Some time ago I was thinking about John 17:4 … I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
That was part of Jesus’ high priestly prayer before He went to the garden with His disciples. As I thought about His statement that He had accomplished the work that the Father sent Him to do I wondered about my life. Would I be able to stand before Him when it’s my time and utter those same words?
If we think about accomplishing “our work” in this life it all comes down to one issue… surrender. Have we surrendered ourselves to Jesus, and if we have, what have we surrendered and do we continue to surrender?
Surrender is not surrendering our external life, it’s about surrendering our will. When we’ve done that our focus needs to change. All the crises we face in life are secondary to the crisis of surrendering our will to Jesus, and what makes this so hard is that God never interferes. He never impedes our free will, He just waits until we are ready to do that on our own.
The problem, however, is that we fail to realize that after that battle is fought it never needs to be fought again. But we continue to focus on our external life and our struggle to “complete” our work… what do we need to do? And that sets the stage for us to do something we can never accomplish in our own strength and power.
Oswald Chambers addressed this challenge from three perspectives:
Surrender for Deliverance
Matt 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me …
It’s after we’ve begun to experience what salvation means that we surrender our wills to Jesus and enter into His rest. Whatever is puzzling our heart or mind is a call to our will … Come after Me. If we have truly surrendered our will to Him then our response is to forsake all and come.
Surrender to Devotion
… let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ESV
The surrender here is to totally surrender to Jesus and enter into His rest, which means that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. If we do, then the rest of our life becomes the demonstration of that surrender. Chamber says that “when once surrender has taken place we never need to ‘suppose’ anything. We do not need to care what our circumstances are, Jesus is amply sufficient.”
Surrender to Death
John 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” ESV
Another will dress you. Chambers asks the question: “Have you learned what it means to be bound for death?” He cautions us to be careful of surrendering in a moment of “ecstasy” because you are apt to take it back again.” When we surrender to Jesus it means being united with Him in His death until the point at which nothing else ever appeals to us that did not appeal to Him.
So, after surrender then what?
If we have truly surrendered for Deliverance, Devotion, and Death the rest of our life is a desire to achieve unbroken communion with our bridegroom. How are we going to fulfil that desire? There is only one way; surrender our total will to Him and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who leads us into unbroken communion with Jesus … into His rest.
020 Tick Tick Tick