THE STARTING PLACE OF SURRENDER!
He was on a routine trip from Jerusalem when it happened. Hatred and ambition drove him. On horseback, he began a 135-mile journey to Damascus accompanied by enough soldiers to put down the latest uprising of that rebellious faction known as ‘The Way’.
Barely into his road trip, his world went dark. A flash of Holy Spirit lightning knocked him off his horse, the zealot of persecution grounded. Jesus confronted him. ‘Why are you persecuting me?’ was the question that demanded an answer. His answer came in the form of a question: ‘Who are you Lord?’ Emphatically Jesus answered ‘I am Jesus the Victorious, the one you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you are to do!’ (PBT)
For the next three days he lived blinded in a world without food or drink. Imagine the soul searching. Imagine the life he examined, his! Imagine the blank slate that became his heart! True to a vision he had during those three days, Ananias came and laid hands on him. His sight restored, his faith in Jesus birthed, the Holy Spirit received and him baptized in water, this once angry man surrendered everything to Jesus. It’s the starting place I call surrender!
The Apostle Paul’s story of conversion, like everything in Paul’s life was dramatic. He was the premiere hardcore believer of the first century Church. His surrender sent tremors of spiritual awakening throughout the known world. He raised the bar, fought the fight and finished the race like no other.
Surrendering to Jesus did the same for me, though on a smaller scale. Yet, even on a smaller scale, His faithfulness and presence has been more precious to me than life itself. Starting with my surrender to Jesus, my life embraced a purpose that became an adventure. Fifty-years later that surrender remains a priceless relationship. His presence and His Word are the most powerful forces in my life.
I’ve learned that surrender requires continually coming to this raw and organic place of faith. It’s personal or it’s nothing. It’s not religious. It’s not about titles. It pales in comparison to any list of life’s accomplishments.
The trappings of this life are just that, trappings! Nothing is more liberating than this starting place called surrender. In all the crossroads of life, there is Jesus, and His presence. If you haven’t gone there lately, go now. I know from a lifetime of experiences, that He is always coming close. He shows up on the roads we travel and in the conversations in our head.
Surrender means shutting down everything. For some that means getting still and turning off the outside world. Surrender is that place where nothing matters but Jesus. In that place you will find the Redeemer. In Him you will find that nothing matters to Him, but you! It’s a precious place. It’s a private place. It’s a starting place like no other.
It’s a place called Surrender.