At the cross we can find freedom from self, hopelessness, ignorance, pettiness, performance based love, and trying to conform to the expectations of others. It all starts with surrender.
Mary gave into total surrender as God told her that she would bear a son out of wedlock: “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” What did she get in return besides a beautiful baby boy? She birthed the Son of God! She knew intimately, like no other, God as He grew and changed and became a man. But her journey also included betrayal, rejection, being misunderstood, etc… She held firm and her journey’s end was a glorious forever kingdom with her God and her Son!
What does it mean that Jesus is Lord? The term “lord” is used for one who is in control and has authority over another. To say that Jesus is Lord, is saying that you have surrender all (or some) areas of your life to His authority. You have surrendered or yielded up your right to be in charge over that area of your life. Surrendering, for most of us, is a process. It requires many trips back to the cross to let go of things as God brings them to light in our lives.
What type of things might we need to surrender? Our money, our control over our spouse or children, our time, our dreams, our expectations, our body image, our status as married or single, our rights to earthly gain, our desires, the hurts of our past, our personality, our pride, our conversation, etc…. The good news is that as we let go and let God take over each of these areas, He has a plan and it is good. The letting go is the hard part. It is the circumcision of the heart. It is surgery, the prying of our hands off of that which we want to hold onto. Once we recognize the area that God tells us that we must let go of, then we must trust at a very deep level, that God is Who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. We have to trust that He loves us and will give us the best. Boy! This is hard! But oh, the relief and joy when we don’t have to carry those burdens and responsibilities any more!
I began to surrender my life to Jesus as Lord when I became a Christian, but I didn’t have a clue what that really meant. There are different times in my life when I look back and see that God called me to let go of different things. Letting go of my right to correct and control my husband was one of the first! Then as each child came along, I had to give them up to God to form them in His image uniquely for Him. This included a back brace for one, broken relationships for some, rebellion for another. But God was in control, not me. Sure, I stayed on my knees for each one of them, but the responsibility for them was God’s. I had to let go of anger and forgive. This took extra counseling as I was too hurt in some areas to do this myself. I had to give up praying for a healing of my very broken back (spina bifida).
What did I get in return? Freedom! Hope! Joy! Rest! God has worked in my life and my husband’s life and we have an amazing relationship. My kids are the joy of my life as they and their wives are living out their dreams and lives before God. The past no longer has a hold on me and I am free to move forward knowing that god loves me just because I am His! And, even though there is pain every single day, god gives me the grace to move through life praising Him and He is right beside me every step of the way!