Thursday, February 07, 2008

Surrender and Confidence

It seems to me that there is a certain tension between trusting God and confidently moving forward with things in our lives. On the one hand I must learn to more and more completely surrender to Jesus and His cross, but on the other hand I cannot simply be passive to this world in the way many have come to think of surrender.

On first glance surrender and confidence look like completely polar opposites as if a person could aspire to either one or the other, and many times this is the case for a good many Christians. But perhaps there is another way of thinking of surrender and confidence. Perhaps it is the very process of surrendering to Jesus continually that gives rise to boldness and a very active compassion to the world around us—a compassion which, in turn, is not motivated by self-love and self-preservation but by the love of God. If surrender to Jesus doesn’t bring this about then maybe it’s not truly surrender to him but simply a timid, passive heart cloaked in spiritual garb.

In closing I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message) So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

2 comments:

susie s said...

Thinking about the connection of surrender and confidence, I see Jesus...fully surrendered to the Father, never speaking or doing anything the Father wasn't speaking or doing, and yet always His authentic self living freely in confidence of the Father's love. It's as if surrender to the Father came from confidence and trust in the loving relationship that He shared with the Father and result was boldness and intention of action. Growing trust leads to increased surrender resulting in fuller obedience. I'd like this to be in me more and more.

marcia said...

This is a motivating and inspiring translation by Eugene Peterson. I have used this passage and translation twice this past month in calling people including myself to boldly move out and use the gifts and callings in our lives to advance the Kingdom of God. I recommend the book Courage and Calling by Gordon T. Smith. Thanks Crispin, keep thinking and sharing and doing.