By Ty Haguewood
The call to follow Jesus is not a small call. It is a call to abandon yourself and surrender completely. The real question is, “Why should I surrender?”
I mean seriously.
I want to give you a working definition of what surrender looks like for the Jesus follower. Are you ready?
Our call to surrender, or self-abandonment, is a call to leave the shackles of sin and death and finally be free to run to the Author of Life.
The call to follow Jesus is not the call to follow a list of rules and guidelines hoping that you somehow make it out with more good deeds than bad so you can get into heaven. No, it’s quite the opposite.
The call to follow Jesus is simple. It’s ultimately the call to choose life and we have help. Now, we must look at a few different things here.
A Right View of Jesus
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4
We have not been called to follow a good leader, preacher, teacher, or humanitarian. We have been called to follow the Lord of All. We must have a right perspective of Jesus if we are going to rightly follow Him. Understanding that we follow the Author of Life, gives us more confidence in Him giving us Eternal Life.
Jesus is Lord. He inherited a seat at the right hand of God through sacrificing His life to give life to all those who would believe. Jesus calls us to abandon all things that have no eternal worth to surrender to the only thing that can offer eternal worth, namely Himself.
It is through His name that we inherit eternal life. It His through His name that we are saved. It His through His name that we experience freedom. There is no hope if there is no Jesus. He made a way when we had no way. He loved when we deserved condemnation. He laid down His life to bring us to Himself.
A Right View of Surrender
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7
I want to focus on the words “regeneration” and “renewing.” These are two different things. We have regeneration which is that God creates new life when a person believes. They are no longer who they used to be, the old is gone but now the new is here. Believers are not improved versions of themselves but rather new creations all together. We see this in John 3 when Jesus says all must be born again to inherit eternal life. He creates us new.
The word renewal speaks of a continual operation of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. The Jesus follower is created new and then empowered by the Holy Spirit who never leaves them. He sanctifies, convicts, guides, intercedes, and emboldens them.
We need to understand that our call to surrender is not a call to figure out our own way to God. It is not a call to live a perfect life nor is it a call to find your own righteousness. Our call to surrender is a call to allow the Spirit of God to move in our lives. There is never a moment in a believer’s life where God is uninvolved. He is with us. Jesus says it best in the great commission. “I WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS.”
The call to surrender sounds horrible if you see it as a lonely, empty path. The call to surrender only becomes sweet when the focus of the surrender turns to Jesus. You are not called to lay down your life in vain. It’s not something that only a few religious do. It’s for all those who understand that the call to follow Jesus is simply the call to choose life. It’s the call to choose the better option. It’s the call to be accepted, loved, and forgiven for eternity.
We must remind ourselves, when given the call to surrender, that Jesus is simply calling us to Himself.
Jesus is worth more than what I am called to surrender. I choose life.