Surrender | Moved
Monday— So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. Luke 14:33
“Whoa! Hold it. I was liking all that love and forgiveness stuff. Heaven? Sure, sounds great. But what’s this about giving up everything I own? Seriously? Like my house? My family? My money?” Something like that may have shot through the minds of Jesus’ first hearers. They’d traipsed around the countryside after Him, loving the free shows, healings, demon deliverances, and free food. They thought of themselves as His disciples until He said that. But one glance at those 12 apostles told them this wasn’t the path to popularity and riches. In fact, it looked like it might be dangerous. So most packed up and went home.
What goes through your mind when you read verses like this? What does it mean to give up everything we own? When we “give up” something, we surrender possession. We give up a career position to take another. We give up dating other people when we marry. To give up means we no longer claim it as our right. So when we give up everything we own to follow Jesus, we transfer ownership to Him. Now it’s His house, His family, His money and we are merely overseers of His possessions. “She’s your child, Lord. I accept whatever you have planned for her.” “It’s your money, Lord. How would you have me spend it?” “My day is yours. How would you have me fill it?” Surrender means holding everything with open hands because it’s His.
Challenge: How would your life change if you gave up everything you own to be His disciple?
Prayer: Lord, I’ve thought myself your disciple, but I’m still clinging tightly to certain areas of my life. Or it’s clinging to me. So I open my hands and surrender it all. I can’t serve both. Help me manage it for your glory and purposes. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Tuesday— “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12
Abraham would gladly have offered God bags of gold, flocks of sheep or cattle, anything else the Lord required. But God asked for his son. Can you imagine that? Every parent instinctively recoils at the idea, thinking, “I love God, but…” Notice God’s reason for asking Abe to do this: “Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld…” God equates withholding with a lack of reverence for Him. When we say, “I give you everything but that, Lord,” we are really saying, “You get the leftovers. Stuff I don’t care about much anyway.” So He points to our greatest treasure and says, “Give me THAT!”
Every human heart has a room with a locked door. When we invite the Holy Spirit in, we proudly show Him all the rooms—except that one. But He isn’t interested in the others. He goes straight to the closed door and says, “What about that?” It might be a hobby. A relationship. A secret sin. He already knows what’s behind the door, but asks for it because we are withholding something that will become a wall between us and God. The son God had given Abe was now the idol in the way. Until Abe surrendered that idol, God could not do through him what He wanted to. Surrender does not mean God destroys what we love. But what we love is often in our way of loving God. Surrender frees us to see it as God does so we work with, not against, Him.
Challenge: What’s behind the closed door in your heart? Withholding it limits what God can do with it and in you.
Prayer: Lord, I’m ready to be honest. You know what I’m withholding that is limiting your work in my life. I don’t want any limitations. I want to be all you want me to be. So I repent now and surrender ___________ to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Wednesday— …when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey—either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God. Romans 6:16
“I’m my own boss,” Tate bragged. “I answer to no one. I do what I please, when I please, the way I please. That’s the only way to live.” Great advice, Tate! Do your three fatherless children from two baby-mommas agree? And hasn’t your porn habit escalated until you can no longer satisfy it in legal ways? Your DUI’s and gambling debts might also disagree. You only THINK you’re answering to no one. In reality, Satan has exploited your ego and your sin nature to such a degree that you are his puppet on a string. He’s calling the shots and you’re dancing to his commands. You’ve surrendered to the wrong master, Tate.
There is no such thing as being our own boss. That’s a lie generated in Satan’s deception factory. He knows human beings don’t have the power to be their own bosses just as we don’t have the power to cancel gravity. But if he can convince us we’re free-thinkers, masters of our own fates, we’ll fall in line behind the Pied Piper all the way to hell. We’re warned right there in Romans 6 that whatever we surrender to is our master: either sin or obedience to God. Not both. We say, “I love Jesus but…” as though we’re so special we can defy God’s commands and He’ll just have to get used to it. That’s another lie from our enemy. Our lips may declare we belong to Jesus, but our lifestyle choices tell the world about our real master.
Challenge: To which master are you surrendering? Sin or obedience to God?
Prayer: Lord, have I been fooling myself? Just going to church, praying, and saying I’m a Christian doesn’t mean it’s so. What do my choices reveal about my master? I want to have no master but you. May my life reveal that. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thursday— Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God … and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. Romans 6:13
You paid the asking price, shook hands, and prepared to drive away in the clunker you bought. It needs work but has great potential. But the owner has removed two tires, the radiator, and the passenger door. “There you go,” he says and hands you a fan belt and a spark plug. You give him a puzzled look. “Where’s the rest of it?” you ask. He backs up, shaking his head. “Well, now, let’s not get all greedy. I sold you the car, even threw in some parts. That should tide you over for a while.” You frown at him. “That wasn’t the deal. This car was supposed to be operable. I paid for everything, so hand it over.”
That’s what Jesus says to us: “I paid for everything, so hand it over.” But we draw back. “No, this filthy mouth is mine. And these thieving hands and lust-filled eyes. I want what you offer, but let’s not get all greedy. I gave you my heart. That should tide you over for a while.” Is Jesus okay with that? No. When we surrender to Him, we’re clunkers from Satan’s junkyard and need a lot of work. So we have to be intentional about surrendering each part of ourselves that has gotten us into trouble. “Lord, today I give you this gossipy mouth…these lustful eyes… May they be pleasing to you in every way.” Breaking old strongholds is hard, but Jesus paid a high price to buy us back from Satan. It’s only right that we give Him what He paid for.
Challenge: What parts of your body have not been surrendered to the obedience of Christ?
Prayer: Lord, I’ve held back some areas I still want to excuse, but that’s wrong. I surrender ___________ to you now. Amen.
Friday— I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
“Hey, check out these hotties,” said Ethan, holding up a porn magazine so the bloody man on the cross could see it. Judy pointed to a photo on her phone. “Look at the ’23 cars coming out!” she cried. “Your neighbor ordered a new one. You should too.” Bud folded his arms and looked up. “Ya know, this is a great photo op, but you’re wasting it. Think of the likes and shares you’d get if you jumped off of there. You’d be a social media influencer!” But the man on the cross didn’t care. Neither lust nor greed held any fascination for him. Even a chance at influence and popularity didn’t impress him. He was dead.
That’s what Paul wants us to see in this verse. No one is more surrendered than a person nailed to a cross. But what a horrendous prospect! Who would voluntarily go to a cross? Jesus did. And Paul so closely identified with Him that it was as if his old nature was crucified at the same time. That’s what surrender means. Our sinful flesh fights it, clinging to us until it takes us down. But only when we crucify it can we live in devotion to Christ. We no longer consider our lives our own. Instead, we find a heart-changing, future-defining, eternal life that is far more satisfying than anything our old nature offered. Crucifixion is agonizing, whether physically or spiritually. But it’s the only way we can know Christ as He wants us to know Him (Phil. 3:10).
Challenge: Can you make this claim with Paul, that you’re crucified with Christ? It solves a lot of decision-making.
Prayer: Father, I’ve always known that this inner struggle I feel is because I’m not fully surrendered. My flesh keeps trying to rule because I haven’t crucified it. I let it vote on my decisions. But I now crucify it and I choose you. In Jesus’ name, amen.