LOSING CAN MEAN WINNING
On April 6, 1865, over six thousand confederate soldiers were captured. The end was imminent. General Robert E. Lee had no choice but to surrender.
As General Lee rode slowly along the lines, hundreds of his devoted veterans pressed around him. With tears flowing freely down his manly cheeks, the general said good-bye to his army.
Surrender. It’s an ominous and intimidating word that can conjure up images of raising white flags and laying down arms. It can make us think of giving in and giving up. Defeat and humiliation often go hand in hand with surrender.
So when we talk about surrender being vital to the Christian life, it can sound hard and harsh, unless we are surrendering to something better. The apostle Paul talks about surrender (total commitment) in Romans 12:1 when he says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” Offering our bodies to God as a living sacrifice can seem daunting.
Our problem is that we tend to focus on what we are giving up rather than what we are getting in exchange. We fail to understand that “Total commitment [surrender] is the channel through which God’s best and biggest blessings flow."
In the next few days, we’ll be looking at the life and times of one man who surrendered all. Abraham not only offered his own life as a “living sacrifice”; he literally offered his only son. Abraham’s life of faith was immortalized for our benefit so that we, too, can learn what true surrender is all about.
It’s like the difference between a white flag and a wedding. Both are symbols of surrender. The white flag surrender is one of defeat and giving up. It represents what you lose. A wedding is a different kind of surrender. In a wedding you surrender your heart out of love and relationship. It is not at all about what you lose, but rather what you gain. God wants you to know that his challenge to surrender is about a wedding, not a white flag.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
When you think of surrendering to God, what comes to mind?
What are you afraid of when you think of surrendering to God?
Surrender is trusting God’s heart toward you and entrusting your heart to him.