That there is victory in surrender is one of the great mysteries of following Jesus. Almost everything about the life Jesus lived seems upside down and counterintuitive, but perhaps nothing more than this. Who wins by surrendering? History books are not written about those who waved the white flag, but about the conquering heroes and nations. We grow up daydreaming about being the champion, the victor, and the overcomer.
No one dreams of being the one who grows up to surrender. But it is exactly to this Jesus calls us. In fact, He makes it pretty clear unless we are willing to surrender everything, He won’t be able to do much with our lives.
I love the way A.W. Tozer sums up this truth: “The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him.” If we want to enjoy the fullness of God, we’ve got to relinquish everything in our life that is not God. Without giving up everything for Him, we will live defeated and ineffective lives.
While victory in surrender may never sound quite right to our pride-distorted minds, there is no question it is what Jesus taught. He warned people about committing their lives to Him and then looking back at what they had left behind (Luke 9:62). That’s not surrender; it’s doubt and regret. I promise you you’ll never need to doubt Jesus or regret following Him. He is the only way to joy and everlasting peace. He is the only One worthy of your surrender.
Jesus also made it clear nothing is more important than taking His message into the world. Besides His final command to make disciples of all people (Matthew 28:18-20), He told His followers it was more important than our most pressing obligations on this earth (Luke 9:59-60). Victory in surrender; this is the key to following Jesus. Leave everything behind. Get rid of your selfishness and pride. Empty yourself so He can fill you with His Spirit.
There is a tendency to want to hold on to a small piece of our identity. We mistake our self-worth as being wrapped up in something we define rather than in the person God says we are. He created each of us uniquely to do specific work for His Kingdom. He created each of us to love and serve Him only. Our days are to be spent in pursuit of the God who is already pursuing us.
There is victory in surrender. I have seen imperfect glimpses of this in my own life. It is an undeniable truth for those who would be disciples of Jesus. Anything we keep from Him is infected with the sin of pride and will eat through us like a cancer. If you want to live a victorious life, the only path is through surrender. To live a life of significance and leave a legacy, we must first surrender everything to our King. Trust Him in this. Have confidence victory is found on the other side of surrender. The next step is yours. He’ll take care of the rest.