The result of surrendering to Christ is great joy. You should try it.
The Joy of Yielding
Last week’s post ended by expressing the need for absolute surrender to Christ, willingly letting go of our ugly past to embrace the glory and freedom of our new life in Christ. Today we’ll discover the joy that awaits us, but first we must expose one final lie most Christians have bought into-a lie that stands like a fortress on the road to surrender.
When America’s pastors get around to sharing the gospel, the call is usually to make a decision for Christ. We become children of God by receiving Christ (John 1:12), and it seems like receiving Christ requires a decision to do so. But what is Christ really asking us to do? The more we read the gospels, the clearer the answer becomes.
Christ is asking us to yield, not just decide.
Most of us made a decision to receive Him as our Savior. We thought we were also receiving Him as Lord, but we weren’t told about the yielding part. That came later, after we had spent way too many frustrating years trying to bring Christ into our world instead of entering His. Time after time, we would find ourselves asking Christ to help us accomplish something, overcome something, or understand something. Sound familiar?
We may sheepishly smile at the reality of this, but the consequences are serious. Every time we ask Christ to help us, we are denying the reality He came to bring. We are saying that for the most part, we’ve got this, but in this one area we could use some help. This reveals a lie we have already discussed. We have believed that we’re still the same person we were before our “decision,” but now we have Christ to help us do the things God requires of us. (Are you starting to see the extent to which Satan’s lies have robbed you of God’s blessings?) We have convinced ourselves that we’re on the right track, but in our moments of honest reflection, we’re frustrated and exhausted. Yet, we must not let anyone know. Once again, we must keep up appearances.
This is what Americanized Christianity has become, and it all started with our failure to yield to Him at the beginning of our spiritual journey. By now, it should be evident that we’ll never truly yield until we come face to face with the real us. We must work up the nerve to ask God to show us how bad we really are. Trust me, He will, and it will happen when you least expect it. He will let enough time pass for you to conclude that maybe there wasn’t much to show. Maybe you weren’t all that bad after all.
Then it happens. God will illuminate something you just said, thought, or did in a way that stops you dead in your tracks. For the first time in your life, all pretenses have been stripped away, and you stand before God defenseless and speechless. Jeremiah was right. Your heart is, indeed, desperately wicked and sick (Jer. 17:9). You are beginning to see why Jesus had to go to the cross for you.
Now you are convinced that although sin has lost its power over you, it’s still there, ready to spring into action if you give it a chance. You will never forget this moment. You have been forever changed. You are finally ready to yield. It’s no longer a painful obligation. Suddenly, you are seeing everything in your spiritual journey through clearer eyes. You don’t just need to do this. Desperation drives you. You can sense that peace is finally at hand. On your knees before your Master Jesus, you finally yield everything to Him.
Believe me, everything changes once you do. You are ready to rest, knowing that everything you’ve been striving to attain has already been done for you. In light of your recent revelation, it’s clear that God had to do it all for you, and you’re ready to reckon it all done. You are finally ready to let Christ live out His life through you. Finally, your role as His bondservant becomes clear and freeing. You can stop running the universe and focus on what He has for you one day at a time. You don’t have to worry about how things in your life will turn out. That’s His problem since you no longer have a life apart from Him. His interests have become your interests. Your personal agenda has died with you.
It takes a while to adjust, but you are enjoying your new life. The pressure to perform is gone, and you are finally at rest. Life still has its challenges, but you’re taking them in stride. You’re learning to cast your burdens on the Lord. The weight of the world, or perhaps your world, has been lifted. You’re no longer concerned over things you can’t control. Every day you discover another buried treasure. Every morning you awake with a new sense of anticipation. Then, out of the blue, a new emotion overcomes you. You’ve felt it a few times in your life, but not like this.
the more unworthy you feel.
Undeserving to Joy
Every day you experience more of your Master’s grace, you become more aware of how undeserving you are, yet His grace keeps coming. Never have you felt so unworthy. The truth has not only set you free; it has deepened your love for your Lord. You can’t contain it. His love for you has unlocked a storehouse of love and peace you never knew existed. You have discovered the joy of yielding. In the next chapter we’ll uncover some of the buried treasures that can only be discovered after we have finally yielded to our Master.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
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