In the first chapter of the book of John, we have seen an attempt to illustrate for us the greatness of God. I believe that John does this very well and yet falls far short of presenting the full picture. Reason being, John is a man, we as people can’t understand God; He is that much greater than us. Yet we can focus on Him, seek Him, and know Him. All because He chose to reveal Himself to us. Yet we have a terrible problem. A tragic reality that we all face…. We are prone to wander. We can focus on God for an hour or even an hour a day. Yet, throughout the course of the day we find ways to ever so slightly drift. This is the reality of sin in the world and in us. The question becomes, “how do we combat it?” We know we have no ability in and of ourselves to turn or better ourselves; but we must turn and surrender to God. We must learn to listen and hear His instruction in order that He might do a work in us. In fact, it is this type of posture before the Lord that allows heart change to occur at all. We can change habits and even motivation. He can change the heart.
Philippians 1:19-20 - for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Paul is very aware that deliverance comes from Christ. With deliverance comes a reliance on Christ that postures us in a place of surrender before God. That place of self-abandon, self-death in order to become the new creation, will allow for us to not be in any way ashamed. If we teeter-totter between surrender and living our life we will be ashamed. If we choose to ignore God, we will be ashamed. If we try to live in surrender, but over time consistently come back to taking control, we will be ashamed. Total reliance on God is the goal. Total surrender to His will and His way. Through this Christ will be honored in my body, in my actions, in my words, in my work place, in my home, and everywhere else I am to go. The call of the believer is not to have one foot in the door, it is to be totally committed in every area of life. Oswald Chambers says “To get there is a question of will, not of debate nor reasoning, but a surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point.” The point in which He speaks, is giving everything, we have to the one who deserves far more than we possess.
Mary the mother of Jesus seemed to have some grasp of this. Though she may not have been aware it was in her or that she had already made a habit of trusting Jesus; in John 2 we see her share five words of great wisdom. In verse 5, she turns to the servants and says “Do whatever He tells you.” This is significant. This is simple. This practice will build a habit in us that will help us learn surrender. The wisdom in these words goes well beyond what Mary knew in that moment. These are words that we can aim to orient our lives around.
Seek God to help you surrender:
- We all sin, all the time. Think through ways in which you have drifted and wandered; ways you have taken control of your life. Maybe it was in a moment or maybe it is on-going. God can and will forgive you if you seek Him and ask for His forgiveness. But don’t take this lightly, spend time on your knees in prayer before the Lord, recognizing that you haven’t just done something wrong, you have committed treason. You have not listened; you have been rebellious. Surrender it to God.
- Worship and praise Him for being the all-powerful God, the creator of all things, who came to His own creation.
- Pray that in His power and sovereignty, He would help you to surrender more each day and that you would be ready and willing to do whatever He tells you.