September 20, 2017
The Price of Surrender
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses since He had the same temptations we do, though He never once gave way to them and sinned. So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need (Hebrews 4:15-16, TLB).
Friend to Friend
I learn a lot from our grandchildren. Justus, our eight-year-old grandson, came up with what I thought was an ingenious plan for disobedience when he was a toddler. Our daughter called one day, laughing. “Mom, I have to tell you what your grandson just said.”
Now when Danna refers to Justus as “your grandson” it generally means he has done something wrong – an extremely rare occurrence as far as I can tell.
Danna said, “I told Justus it was time to put away his toys and get ready for his nap. He stopped what he was doing, and I could tell he was seriously thinking about what I had asked him to do. Then his eyes sparkled, and he let out a huge sigh. It was obvious he had made a decision. Justus then smiled sweetly and said, ‘No tank you, Mama. Maybe tomowow!”
I often do the same thing when God asks me to do something. I want to obey Him. But right now, it is inconvenient, and I just don’t want to do it. Maybe tomorrow I will.
Did Jesus question God or wonder why He had agreed to such a ridiculous plan? Seriously. Giving up heaven for earth – a throne for a manger? To live among frail humanity bent on self-destruction. To suffer and die for people who hated Him, tortured and betrayed him, and thought He was nothing more than a fraud?
Did Jesus find it hard to obey God?
If I am brutally honest, I tend to think the obedience of Jesus came a lot easier to Him than it does to me. After all, He was fully God and fully man – an enigma my skeptical mind and doubting heart simply can’t comprehend.
That is when I play the God card. Really. How hard could it have been for Jesus to obey God? How could He give into temptation? He was God.
But He was also man.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8, NIV).
God did not give Jesus the power to obey simply because He was His Son. Jesus learned obedience the same way we must learn obedience – through desperate cries for strength to make the right choices and through tears of anguish and repentance when we make the wrong choices.
Jesus found the strength to obey God through a holy and radical submission to God. He learned obedience through pain and suffering. The word “learned” indicates a continual choice and the ongoing process of falling down, learning the lesson each failure holds, and getting back up again – determined to make the right choice. And we must do the same, knowing and willingly accepting the fact that surrender is costly, painful, life changing – and worth it all.
God’s truth is for today – not tomorrow.
Father, I come to You, laying down my plan and embracing Yours. Give me the strength to obey You. When I fail, please forgive me, and help me begin again. Today, I choose to live a life of obedience to You. I surrender.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 119:34. Record it in your journal, and make it your prayer today.
Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart (Psalm 119:34, NIV).
What is God asking you to do – today? Are you willing to step out in faith and obey Him? Do it!
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