All to Jesus, I surrender, I surrender all?
Really? Many of us have sung this familiar hymn. Who wouldn’t at least move their lips in congregational singing? We are called to be servants of God, and passionate ones at that. But who among us in all honestly would stand up to say to God “Whatever, whenever, wherever, no reservations, no holding back?” I wish I could say that I have and I do. This is not meant to devolve into fuel for a “Lordship” controversy. However, many times in NT writings we see the words servant and slave used interchangeably, implying that one has given their life over to God, surrendered their rights to self-determination. “And having been set free from sin and have become slaves (servants) to God.” (Rom. 6:22) Paul, a servant (slave) of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle.” (Rom. 1:1) James, a servant (slave) of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jas. 1:1) Simon Peter, a servant (slave) and apostle of Jesus Christ.” (2 Ptr. 1:1)
But how do we often see this transaction fleshed out? We make what we now call a “commitment” to Christ. We may feel a lot of excitement. And then we try to have the best of both worlds. We try to have the best of what the Christian life purports to offer without giving up our pursuit of the best of what the world has to offer. In essence, we make a partial surrender of our lives . . . . and sometimes that’s as far as we get.
Beyond the disciplines of reading the Bible for oneself, learning to pray and attending a Bible faithful church, the advantage of pursuing someone to take you under their wing for a season of discipleship is huge. Your understanding of God begins to change. We unpack some of the stuff the world allowed us to believe and treasure and re-examine them against the truth and principles in God’s word. We might see some things we have ignored or that didn’t make sense to us. We ask big questions. We desire bigger answers to things we earlier didn’t have the spiritual maturity to question or answer. We embrace new things.
Yes, we are sons and daughters of God, but we are also his servants. To fully surrender our lives to Jesus is to become his servant, his slave. (This is a process) We don’t drift into this decision, we decide to do this. Because we are rebels at heart, (especially men), we begin to realize that this decision must be made daily, humbly coming to God in repentance and acknowledging we need the type of grace, assistance and leadership that only God can give. What would it look like for you and me to live this way and follow Jesus . . . whatever, whenever, wherever? Think About It.