I just finished reading the first day’s devotion in Dr. Mari Wohlever’s book Walking With Jesus in Healthcare. She writes:
“We will learn that His [Jesus]* only agenda can be summed up with two compelling words: obedient surrender.”
My heart was stirred by the words: obedient surrender. Depending on where you are in your walk with the Lord you will probably fall somewhere on the spectrum between “That scares the heck out of me” or “Finally, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief.”
For most of us who have grown up with the mentality of “to thine ownself be true” it is a huge paradigm shift to be solely obedient to Someone besides ourselves. Many of us are indoctrinated from a young age to think that the only person we can rely on is ourselves. If we don’t do it ourselves it doesn’t get done.
The outlandish idea that obeying Someone else is actually a freedom sentence is a hard concept to wrap our minds around. For me, the term obedient always seemed to have negative connotations that implied that I would have to give up my freedom (of self) to another, whom 9 times out of 10, I didn’t trust. I equated obedience with being controlled by another for their purposes only. I found the idea that being obedient to God would set me free as opposed to imprisoning me a rather bizarre concept!
And the word surrender…that was 100 times worse than the word obedient in my eyes! My skewed perception of surrendering hinged on my wounded view of never allowing myself to be vulnerable to another. My entire life I had worn a stalwart mask of invincibility so that no one would ever discover a chink in my armor. The thought of surrendering to God scared me! It would mean that I had to be vulnerable in front of Him. Once again I couldn’t fathom that surrendering to God would actually set me free from my prison instead of making me a prisoner.
When I truly began to walk with the Lord all my preconceived perceptions of the words “obedient” and “surrender” were destroyed. All one has to do is to read the New Testament to see the evidence of what happens when somebody is willing to walk in obedient surrender to the Lord. Jesus’ life epitomizes what happens when you willingly choose to be obedient and surrender your will, mind, heart, and body to the Lord. Everywhere Jesus went freedom followed.
Freedom from sickness, pain, addiction, mental illness, blindness, relationship issues, and many others followed Jesus wherever He traveled. He is a testimony to a life lived in obedient surrender which then changed other people’s lives as they too chose to live this way before the Lord.
Are you ready to leave the old ways of thinking about “obedient” and “surrender” behind to embrace God’s idea of obedient surrender? I encourage you to take your first step towards freedom!
* added by me for frame of reference