Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you.” (Mark 10:28)
Jesus was speaking to the rich young man and teaching about the kingdom of God (Mark 10:17-23). Peter, who was never at a loss for words, piped up and uttered perhaps the greatest statement on surrender in all of sacred Scripture. I am not sure how many of us can honestly say what Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, we have left everything to follow you!” Yet when we truly surrender our lives to Jesus, we will discover a special blessing that can 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. On the other hand, to say “No” to God is to deny our own humanity, which is exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. They refused to surrender to God (to depend, trust, and count on Him), and they plunged all of creation into a tailspin of brokenness. But God did not leave them (or us) in our brokenness. The perfect, surrendered Savior was already on His way to reverse the curse brought on by Adam and Eve’s act of cosmic treason.
The surrendered life of our Savior teaches us that surrender to God is not a passive resignation that leads to a life of fatalism and accepting the status quo. The surrendered life is the life that is offered and available to be used by God — whenever and wherever He chooses — even when it doesn’t make sense to us.
Surrender did not make sense to Moses, but he was obedient to God’s call and went back 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 write over half of the New Testament as the apostle Paul.
So let me ask you this: Where in your life is God calling you to surrender . . . but you are resisting because it simply doesn’t make sense to you? William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender.” On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your power as it relates to your surrender to your Savior? Personally? Professionally? Relationally?
Look at it this way:
Everyone surrenders to something!
If you are not living a life surrendered to God, you are most certainly living a life surrendered to something smaller than God. For many, that “something” can be found on the following list: power, prestige, position, prosperity, and pleasure. Resolve today to surrender, as Peter did, and leave everything behind and follow Him. Truly, there is no sweeter life that we can be living!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!