The Eastpoint Blog
Dec6TueDecember 6, 2016
Jesus made it crystal clear that the only way we can really love God is by total surrender. We must come out of the dark cave of selfishness with our hands in the air, lay down our weapons and unconditionally surrender. Of course, that is extremely hard to do when we’ve been hiding from God our entire life. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-36) Jesus didn’t pull any punches. He made it clear that the only way to experience authentic life was to give it to God. He showed us how to do it in the way he lived and certainly in the way he died.
John Ortberg put it this way, “The reality of this world is that I was born into someone Else’s kingdom. My life came to me as a gift I did not choose; it is suspended from a slender thread that I did not weave and cannot on my own sustain.” This is God’s world we cannot change that and who would want to. As tough as life is can you imagine what the world would be like if someone else was in charge? It would be a gigantic mess. You did not choose the gift of life but, you can choose who you live for. God wants all of you—heart, mind, soul, and strength. Only through total surrender, totally loving God, can we reach our greatest potential. Give it up.
I have been inspired to examine my heart and my state of surrender through the biographies of totally surrendered men like Adanirom Judson who suffered horrendous hardships to bring the gospel to Burma and David Livingstone who blazed a path for God through Africa and risked his life to bring an end to the wicked practice of slave trading. However, never have I experience total surrender to God like I did one day in a hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Doris, was a young mother who had just given birth to a brand new baby boy—Joshua. She and daddy, Steve, were beaming from ear to ear with pride and joy. However, after being told that everything was fine, when little Joshua was four days old the nurse grabbed him from the arms of his nursing mother and took him away. In short order they were informed that his internal organs were not fully developed and that he may not live. He was bleeding internally and soon it would be externally.
My wife, Gloria, and I rushed to the hospital where we spent the next twenty-four hours with the new parents as they watched the life of little Joshua ebbing away. Mom and Dad, eyes full of tears, told Joshua how much they loved him over and over again through that long dark night. As the end neared the doctors asked as to leave the ICU as they made one last ditch effort to save his life. After several hours of waiting the doctor came in with “that” look on his face and told mom and dad that Joshua had passed on. They asked Doris if she would like to hold him one more time. She said, “oh yes.” They took us into a private room with a rocking chair in the middle and asked Doris to take a seat. Moments later they brought in little Joshua, wrapped in a blanket, and placed his lifeless body in her lap. She rocked him and told him, repeatedly, that she loved him and would miss him, as did Steve. Then she said it, words that I have never forgotten and never will. That heartbroken mother with tears streaming down her face said, “If this is what God wants this is what I want.” Gloria and I new that we were in the presence of a heart totally surrendered to God. It was divine moment. God was smiling and we were allowed to witness an amazing act of faith, hope, and love.
When you are entirely surrendered to God you will be able to say, like Doris, from the depths of your heart, “If this is what God wants, this is what I want.”
Loving God means being total surrendered.