Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you.” (Mark 10:28)
Jesus had been speaking to the Rich Young Man and teaching him about the Kingdom of God. Peter, who was never at a loss for words, spoke up and uttered perhaps the greatest expression of surrender in all of sacred Scripture. I don’t know how many of us could honestly say what Peter said to Jesus: “We have left everything to follow you!”
When we truly surrender our lives to Jesus, we experience a special blessing that will only be found on the other side of surrender. C. S. Lewis put it this way: “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become—because He made us.”
To surrender is to say “YES” to God and “NO” to everyone and everything else. If we surrender to self instead, and say “No” to God, we deny our own humanity . . . which is exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. They refused to surrender God (to depend, to trust, to count on Him), and their stubborn rebellion plunged all of creation into a tailspin of brokenness. But God did not leave them—or us—in that state of despair. The perfect, surrendered Savior was already on His way to reverse the curse brought on by Adam and Eve’s sin.
The life of Jesus Christ teaches us that surrender to God is not a passive resignation that leads to fatalism and accepting the status quo. The surrendered life is a life that is offered and available to be used by God—whenever and wherever He chooses—even when it does not make sense to us.
Surrender did not make sense to Abraham when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, yet Abraham set out in obedience early the next morning, and God blessed him (and us) with one of the most beautiful pictures of substitutionary atonement in all of Scripture. Surrender did not make sense to Moses, but he was obedient to God’s call and returned to Egypt to deliver God’s people out of bondage. Surrender did not make sense to Saul as he was persecuting the first century church, but he was obedient to God’s call and went on to become the apostle Paul and write more than half of the New Testament.
Let me ask you two critical questions: Where in your life is God calling you to surrender? And could it be that you are resisting simply because it doesn’t make sense to you? William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once said, “The greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender.” On a scale of 1-10, how great is your power as it measured by your surrender to the Savior—personally . . . professionally . . . relationally?
Look at it this way:
EVERYONE SURRENDERS TO SOMETHING!
If you are not living a surrendered life to God, you are most certainly living a life that is surrendered to something smaller than God. For many, that “something” can be found in this list: power, prestige, position, prosperity, or pleasure.
Let me encourage you to resolve today to surrender as Peter did and to leave everything behind and follow Jesus. There truly is no sweeter life to be living!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!