Real Surrender

WhatIsRealDevoThen Jesus said to His followers, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life, and those who give up their lives for me will have true life.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

Ponder It.
How do you struggle to fully yield to God?
What do your daily habits say about your trust in God to handle all situations?
When you think of full surrender to God, what comes to mind?

Receive It. Authentic surrender is life-sacrificing and life-sustaining. You might have difficulty seeing how the two can co-exist. If the concept and response was easy, it wouldn’t require faith. Obedience to sacrificing your life can only come from a faith rooted in trust that God will do what He promises. Faith is a choice, and it’s a lifestyle. You can make the life-changing choice to trust God with your life, but that huge choice is following by a lifetime of small choices to be consistent with your commitment. Faith requires obedience, because faith is a relationship with God. Relationship takes effort. It’s not always easy, but the effort is always worth it.

You might get frustrated with yourself when you realize you didn’t choose as well as you could have. You didn’t fully give something to God to handle. You cast your anxieties upon Him (1 Peter 4:7), but you reel them in again. Keep in mind the choice you believe you mishandled is followed by another choice: What will you do next? You can have a pity party and dwell on what you did, choosing to focus on yourself, or you can choose God, be honest with Him, ask Him to pour His truth into you through the situation, and commit to trusting Him more in the future. Despite the shortcomings of your past surrender, you can surrender now…and the series of “nows” to come.

Live It. Give up something today. Choose something that is sacrificial, not easy. Perhaps a co-worker has mentioned liking something you have, which you also like a lot. Give it to her. Perhaps your morning coffee run has become more important than your morning devotion time. Treat someone else to coffee without getting any for yourself.

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