"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. Matthew 16:24 - (Amplified Bible)
Years ago I was listening to a radio program and the host was interviewing a missionary who had been overseas for many years. The host asked the missionary a question-- what is the biggest difference that you see in the church after having been gone for so long? I will never forget his answer-- commitment. He went on to say that the church has become committed to God but not surrendered to Him. Then he proceeded to elaborate on what he meant. He said commitment places "I" in charge. Surrender places "God" in charge.
Let me further clarify what he meant. The dictionary defines the word commit as: to give in trust or charge to someone; to pledge oneself to; to entrust especially for safe keeping. It defines the word surrender as: to yield to the possession or power of another; to give oneself up to another; submit or yield.
There is a big difference between the two. Commitment reserves its rights. If I entrust myself to the Lord and I feel He has not been faithful, then I have reserved the right to walk away from Him. If I pledge myself to Him, it is conditional. Therefore, if I feel He has let me down I no longer feel obligated to Him. This is why we see so many people turning from God. They have committed themselves to Him instead of surrending themselves to Him. So when things don't go the way they wanted, or God doesn't do what they thought He should do, they are no longer committed.
When you surrender to something or someone, you lose your rights. Just ask those who have been prisoners of war or because of committing a crime. (A prisoner can't just walk away-- he has to escape.) When we come to Christ, we surrender to Him. We surrender to His will, His plan, His ways, His desires for our lives. We lose our lives- they no longer belong to us. They belong to Him. We are bought with a price- the blood of Jesus. He is now the "owner" of our lives because He bought and paid for them. When I own something, I decide what I am going to do with it. When He owns us, He decides what to do with us... and we surrender, yield, submit to it.
Are you simply committed to Him today? Are you following Him but keeping one hand on the "wheel" just in case He wants to go a different direction than you had planned? Or are you surrendered to Him, letting go of the wheel and becoming the passenger who goes wherever He drives you?
Have a great day. Are you surrendered to Christ or just committed to Him? There is a difference.
For further reading:
1 Corinthians 6:20
1 Peter 1:18
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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