Surrendering Everything But Myself

iStock_000017794376XSmall-editedWhen the first disciples of Jesus started to follow him, Jesus asked them “What are you seeking?” (John 1:35-42).  He wanted to know if they would follow him on his terms, or if they merely wanted to follow on their own terms to seek some selfish benefit.  This same question is one we must ask ourselves.  In seeking to follow Christ, are you doing so to benefit yourself in some way, or are you willing to come to him in complete surrender?  We often try to bargain with God at this point.  We want to give God anything but ourselves. We will give him our money, even when it pains us to do so.  We might give him some of our time.  Some parents have even given him their children who are called to the mission field.  But we will not give ourselves!

We are like Jacob at the brook Jabbok in Gen. 32.  Jacob had been gone from his homeland for many years because he feared his brother Esau whom he had cheated out of his birthright.  However, while gone Jacob had become wealthy with large herds of livestock, servants, and family.  He sought to return home and started out boldly, but the closer he came to Esau’s territory, the more frightened he became.  He wondered whether Esau would still carry out his threat to kill him.  Jacob became terrified when he reached the brook Jabbok (the boundary of Esau’s territory) and sent over a servant to see if Esau knew he was coming.  The servant reported that Esau did in fact know of Jacob’s pending arrival and was on his way to greet him with 400 armed men!

Jacob pondered his predicament and decided on a strategy.  He called a servant and placed 200 ewes in his charge.  He said, “Pass over before me.  And when you come to Esau and he shall ask, ‘Who are you?  And to whom do these ewes belong?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your brother Jacob, and they are a present for you.’” Jacob thought that he might win Esau’s favor by this plan.  After the 200 sheep he sent 20 rams, and he gave the same charge to the servant who was sent with them.  After the 20 rams he sent 30 camels, then 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 donkeys, and 10 horses, each in a group by itself.  Then Jacob sent over all the servants and the handmaids and then he sent over Leah (the unfavored wife) with her children.  Finally, he sent over Rachel (the favored wife) and her children.  Jacob sent across the brook everything he had save one— himself.

We can be like Jacob. We give money, time, etc. but never really surrender ourselves.  That night after Jacob had sent over all he had an angel came and wrestled with him and brought him to the point of surrender.  It was only after Jacob surrendered himself to God that the Lord used him in a mighty way for his fellow people.  What side of the Jabbok are you on?  Have you given just about everything you can think of to God except yourself?  Is there still that one thing you cling to that you refuse to surrender to his lordship?  To truly follow Christ, we must die to ourselves and become his.  1 Cor. 6:19-20- “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.”

Back to Jesus’ question- What are you seeking?  He invites those to follow him who will die to themselves and surrender all.

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