The Key Ingredient for Following Jesus
I picked up an 85-year-old book that had been recommended to me by a very dear mentor. This volume had been in the library of the pastor of one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the Metroplex, a gift from his granddaughter. The Scottish author’s style showed its age, but as I read it, the theme connected the dots to an observation by another author, another book, another prick to my soul.
The chapter was “Surrender.” We don’t like that word. Steve Smith once observed in his book, Spirit Walk, that we had adopted new terms that we like better. We “commit” or we “choose” or we “follow.” But “surrender” really is the word that we need desperately today. Jesus will be the leader or He will be nothing. He will be Lord, or He will be nothing. We think we’re evaluating all the possible good choices we could make. We think that we’re in a position of authority over our lives. But when Jesus gives us the New Birth, it only comes because we surrender the old life to Him.
We see that surrender in words like “deny yourself,” or “lose your life for my sake,” or “you must be born again.” All of those words flow from Jesus’ mouth when He calls out to the masses or to the individuals. I think that’s the key ingredient to following Jesus, but it’s the one most unsettling to us in American society. Why? Because we trust nobody like we trust ourselves.
The older I get, the more I realize that HE won’t occupy a personal throne that I refuse to surrender. I know He deserves it, earned it, and is worthy of it. But I cannot go farther beyond head knowledge without this surrender. I cannot experience His power when I’m focused on exercising my own. So I find my own journal reminding me. . .
Surrender, surrender, surrender. . .that you might experience the Jesus Life that saves, soothes, and sustains.