An ongoing battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Self is fought in the fields of our hearts.
A word exists that can end the prolonged battle. One word that can stop the carnage of war.
It is a word that runs contrary to our human nature — one that is prone to fight and defend our cause and preserve a misguided identity.
That word is “Surrender!”
A single horseman approaches the gate to bring a message from an opposing king. Unfolding the scroll, he begins to read out loud the terms of surrender.
The citizens are aghast at what they are hearing.
With no enemy in sight, no threats at their doorstep, they can’t believe that danger looms in the far off distance.
The people feel secure and protected with large castle walls built to sustain enemy attacks,
“Surrender?” they cry out in disbelief. “That’s ridiculous!” Smug faces reveal a false sense of security. The crowd mocks the lone horseman and sends him on his way with words of rejection. The laughter slowly subsides and the citizens return to their normal day.
Brick-by-brick, earthly portfolios are constructing financial security with the intent of building castles in the sky that fulfills dreams and establishes peace.
These castle walls are funded by earthly resources. God helps those who help themselves, our itching ears tend to hear, and receive the blessings that follow. “Whatever follows I AM is going to come looking for you.” (Joel Osteen)
The mortar is supplied by the evidence of good works. “If thou wilt do good … though shalt be saved.” (Mormon Scriptures)
The castle is supplied with the drawbridge of reason. “Nothing is as precious as human reason and freedom.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
The world teaches, “How can a loving God not look upon me with graciousness and mercy?”
When the enemy troops storm the castle or the forces of nature blow down the bridges, it is the unprepared and the prideful who are humbled… but only after it’s too late.
In the smugness of unbelief, walls are built that block ears from listening and harden hearts that dismiss the gospel message.
Like the lone horseman, God calls on Christians to be bold messengers – to withstand the fears of being mocked or labeled intolerant – and deliver His terms of surrender.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Surrender means to be the exact opposite of what our human nature whispers us to do.
To surrender means to give up our claim of what we believe that we own. It means to deny the treasures and good works that we have accumulated and believing that it will provide for our spiritual comfort and earthly security.
But the Bible goes beyond that understanding. God does not necessarily gives us terms of surrender, but to simply trust in His promises. Besides, how can people surrender spiritually when they are already spiritually dead? It is a miracle God produces in our hearts that creates a new life in Christ. Faith’s identity rests in Christ. It is no longer striving or even surrendering to “become”, but resting in the present status of who we are in Christ – to “be” in Christ.
God’s plan of happiness is not meant for us to be happy, but for God to be well-pleased.
The purpose in life is not about serving us, but about loving God and trusting in His promises. It’s not about our glory – but giving God all of the glory because He is worthy of it.
Those who trust in Christ do not need to build castle walls for safety and security, because the enemy has already been defeated. Christ surrendered for us and we receive all the present and future benefits from that status faith gives us.
This is the message Christians deliver to the world. This is the surrendered life in Christ that we convey to our neighbor.
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