Do you suppose surrender is the key to the message when both devotionals and the scripture are bringing out the significance of this individual act? In the human sense surrender is weakness–giving up. In God’s spiritual sense, it is also giving up, but the end result is so very different. It allows us to experience the empowerment of God’s involvement in our lives. It is as though I think my actions are good and I don’t need God in this particular area of my life when I don’t surrender. The power of surrender is lost if I stay in my selfish man mode.
The older I get the more I awaken to the importance of surrendering everything, and I mean everything. When I was young and had just begun teaching I know I prayed for God’s help, but it was more of a generic prayer. When I became a principal, I prayed for God to be glorified in my work, but I too often saw it as my work, rather than my obedience to God’s leading in my life in every aspect of it.
Today, I’m retired out of the professional work of teaching and administrating. I still do the consulting work with others, and it is here that I find myself wishing I could have had a much better grasp of surrender when I was younger. Even today I realize that surrender is an ongoing, daily choice. Many years ago I asked my grandpa when temptation went away? I asked this question of him when I was a teenager and he was in his late 80’s. I still remember his response. He said temptation simply adjusts itself to whatever is in your life at the time which you selfishly want, but know you shouldn’t do or have it. He gave the example of using white sugar in his coffee. He loved it but white sugar gave him extreme headaches. In spite of the headaches he’d succumb to using it once in a while just because he loved the flavor of white sugar. Then he’d pay the price and be sorry. At the time I thought I’d love to only be tempted with this choice!
Now that I’m where I am in this journey of living each day, I realize the significance of grandpa’s answer. It is always about surrender of man’s choices which can hurt him physically, emotionally, spiritually, and most of all–in his relationship with God, His Son Jesus and The Holy Spirit. I find they not only hurt me, but they deter me from the joy I find when I am fully surrendered. This message is one of the big ones in the book of Romans which I finished this morning. I not only want to heed this message, but I want to live it out for the rest of my days.