12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[e] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,[f] you will live. Romans 8
Surrender has become my favorite word this week. I don’t know why but everything that I read, everything I write in preparation for our trip to the states, everything that seems to matter brings me back to surrender. I was listening to David Platt, he was hired as the President of the International Mission Board last week, as he spelled out numerous strategic points as to where he felt God leading the IMB under his new leadership. The word that kept coming out of his mouth (or that I heard) was “surrender”.
In Romans 8 Paul talks about putting to death our old sinful self. It is a powerful picture of what happens when we become Christians. As we are baptized we drown our old nature and come up out of the waters to new life. An incredible picture of surrendering our very life for a new life in Jesus. It isn’t a one time deal. Putting to death our sinful nature happens over and over again each day. Our sinful desires continue to wreak havoc and need to be put in their place each day.
Surrendering seems like such a weak word doesn’t it? Who wants to be known as a person who surrenders? We like strong people. Strong people don’t “give up” and surrender. But yet that is who God wants us to be. To surrender to God every moment of every day. It is God’s irony. To surrender or put to death brings life. Death brings life. Death brings real power through God’s Spirit.
Less us and more God. We would rather use words like, “I decided to become. I choose to follow. I got saved.” The focus becomes on our response and often comes across that we have the ability to do something good apart from God’s grace. We don’t and can’t. All we can do is surrender.
Surrendering puts the focus where it should be—on God. It is only when we surrender continuously to Him can we experience the power He has for us. When it is less us in the equation it leaves room for MORE God and His Spirit to use us to share the Gospel with others.