Change Begins with Absolute Surrender to King Jesus and His Mission
Many followers of Jesus have heard at some point in their lives about something called the Great Commission. This command of Jesus is among the final sentences He would share with His disciples on this earth.
If I asked you, “What is the Great Commission?” I imagine you would start by saying, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” And there is so much truth in that. Making disciples of all nations is the mission disciples of Jesus are commanded to live out. Yet, it’s not where the commission of Jesus begins, nor is it the foundation. The foundation of the Great Commission is given before Jesus tells us to “make disciples”:
Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18 CSB).
I have no authority.
You have no authority.
The church has no authority.
The world has no authority.
If we are going to change the world by making disciples of all ethnic groups on the planet, we must first begin by surrendering to the One with all authority in the entire universe. Jesus is the King. He was given all the authority in heaven and earth by the Father. Changing the world begins with absolute surrender to the cross of Jesus.
The Cross of Salvation
We all begin at the same place: we are sinners in desperate need of a Savior. When we come to that realization we are all called to say “Yes” to Jesus and surrender to His atoning work on the cross. The work of Jesus on the cross is all sufficient to save.
Yet sometimes we give our lives to Jesus and we don’t experience everything we thought the pastor promised. Where is the joy, meaning, and purpose you said I would have if I was baptized? Why haven’t all my problems gone away? Why is my husband/wife not acting better yet?
Sometimes we get stuck in what’s known as the land between two crosses. The issue is not that Jesus’ saving work on the cross wasn’t enough. The issue is 100% my level of surrender to picking up the second cross.
Before you label me a heretic talking about the need for two crosses, note that Jesus identified the second cross first:
Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23 CSB).
Change and transformation begins to take place in my life when I pick up my own cross…
The Cross of Surrender
In order to take greater steps of surrender and experience change in my own life, there are four things I must do to pick up my own cross.
Pray – Psalm 139:23, 24
We pray and ask God to reveal to us anything wicked that might be getting in the way. Father, reveal to us anything that might offend you. Then spend time listening for God to reveal areas of our hearts that need to surrender more.
Recognize/Acknowledge – 1 John 1:8, 9
When God reveals areas of my life that need more surrender, I must recognize and acknowledge it. I can no longer act as if hiding sin in the corner of my heart is going to be good enough. I will remain stagnant as long as I am not surrendering more fully to King Jesus.
Decide – Romans 12:1, 2
The trouble with a living sacrifice is we have a tendency to get up and walk off the altar. Change happens in me when I’m aware of what God is calling me to change, when I admit that it is sin and I get back up on the altar to live out greater levels of surrender and obedience.
Kill The Root – Luke 9:23
Whatever that thing is I just climbed back up on the altar for (addiction, immorality, pride, sins of the flesh, etc.), I must kill the root of that sin. The concept is that I want my heart to beat in alignment with God’s. I want to hate the sin God hates, love what God loves and share what God is doing in my life with people who don’t know Him yet.
This is how we move out of the land between two crosses and begin to experience transformation in our lives as disciples of Jesus.
(For more from Stan, check out www.fourgen.org.)