It was a quiet morning, sitting in the rocking chair on my patio, enjoying the lake, the breeze and Jesus. The stillness was broken by a plane flying high overhead, a mother duck quacking at her ducklings, my neighbor Jimmy saying good morning over the fence as he came outside. And then, quiet again. My mind wandered back to the idea of living a surrendered life, something I had been pondering for a few days.
The first image that comes to mind is one of giving up, ceasing the fight, losing, declaring defeat, as in war. When the white flag is raised, all fighting ceases. The victor comes, claiming superiority over those they have defeated, holding the power to claim whatever they desire. Land/boundaries, service, authority, restrictions of power (think Germany after WWI). This surrender brings sorrow for the loser and the knowledge that much has been lost in the battle that was waged. Is this the surrender we are called to in Christ? A fight, a taking of life, a loss of freedom and entering into servitude?
I don’t think so.
“Come to Me [Jesus], all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” — Matthew 11:28-20
“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me [lives a life surrendered to His control] shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” — John 8:12
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and might have it abundantly.” — John 10:10
There is a different kind of surrender.
One that is voluntary. One that gives life, instead of taking it. One that brings freedom, instead of bondage. One that yes, requires a ‘giving up’ of your own dreams, your own plans, your own desires, a ceasing of the fight for those to win. But which are replaced by a plan crafted specifically for you by the God of the universe, before you were even born. A plan that reaches beyond this life, into eternity. A plan that maximizes your life’s impact on a Kingdom that will never end.
When we don’t surrender to Christ, we are in bondage, restricted, lifeless. It is only through our voluntary surrender (because He will never force us to against our will) that we discover freedom, and life. How can I think that my own plans are superior to the Ultimate Plan of Jesus Christ? Yet so often I do.
Oh that I would live a life joyfully surrendered to His plan, not demanding my own instead.