This Devotional is part of our “Can’t Quarantine the Gospel” series where members of the church are contributing morning Quiet times during this time of Social Distancing. This is Day 13 of that series. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time. You can see more devotionals here
By George and Sarah Murray
When we think of the idea of surrendering, you think of someone running from something or fighting for something and finally just giving up or waiving their white flag. When we think of surrender we tend to think about things like finally being arrested after a chase or losing a battle after a long fight. Both of these examples relate to the idea of fighting for freedom! What does this mean for our own lives? In most cases we fight for freedom of our own self rather than surrendering to the God and becoming truly free. In the examples where we think about surrender, we often think of it as a last resort and in the world, surrender often is a last resort. However, as a Disciple of Jesus, surrendering ourselves (life, worries, concerns, burdens, sins, desires, soul) to God should be our first resort!
25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
In most cases we are fighting for freedom for ourselves. Before I got baptized I fought for 8 months to hang on to what I thought was mine until I realized there was just no point anymore. I realized I just need to surrender. In the world, surrender is the last resort. However, as a disciples surrendering should not be our last resort it should be our first resort!
Q: Why can surrender be so hard?
Q: What is one thing you are having a hard time surrendering to God right now?
Q: What does it feel like for you when you finally let go and trust God?
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
I love this scripture because I feel like it really shows Jesus’ surrender and his Love for each one of us. I also love how George described surrender as loosing a battle and being able to give up and let go completely. I think surrender really means loosing all control and letting God be the General of our army. WE WILL NOT WIN IF WE TRY TO FIGHT THE WORLD ON OUR OWN.
The verses that stand out to me in this passage are verses 7 & 8. GNT VERSION “Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death – his death on the cross.”
Q: Is there any fears, anxieties, or burdens you have right now that are making you want to “take control” or work harder to remove them? Anything where you feel like you are fighting alone?
Reflect: Now imagine our all powerful God coming down from heaven to fight on your behalf! What happens to your fear when he arrives on the battlefield?
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
Jesus WAS equal with God and shared the role of being the General in the army. But, instead by HIS OWN FREE WILL he decided to lower himself to be a soldier on the front lines, willing to die for our freedom. He made himself NOTHING. That is true surrender.
One of the hardest things for me that I’ve had to surrender when becoming a follower of Jesus is the fear of not being accepted by my friends and family. Giving that up was giving up everything I had put security in. I lived for this. But, following Jesus meant I had to be set apart and righteous and that is not at all how I lived my life. However, I knew it was worth letting go of if it meant having the best General leading me and fighting along side me in this brutal battle of life. It is because I chose to surrender that I’ve been able to fight for others spiritually and show them what Jesus has done for them. Fighting beside God in his army is the greatest decision I’ve ever made. He fights for me even when I cannot fight for myself because of Jesus’ decision to die for me.
Q: What are you most tempted to put your security in right now during this time in your life?
Q: Are you willing to hand it over to God completely to experience true freedom?
Q: What is burdening you right now? How can you hand it over to God?
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Meditate: Being the captain, the leader, the boss comes with a heavy burden. Meditate on not having to be the captain, the leader, the boss of your own world. Imagine not needing to know all the answers and joining God’s team where he carries those heavy burdens and you are able to be free’d up enough to simply play your role and use your gifts.
- Praying and giving all of ourselves to God in those moments and stop trying to control
- Study out scriptures about surrender and talk to a close friend about how your surrendering to God every day
- Believing and not doubt – in situations, remind yourself that God can do the impossible in your life
You can see more devotionals here