the absolute strength of surrender.

So . . . is this the confession of your life? Do you want God wants for you, even when what He wants includes problems and pain? Remember, God only gives us what is necessary to continue conforming us into the image and likeness of His beloved Son (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). And that process often includes difficulty, storms, and suffering.

Those trials are the refining fire that burns away our sinful self-absorption. Surrender is a battle, a fight; it is ongoing warfare against our self-centered nature’s desire to sit on the throne of our lives. We must remind ourselves every day that surrender is not an option! We all surrender to something. We will either surrender to Jesus or something smaller than Jesus.

Which will it be for you?

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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