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My Will, His Sacrifice, His Will, My Surrender

Surrender to another human being is only made by force or in trustful intimacy. Surrender to God is never made by force and only ever made through trustful intimacy.


Why do we need to be surrendered? In order to be at peace with God.


Surrender is a choice a follower of Jesus Christ makes continually. It’s never easy because it works against the human will to self-rule. It’s a learned thing to know God well enough to trust Him enough to want to surrender our will to His. That comes out of a place of deep love and reverence. There’s no other way.


People who aren’t, or don’t want to be surrendered to God don’t understand His love, mercy and justice, and won't give up their will. That is all of us at some point. I know it was for me. It continues to be a daily decision – not always successfully lived out.


Usually, we have to encounter suffering to surrender. Usually, God has to wait for us to become desperate enough for change that we’re willing to give up what He needs us to surrender. But it’s always our choice.


When we finally get out of the way, He works in our lives and brings it to a new level. Our choice. His will, His way. That’s where the rubber meets the road and even most Christians don’t live with a heart to completely surrender all. It just goes against the grain. People who choose not to follow mock it.


God’s will rarely looks like what we would choose. Our way just impacts our life. His way impacts more than just our life. His way touches the people around us in lasting ways and he calls us to sacrifice ourselves in the process. His ways are good and righteous but way beyond what we would naturally like or even agree with.


At one point in my life I thought I might lose my son. I was reading the story of Abraham and Isaac one day (Genesis 22) and felt God was drawing a parallel for me. I asked incredulously if God was seriously asking me to sacrifice my son to a situation I deemed unsafe for him. The answer was no. God wasn’t asking me to sacrifice my son, just as He wasn’t actually asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, even though it seemed that way because God asked him to. What He was really asking for was a sacrifice of will. Why? Because it involved complete trust. Once that trust was established, God showed His character of love, mercy and justice.


I finally realised, the safest place for my son was not in my care, but God’s. So, I said to God, after much noisy internal dialogue, I’m going to trust you. It was a choice. I didn’t feel it completely, but I could see God was asking me to hand it over. I surrendered the outcome of our circumstance to God because God says He is good and works everything for good (Romans 8:28). He promised so I made the decision to trust Him.


It was a long tough road and one I wrestled my way through with God, but He did ensure the continued safe-keeping of my son in my care for the sake of stability. God doesn’t change. There’s been many times in our circumstances since that our household stability has been threatened. But each time, God asks me to surrender it all, and each time, He ensures our stability is continued. Not only that, it is deepened and strengthened each time. So is my trust. Our circumstances gradually become what God is working out for our good. We have to be long-suffering and patient in the process. We have to be willing to fight when He says fight, and be quiet when He says be quiet. Love when He says love, and stand back when He says stand back. Don’t get entangled when He says don’t get entangled, and move forward into the mess when He says you can handle it.


The surrendering of trust to obedience is very quiet. Questions, excuses, justifications, and validations are noisy. Rants and raves can lead to disobedience. There’s rebellion at the bottom of it all. When we lay it down, we can do it quietly and watch, quietly, what God will do next, knowing, deep within, it will be for good.


God the Father was the only one who required His son to be sacrificed. That was for the sins of the world. Yours. Mine. The people that we find ourselves fighting against. Jesus Christ’s blood was pure and therefore, His death could be used for our atonement to new life in Him.


Jesus was such an impacting figure. People who believed did extravagant things that seemed senseless or crazy to the ordinary, natural mind. But because they saw with their heart, through their spirit, they worshipped Jesus in ways that didn't deny His position as Lord, Son of God (Mark 14:1-11).

 

Peculiarly, even people who denied Him as the son of God couldn't deny His impact as a man. He made such a huge impression. People mocked Him (Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 22 & 23; John 8:48-59, John 10:22-39, John 11:38-48, John 12:37-46, John 18-19). But even while they mocked Him, they gambled for His clothing. Why would they bother? What was the kudos for them if they were mocking Him? They knew something about Him was more, but because they didn't want to receive, they mocked.

 

It's the same today. People mock Him. People make a big deal about mocking Him. Why bother if He's just an ordinary man? One man doesn't make that kind of impact after 2000 years if He’s just an ordinary man saying He’s the son of God.

 

Sin has separated us, but Jesus' sacrifice re-established His position and now our position as part of His family. We have a place of eternal belonging. What a wonderful Saviour (John 19-20).

 

He surrendered all to His Father and was rewarded with authority over all of heaven and earth for all of eternity. If we believe, and do not deny He is who He says He is, our Creator, now we surrender all because we are an intimate part of Him and have learnt to trust Him.

 

John 3:16 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

For God loved the world in this way: so much that he would give up his Son, The Only One, so that everyone who trusts in him shall not be lost, but he shall have eternal life.


Revelation 1:16-17 (GNT)

But he placed his right hand on me and said, "Stop being afraid! I am the first and the last,

I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead.

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