A Surrendered Life
By Kim Keinath
Every morning when I awake, I face this simple reality: without Him I can do nothing (John 15:5).
Before I start the day I have to acknowledge that I desperately need Jesus. My life depends on Him. It’s in Him that I live and move and exist (Acts 17:28). Therefore, I crave that connection to Him. Just as a branch would be dead if disconnected from the vine, I cannot experience His LIFE flowing in and through me if I am disconnected from Jesus.
I have found that part of staying connected to Him is through a process of daily surrender.
To surrender is to position my heart to yield to what God wants over what I want. His will takes preeminence over my will.
To surrender is to choose to align my thoughts and actions with His will, His ways, His Word.
It’s kind of like going to a chiropractor when my spine is out of alignment. I have to be adjusted so the messages can flow from my brain through the nerves to the rest of my body. When I surrender myself to the Lord I am choosing to make the adjustments needed so His life can flow in and through me.
To surrender is not an easy feat. It usually requires me to do something that goes against my flesh; it is not taking the easy way but doing something that can be difficult. It requires me to do something that I cannot do on my own – I need His help to do it. It requires me to give up my own self-interests and lay myself down on the altar of sacrifice.
The greatest example of a surrendered life is the life of Jesus. He always put His Father’s will before His own. He said, “I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (John 5:30, CSV)
He also said, “For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38 NIV)
In her book, “Discerning the Voice of God,” Priscilla Shirer makes the point that it wasn’t that Jesus didn’t have a will of His own, but that He lived in surrender to His Father in heaven. She said, “Clearly Jesus was not ignoring the fact that He possessed a will of His own. Yet He was committed to honoring His Father’s will above it.”
Moment by moment, day by day, Jesus maintained His connection to His Father. He practiced the act of surrendering to His Father’s will, positioning His heart to yield to His Father. Then, in the Garden of Gethsemane as He faced His greatest and final test He was able to once again feel the heartbeat of His Father and stay in perfect alignment with Him. Jesus passionately prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” (Matthew 26:39 NLT).
And because Jesus perfectly and completely fulfilled His Father’s will, His awesome, magnificent, powerful resurrection LIFE flowed in and through Him to bring about the greatest VICTORY throughout all of time and eternity!
Dear Lord, I want Your LIFE to flow through me each and every day so that I can make a difference in the lives of those who You put into my path. I recognize that I need to stay connected to You at every moment because I cannot do anything without You. Please help me to keep my heart in a position of surrender, yielded and aligned with You so that my actions will be pleasing and productive for Your Kingdom! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions for reflection:
1. Take some time to read and reflect on John 15:1 – 8. Why is it so important for the branches to stay connected to the vine? How can we apply this metaphor to our Christian experience?
2. How is the act of surrendering my will to the Lord’s will a process? What is it requiring of me?
3. Why do I need to surrender daily to the Lord?
4. Why is it not always easy to live a “surrendered life?”
5. What do I need to change in myself to live in surrender to the Lord?
I hope you can also be encouraged by this hymn - "I Surrender All"