I Surrender all! Or do I?
This is Day 30 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"I surrender all." We sing that at church all the time. The song is about surrendering everything to Jesus. But have I really surrendered all?
"Oh, Jesus I'll do anything You ask me to, just ask." I've prayed a version of that many times. But am I really willing to listen? Do I hear the call if what He asks me to do is something I do not WANT to do? Isn't it amazing how often people feel God calling them to the EXACT thing they want to do anyway?
Now one might be tempted to argue that the reason the person wants to do the thing that he wants to do is because God put it on his heart. Maybe, but the Bible is full of stories of people being called to do things they desperately did NOT want to do. Did Jonah want to go to Nineveh? Did Gideon want to lead the army into battle? Did Moses want to lead the Israelites out of Egypt? Did Christ want to suffer and die on the cross? The answer to each of those is of course "NO!" God did not put it on their hearts to do the things He called them to do. He simply commanded them to do it and expected obedience.
It wouldn't be much of an exercise in obedience if God made us WANT to do the things He called us to do. I imagine it would be like telling my kids to play video games! "No one gets to clean their room until all these video games have been played!" That doesn't sound like a hard command to obey at all does it?
The truth is that Jesus tells us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. Picking up a cross and carrying it up to Calvary is not something anyone (including Jesus Himself) would ever want to do! It is a sacrifice, a hardship, but also an act of perfect obedience.
It seems likely that we have confused our own desires and aspirations for God's? We have let ourselves believe that what we want to do is a calling from God, because it's what we want to do. But that isn't really surrendering is it? "Surrendering all" includes surrendering my desires, my ambitions, and possibly even my life. And that is not something I want to do. The question is, will I do it anyway, simply because God has commanded it? I pray I will.
Lord, I want to surrender all to You, but my selfishness and greed prevents it. Help me, God to surrender to You. Help me to reject my own ambitions, comforts, and desires in order to obey Your commands and Your perfect calling on my life. You certainly know better than I what is truly best for me and my family. But if left to my own choices I will choose to take the easy, selfish path every time! I need You to clearly show me the way. Amen.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.