I read a quote the other day about how true surrender to Jesus is a choice to live in courage.
What a beautiful picture of what surrender is. When we hear the word surrender, a lot of times we think it’s passive, devoid of action and personality. It means we’re laying down everything and not doing anything. We think of surrender in terms of loss.
But this quote helped me see surrender to Jesus in terms of gain. When the disciples left everything to follow Jesus, they gained much more than they lost. Surrender is truly a choice we make to enter a life of courage. It is basically saying, “God, I want you more than anything else. I want you to guide my life and show me treasures in places I wouldn’t have thought to look. For your sake, I am willing to walk away from anything, press through anything, even walk on the water if it means knowing you in a deeper way.” Surrender finds us doing things we never thought we’d do. Surrender is that voice that says, “Jesus, tell me to come to you on the water and I’ll come.”
Even if it’s something I’ve never done before, even if it sounds like something I shouldn’t be able to do, humanly speaking, I will do it because I want to get to You, Lord. I want to live in Your Way, because Your Way is best.
It’s that verse in Jeremiah where God says, “Come to me, and I will show you great and marvelous things which you do not know” (33:3).
That sounds exciting. But it’s also scary. It’s literally things we don’t know. Unknowns. A lot of times we get disillusioned when we come to God because we assumed the Christian life would be God coming into our reality and just tidying it up a bit, making it more godly. But surrender is God inviting us into His Reality. It’s scary, because it’s beyond this fleshly world and requires God’s resources.
That’s why we need courage from the Spirit. Because this relationship with Jesus is a call to action, a call to live in a way that is different, and yet much more full of beauty and power and intimacy with the living God than we ever dreamed possible. That’s what gave Paul the ability to say that he counted everything as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and being found in Him. It wasn’t a fatalistic hatred of life. It was surrender…a surrender that filled him with courage. He saw everything he could gain by being found in Jesus and it amounted to much more than anything he would lose.
That’s true surrender. That’s what opens up the doors to intimacy with God and blessings that go beyond what we could ever ask or think.