There is beauty in the surrender; becoming a whole new person in Christ is an experience you will never forget. You sense it from your initial conversion and sometimes you have the privilege of witnessing it in your everyday life, via the always-occurring sanctification process. When Holy Spirit takes over every area of your life and changes you – something beautiful and mesmerizing takes place. You can’t take your eyes off what’s happening, nor turn your gaze away from the One who is changing you. This gaze and transformation process isn’t something someone can witness from the outside, it’s only felt in the quiet recesses of your heart and soul; and unless someone has spiritual eyes, they wouldn’t know what was happening.
There is something enchanting about this Christian faith because we see the impossible happen time and time again. But the mystery and the mesmerizing fashion in which the impossible takes place can seem to be marked by a road of pain, hard spots, and suffering. How do I know?! I’m walking that road every single day. Most days I can find joy in it, but other times, I’m just shy of a cheerful spirit and I sit in silence, counting the hours to my new morning, so I can hit that infamous and invisible “DO OVER” button.
Matthew 16:24-25 (HCSB) says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.”
I don’t think I have lived a hard life but I have experienced a certain level of heartache, disappointment, and I have committed some sins but because of His resurrection, I can enjoy this life He has given me. But if I want to walk in the life He has chosen for me with Him, I HAVE TO deny myself – my comfort, my plans, my desires – and pick up my cross to follow Him; no turning back, no retreat.
He promises when we walk with Him, we would have a life – a life in abundance. Yet He never promised that the abundant life to gain, would be trouble free. In fact, He says, “…you will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world!” Well, that’s a little more comforting to know right? I might be struggling but He’s already given me victory, I just have to get there. In obedience to Him and His Word, I have thrown those things that “easily entangle me” to the wayside by His strength, I have dodged a temptation or two thanks to Holy Spirit prompting me to flee, and I have experienced the joy of forgiveness in Him healing me from my past mistakes. How?
I surrendered everything to Him.
I ceased my striving to be “perfect” to “save myself” and rested in the simple fact:
Jesus was the perfect spotless Lamb.
He was beaten, ridiculed, and tormented to the point of death, but when His blood was shed on the Cross on Golgatha’s Hill, He was the sacrifice that I – that you – needed to be restored in a right relationship with my – your – Creator God. So when I confessed with my mouth that Jesus was Lord believing He was raised from the dead, that I was a sinner in need of a Savior, and asked for forgiveness of my sins: He washed me brand new, sealed me with Holy Spirit, and nos identifies me as His child. So as He died, my sins died, but as He was raised to life, so I was raised to walk in the newness of life given to me by the Son of God – the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
“…and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:9b-11, ESV)
So I surrendered my life initially and received salvation and now, He continues to renew and transform me to look more like Him, but this process – the sanctification process, is only known and experienced as I surrender. As I yield to Him being Lord of my life, I give Him the access He deserves and needs to keep removing my heart of stone, replacing it with one of flesh,and continue to give me His Spirit to follow His will, His way. As I continue to walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit with whom I’m sealed, I can fully proclaim, “my goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings” because in that, I have the privilege to see and experience Him “revealing the path of life to me” and know “in His presence is abundant joy and in His right hand the eternal pleasures.” I will walk in the life He had for me all along, and when I pick up my Cross, in full surrender, I will find joy in this life; and all it took was SURRENDER!
There’s beauty in surrender because it is there you find unexplainable joy… in Christ!