The word for this week is 'SURRENDER'.
Surrender is a word that's often associated with defeat. Surrender as used in the military application means loss. However, surrender in the spiritual application results in gain and always leads to victory. Both require relinquishing one's right of control.
Honestly that is very difficult for the natural man who has not surrendered his/her will to the will of God through Jesus Christ. Pride refuses to show weakness or a need for dependence on anyone for anything. And self-will rules the heart and mind as a result. The body simply follows the dictates of the flesh that drives it farther away from God to satisfy its own.
Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 16:24-25--"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
For anyone to find the real purpose of life, they must follow Christ. In order to follow Christ that person must voluntarily forfeit the right of ownership in their soul to the One who created them and desires to redeem them through His own perfect demonstration of surrender and sacrifice.
Dr. Russ Barksdale, pastor of The Church on Rush Creek in Arlington TX. writes this to paraphrase the words of Jesus to His disciples--"If you want to be one of Mine, then sacrifice will be your constant companion."
That is why Jesus said 'narrow is the way that leads to life and few will find it.' Every human being resists the hard way because our flesh demands comfort. Yet, Jesus gave us the perfect example in Himself when He surrendered His will to the Father in Gethsamane on the eve of His becoming the supreme sacrifice for sin.
Jesus will never ask anyone to do what He was not willing to do. He will never ask anyone to go where He was not willing to go. However, if you want to follow Him, your life will be marked by surrender of your will to His and the sacrifice of comfort for a cause that is greater than yourself.
Dr. Russ Barksdale adds this thought and with it I close--"Our flesh and culture lure us toward a vision of life that is glittered with false hope: having things my way and looking out for my own interests. But a life wrapped up in itself makes for a very small package."
Think about that last phrase as you continue the work this week!
Where in your life are you insisting on your way instead of His?
That is where surrender is required.
May the Lord bless your service to Him and others this week!
1 Corinthians 15:58