A few years ago, Gary Keller wrote a book called, “The One Thing”. While it was not a “Christian” book by definition, I found it applicable to life as a disciple of Jesus. The book talks about finding the one thing that drives you. It encourages the reader to discover the one thing about which they are most passionate. Once discovered, the author compels us to pursue it with intense focus and determination.
For years I have known what my “one thing” is. It is to instruct and encourage others to live lives wholly devoted to Christ. While it’s been some time since I read Mr. Keller’s excellent book, it left quite an impact on me. Then I recently read “Absolute Surrender , a book written by Andrew Murray over a century ago. In it, I came across the following statement: “Absolute surrender to God is the one thing.”
That statement is so simple and succinct: “Absolute surrender to God is the one thing.” This pointed out my one thing demanded something first. I must be absolutely surrendered to God. Then I can instruct and encourage others to live their lives wholly devoted to Christ. Now I have two things: Absolute surrender and an absolute responsibility. Absolute surrender reflects my obedience to God. Then I must instruct and encourage others to be absolutely surrendered as well.
Absolute surrender to God should and must be the one thing for the life of every would-be disciple of Jesus. Anything less than total surrender will inhibit the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It will restrict the power of God to manifest through us. Only a surrendered heart will experience the life God has designed for us to live. Jesus said we must take up our cross and follow Him if we want to be His disciples (Matthew 16:24-25). To take up your cross means death to all that is self. Nothing survives the cross. Discipleship requires absolute surrender.
Imagine if followers of Jesus would make absolute surrender their “one thing”. How might we impact the world? If we would crucify self once and for all, we would see God’s Spirit flood through us. We would see the world swept away with His love. The trouble is surrender is difficult. We are so obsessed with many things we are loathe to focus on one thing, even if it is the command of Jesus.
We need to make absolute surrender our one thing. We need to do the difficult work of leaving everything behind and following Him. Unless we surrender our lives to God, we should stop pretending. We should admit we are not serious about a relationship with Him. Jesus said we will either be for Him or against Him (Luke 11:23). We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Who will you choose to love, yourself or your Savior? Absolute surrender to God is the one thing to which we must all aspire. Anything less is counterfeit Christianity and has no place in the Kingdom of God.