White Flag Surrender
In our world today surrender is rarely a sign of anything good. In a stormy economy homes are being surrendered, in the Middle East our troops avoid surrender, in dieting—dieters surrender chocolate, fried foods and cheese. Surrender. It's uncomfortable, unnatural, and sometimes personally challenging. Simply put: it's hard.
The same is true when we surrender ourselves to be a disciple for Christ. It's like the first day of a diet—focused, measuring every bite of food that goes into your mouth, throwing in a bit of exercise for good measure. Yet, by day three or four only the serious are still on board. Only the ones who keep the goal in mind are still able to manage the measuring and exercise. Those who have fallen off the dieting wagon are left feeling disappointed, unfocused, guilty, and discouraged.
Discipleship surrender requires focus. Focus on the goal, on the steps needed to get to the goal and even an awareness of the hurdles that the enemy might place on the road to the goal. It's using nearsighted and farsighted vision at the same time. It's realizing that there will be a McDonald's glaring you in the face on your spiritual diet and instead of pulling up to the drive-thru, you choose to pull into the neighborhood Subway instead. It's choosing things that are better for you—things like God's Word, attending church, fellowshipping with believers, praying, fasting, and leading your family in a spiritual time with the Lord. It's choosing to share a word of encouragement or testimony with a friend, praying with someone instead of gossiping with them, loving instead of becoming bitter.
For some of us, this behavior isn't natural. It's like the carb-loader trying a vegetarian diet for a week. It's a constant fight between our flesh and our surrender.
So…what do you do? The answer is easy; doing it is what is hard. Immerse yourself in the Word. Memorize Matthew 16:24 this week. Keep it on a note card in your car, at your kitchen sink or on you bathroom mirror. Purpose to think and meditate on this verse so that as you strive to surrender yourself to Christ you will be reminded of the process—the goal—the end result: becoming a follower, a disciple of Christ.
PRAYER: Father, help us surrender everything…our time, schedule, family, goals, past, present and future to follow You. Strengthen us with Your power and help us focus on the eternal. Thank You for desiring this relationship with us!
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” Matthew 16:24 KJV.
Today’s devotion is by Gina Stinson, wife to Bruce, mom to Savannah and Tucker and publicist assistant for Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. In her spare time you can find her blogging, gardening and working in her community and church. Check out her blog http://journalinggina.blogspot.com