There’s nothing easy or pretty about surrender. Yes, we know the power and freedom it brings…once the surrender is in the rear view mirror and we can look back on the experience and clearly see the value. It’s in these after-moments that we can wordlessly nod like an ancient, wrinkled sage, agreeing that the surrender was good.
On the front end of surrender, the picture is entirely different. We are more like a screaming baby with a death grip on a fistful of red vines.
Surrender is never easy because we have to let go of something precious and treasured. Surrender is like an open wound on the surface of our pride. It always stings.
For at least one church, Paul gave up his rights to be paid by them. He gave up his need for support so that the kingdom could gain:
But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:12)
This was a real challenge for me: what will I give up so that the Kindgom might not be hindered? My last serious fight with surrender happened a few months ago…and the time afterwards has been some of the best days in ministry.
I don’t think life is so formulaic and predictable as this… As if God could be controlled! However, this remains to be true: surrender may not always make life into a rose garden, but it certainly can’t hurt. Obedience is never a waste of time. Giving anything up for the kingdom is always a good thing.
What have you had to give up for the ministry? Drop a note in the comments below.