My boyfriend had taken me to a Christmas program to hear the Good News that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died to pay for my sins and rose from the dead after three days in the grave. And because Jesus was raised from the dead, I could be too.
I was so amazed by this Good News, I took out a get-out-of-hell insurance policy and got saved.
But for many years after that, I treated God as a bodyguard.
He was to stay out of my way unless my life was in imminent peril; then he had my permission to toss around a lightning bolt or two to save my life.
I was saved . . . but I wasn’t surrendered.
I wanted a Savior, but I didn’t want a King.
I wanted to rule my own life.
See, with no one to guide me or teach me or establish who God really was and who I was to him, I was ill-equipped to live any differently from how I’d lived before I got saved.
It wasn’t until years later, when I became a mom, that I went searching for answers about God.
The church I wandered into suggested I attend the ladies’ Bible study. The ladies in my small group took me on as a project but never made me feel like one.
They made me feel that I belonged there, even though I wasn’t much like them.
They included me in their discussions, they invited me to their homes for socials, and they demonstrated the love of God to me in such a compelling way that I wanted what they had. In order to have that, I needed to believe the way they believed.
My will be done…or…?
First, I had to believe Jesus is more than a sentry on duty to protect me.
I had to come to terms with the fact that my life wasn’t working with me at the helm. That I needed to let God lead, guide, and direct me.
And I had to surrender my will to his.
It will probably be no surprise to you that when I did that, my life got a lot better.
- Nasty habits fell away.
- Relationships grew deeper.
- I had more confidence in parenting.
- My emotions were less volatile.
- My life was richer in every way
Those women established who God is—God Almighty—and who I am—his beloved child.
- They equipped me to deal with my past so I could walk into my future.
- They empowered me to partner with God, to trust him even when life is hard.
- They helped me understand that to be like Jesus and to experience God’s full power in my life, I needed to be saved and surrendered.
Or as Paul said: I needed to offer my body—the whole of my life—as a living sacrifice to God.
How are you doing in the surrendered department?
Have you been holding out, believing that being saved is enough?
God wants to pour out blessings and strength and peace on you.
And in return, he’s asking you to surrender to him fully, completely.
I can tell you from experience and with confidence: being sold out, surrendered, brings with it the best worship, guidance, and godly relationship you can ever have.
Be saved . . . and surrendered today.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” —Romans 12:1
Father God, I love you. Thank you for loving me first. For being so patient with me. For drawing me closer and closer to you. Continue to woo me into deeper and deeper relationship with you. And may I surrender myself, offering to you myself as a living sacrifice, willingly and joyfully, always. In Jesus’ name, amen.