The Power of Surrender

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. –Matthew 16:25

First of all, I’ve been meaning to write on here again for quite some time now, but, as it turns out, college has taken up a lot of my time and I’m just now getting around to writing. *sigh*

But nevertheless, I’ve felt compelled to share about a powerful yet sometimes neglected truth I have been learning (often the hard way). It’s an underlying theme all throughout the Bible and Jesus’ teachings, yet I’ve found is far too easily forgotten or, quite simply, ignored. It is, however, essential to living, if we so choose to live out life to the full capacity God has given us.

It is the power of surrender.

In a world full of self-help books and motivational speakers (and preachers) which seek to show us how we can “become our best self,” we often forget our desperate need for Jesus. The truth is, we’re all broken, and no matter how hard we try to fix ourselves, it’s just not going to work. Maybe for a while, yes. But in order to find a lasting freedom in our lives, we have to give ourselves up entirely to Jesus.

How do I know this? Well, I can point to scripture that shows this (I’ll get to that later). But I also know this from the reality of what has happened in my life. You see, from the time I was about 14 years old, I’ve always, from a subjective Christian standpoint, had a “good relationship with the Lord.” I’ve prayed, read the Bible, gone to church, and done all the “Christian” things. But these things, although beneficial (and necessary) for my walk with the Lord, really got me nowhere until I decided to fully give myself up to Him.

And honestly, some of the darkest times in my life have been when I haven’t fully surrendered myself to Jesus. Most of the time, the things I chose to “handle on my own” have been good things, per say, like a close friendship, relationship, or my achievements. Other times, I have chosen to hold back things I knew were in direct opposition to His plan, like a secret sin or unhealthy lifestyle. Either way, every time I have chosen to hide something from God (which really isn’t possible, but I sometimes liked to imagine it was), or hold back something from Him that I wanted to handle myself, I have ended up stressed out, anxious, and generally just plain miserable (even if I denied the fact that I was miserable!).

I have found that freedom comes in surrender to Jesus Christ. And by surrender, I mean giving Him my every selfish desire, my every hope, my every plan, and letting Him radically change me. It’s not easy to do, after all, it’s not human nature to give up what we think we can control. But you see, God does want us to have a rich, impactful, fulfilling life. He desires for us to know Him intimately and to feel fulfilled even when the going gets tough. But we can’t experience that until we completely surrender ourselves to Him.

In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus told his disciples, “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 will find it.” Now that’s some radical truth. I think many of us have been so busy trying to “save our lives” that we’ve lost them in the process.

True living comes from surrendering ourselves to Him. It’s a daily choice, but it’s one of the greatest choices we could ever make. It’s not worth the struggle to fight life’s challenges or even control God’s blessings on our own. One of the best things about Jesus is that He wants to have a relationship with you. So give yourself to Him.  Lose your life for Him a little. I think you’ll find it one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do.

Introduction-Freedom in Veritas

Most people who have known me for a decent length of time know that I have always strongly disliked writing. When I was in middle school and even throughout high school, I dreaded even the shortest writing assignments. Even the most subjectively interesting topics were not enough to excite me to sit down and write for any extended period of time.

However, over the course of my first semester at college and this past year, I have found elements of this daunting art that I actually thoroughly enjoy. Yes, I said the word. I actually enjoy writing, or rather, I enjoy the effect that writing has. I love the skill of reflection, and that writing gives me the ability to process life’s experiences. And I love that writing has power. It has the power to inspire, transform, and even change the lives of those who read it.

All this being said, this brings me to the reason I decided to start this blog. Because trust me, despite my newfound appreciation for the art, I am still not a writer at heart* and would much rather find some other way to (hopefully) inspire people than sit down and write.

I am writing this blog because I believe in truth. While the principle of truth is powerful enough, I would like to take my statement further and say that not only do I believe in absolute truth, but I believe in biblical truth. You see, while the idea of “believing the Bible” or “believing in Jesus” is indeed simple and perhaps dull at first thought, the truth is incredibly powerful. The Bible is God’s word, God’s plan, and God’s revelation through and through. It is His message to reach out to us, if we so choose to read and study it. Furthermore, it documents the life of Jesus, who is the manifestation of the purest, truest love and righteous judgement at the same time.

In the end, having experienced these qualities of God, Jesus, and the Bible firsthand in my studies, life experiences, and relationship with Him, I have decided I simply cannot keep from sharing it. I have to share the truth. Not just because I believe it is absolute, but mostly because of what Jesus said in John 8:31-32. In talking to the Jews who believed in Him, he challenged them to hold to His teaching, and in that, they will know the truth, and the truth will set them free.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a biblical scholar or theologian or have even been to Bible school. I’m not perfect and I certainly don’t have “all the answers.” I’m just a follower of Jesus who has dedicated her life to Christ and wants other people to experience the freedom that comes from knowing Christ and His truth. It may not be the freedom that is often portrayed, and I can guarantee you that this Biblical truth can be very challenging at times. But in the end, it is the most incredible feeling, or dare I say lifestyle, that one can ever experience here on earth.

Truth matters. Jesus wants to reveal it to us if we seek Him. All it takes is a heart truly open to hearing His Word.

That’s all for now, though. More to come in following posts.

*2020 update: I actually do inherently enjoy writing now. Imagine that!