Posted by: karanoel | October 15, 2010

The sweetest surrender

To God’s elect… who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1:1-2

The point of Christianity is not self-denial. Really. Truly. I got stuck there for a while and it was miserable. I wouldn’t have wished my faith on anyone because it was such a constant drudgery of sacrifice and dying. I always thought the hardest possible route was the one that God wanted me to take.  How that got into my head, I’m not really sure, but I thank my good and gracious God for straightening out that very skewed thinking.

Sacrifice for its own sake isn’t true surrender. Surrender is giving up; yielding, so we can be obedient to what God asks us to do. God is not impressed with our altered versions of obedience, no matter how holy and sacrificial they look. I knew a woman who was a hard worker, passionate and committed, staying late to get things done. The only problem was that she didn’t do the tasks her supervisor asked of her. Instead, she poured her heart into projects of her own choosing, which were often completely unrelated to her job. Her actual work was left undone, and her reviews did not go well. She was baffled because she had worked so stinking hard. Go figure.

Let me tell you that the moment you do things your own way, the grace of God in your life will evaporate. You will have to carry that cross by yourself, and you will wear yourself out. I can pretty much promise that you will become embittered toward God for his lack of help, and toward others who are living abundantly in his grace. I make this promise based on extensive personal experience. There is also a subtle clue in the Bible where it says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. There is no greater pride than doing Christianity our way. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the thought of the creator of heaven and earth opposing me.

The other side of this is the joyful, glorious, amazing lifegivingness of true surrender. It has taken me a lot of years to be able to say that, and I don’t exist there all the time. But holy moly it is so worth anything he asks us to do. If he asks us to forgive someone (FYI, he asks us to forgive everyone), it is because it will bless us, it will bless others, and it will bless him. And we will not have to carry what we weren’t meant to carry, which means that we can be carefree and trusting like little kids. When Jesus said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light, he meant it. But it is only true when we are choosing his thoughts, plans, and ways… and receiving his peace, hope, and joy  🙂


Responses

  1. What a blessing! Just what I needed to read today! Thanks!

    • That makes my heart glad, Nanette! Big blessings to you.


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