Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”Matthew 16:24
What do you think about the idea of surrender, of becoming a slave and your life no longer being the same? If we surrender to God, then this statement is absolutely true. We become slaves to Christ and our lives are definitely changed. Without really understanding what it means to surrender to Christ and how he changes our lives, it can become one of Satan’s most powerful weapons.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1) If we surrender and become slaves to Christ, then how can we be free? If we are not free from sin with forgiveness, then are we in bondage to sin? If we have fear and worry from worldly events, then are we free? Could it be that Satan is holding us in bondage, and with his lies he makes us believe we are free? Satan wants us to be our own gods and to try to control everything in our lives, including our eternal lives. How does Christ set us free and help us to overcome our bondage to the world? Everyone born of God overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4)
The first step in freedom is to know that we have eternal life through Christ, because without eternal life we will remain slaves to the world. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, and receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, our destiny is heaven. Now we have the Spirit and the promise of eternal life and we are destined to be molded to the likeness of Jesus, the mind of Christ, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29) Now if we are to conform to the likeness of Jesus; then are we destined to become slaves? Jesus stated that he always did what the Father said; did that make Jesus a slave? Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:15)
If Jesus was free, and we are molded to be like Jesus, then we are changed to be free in Christ. It is a process of spiritual growth that continually moves us toward freedom in Christ and away from bondage to the world. We will never be perfectly free until we reach our eternal homes, because the spiritual battle we fight is between freedom in Christ and bondage to the world.
To be free in Christ we surrender and turn over our wills to the will of God. We make Godly choices driven by the Holy Spirit, we obey the Spirit and minister to lost souls, and God’s love and compassion flow through us to people. This changes our hearts to the heart of Jesus. Our new lives consist of living in the Word, praying and communing with God, worshipping with our Christian family, and serving the Lord.
True freedom in Christ comes when we have the faith to give God control and to walk as his servants. When we give God control we accept the outcome. We pray and we leave the results to God and we continue to walk in this world as his servants, being a light for Christ. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
When God changes our hearts we are free to do what we want, because we want the Lord to guide our lives to fulfill our desire to seek Godly wisdom in everything. We are not only free in Christ because we trust God and have overcome the world, but for the first time in our lives we are in control, in control of ourselves: Our thoughts, our words, and our emotions. If we are not in control of our thoughts, words, and emotions, then we are slaves to the world.
Today ask the Lord to help you to surrender so that you can be free in Christ. Surrender is something we pray for everyday because it is always a challenge. The Lord wants us to be free, and if we pray for and truly desire to be free in Christ, God will guide us into freedom.
Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to surrender to your good, pleasing and perfect will. Give me the faith to trust you in every aspect of my life, to walk with your love and wisdom. Take away any fear or anger from Satan and fill my heart with peace and joy. In Jesus name, Amen