Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:61-62, NLT
“Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.” ~Oswald Chambers
This is hard. I want to surrender to Christ—but I have to confess my motives do not match the purpose of His calling. I still want a comfortable life. I still want to be successful. I want to live in security. I am focused on the blessings of God, rather than on the God of the blessings.
But Jesus rebuked that kind of thinking. Don’t get me wrong—He promised that He would meet every need, that we would be provided for and loved, and he pointed out that we are much more valuable than the sparrows in the air of whom God is ever-mindful. But Jesus defined His priority pretty specifically.
Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property–along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.” (Mark 10:28-29)
What was the reason for Peter’s surrender? For Jesus. And for the sake of the Gospel.
Love God. Seek His purpose. Isn’t that the commission when Jesus says to seek first His kingdom? Surrender isn’t a means to an end. It is the ultimate expression of love that says to Christ, “YOU are my end.”
Yielding under any other terms is negotiation, not surrender at all.