Your will not mine is my sacrifice.
There was a time when my faith was framed in rose colored glasses. I—like many others—did not understand how important disillusionment, suffering, and delayed answers would be for healthy faith. While Christian faith normally begins when we first dedicate our lives to Christ, it is easy to forget that what took place was only just that … a beginning. On that day we began the journey of learning how to surrender our lives to Christ.
Sometimes we assume faith to be more reasonable than it ever actually is. And so, we are shocked when we later realize that God wants us to totally trust him with our lives. While we like to speak of such trust in moderate terms like “accepting” or “choosing” Christ, it is really more extreme than this.
At its heart, Christian faith is trusting God with what we cherish most … our will … our faculty of individual choice and self-determination. So, to give over your will is to be at the absolute mercy of another. This is why the New Testament writers often spoke of the Christian as a “slave” to Christ (Rom 6:15-23) and as “dead to self” (Rom 6:11).
Somehow, when Christianity is put in such stark terms it doesn’t seem so appealing. This is why surrender to Christ doesn’t make much sense until we first understand how broken and obliviously dependent we are on the grace of God. Until we come to the end of ourselves we’ll never see this.
But there’s something else we’ll also never see … that we were created for more than this world has to offer. Our cravings for love, happiness, peace, and contentment have always been intuitions of a more primordial nature—union with God (2 Pet 1:3-4). We are only fully satisfied when we abandon ourselves to God’s sovereign care. So how can we begin to lay hold of such a “dead to self” faith when we are so antithetically wired?
As we learned last week, we must be committed to cultivating a lifestyle that proactively creates time and space for intentional fellowship with God. As we do, we’ll be empowered to resist all the distracting highways and byways of self-sufficiency and self-indulgence. Instead, we’ll choose the more necessary though solitary road less traveled—the path of holy surrender.
On this very path we’ll joyfully cry out, “Your will not mine is my sacrifice!” Here we will discover that what once seemed so unreasonable has actually become the greatest privilege we’ve ever received. Next week we’ll talk about what it means to rightly choose our attitude in the time of suffering.
What Do You Think?
What is one area of your life that would change from more fully surrendering your will to God?
♦ To see the video and poem this post is based on, click here.