24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? — Matthew 16:24-26
There is no special formula to be used by God. He loves each of us and has a plan for everyone. But it takes full surrender to go forth for the Kingdom. We are in a time in our world where this is more necessary than ever. We can’t just say we surrender, we have to mean it and walk in it even when nobody is looking. Surrender means to cease resistance and submit to an opponent’s authority. Ironically, this is the opposite of what the flesh wants to do. Our flesh is full of pride, stubbornness, fear, self-righteousness, and hardened hearts. Jesus isn’t our opponent though, He is our first love. He is everything we need and more. He is the one person who will never leave us nor forsake us. Submitting to Jesus is always the missing piece in our lives.
In James 4:7 it says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We love to preach the second part that says to resist the devil and he will flee from us. But do we mention the first part of this verse? Notice it says to submit to God and THEN when you resist the devil, he will have to flee. I’ve noticed humans (myself included) love to pick out verses, whilst leaving out the contingencies that they accompany. We need to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, submit to the call of Jesus on our lives, and then we can command the devil to leave. We need God’s covering if we are going to successfully bring forth the Gospel.
The Lord is calling us to Holiness, full surrender, and obedience. He seems to be convicting us of things that wouldn’t previously bother us. In 1 Corinthians 10:23, Paul talks about how all things are permissible, but not all things help our walk with the Lord. If the Lord is pointing out a certain show or type of movie you watch, pay attention, and then stop watching it. It isn’t easy to deny our flesh and pick up our cross; if it was, everyone would be successfully doing it. This is why the Lord says the gate to Life is narrow and few will find it. Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride who has fully surrendered their life to Him.
The thing about surrender is that in the world we look at it as a thing of defeat, but with Jesus it’s the contrary. When we surrender to the Lord’s commands and instructions, we are going to be more joyful and full of peace than we could have been in this world. If we are obedient and reside in the secret place, we have the Lord’s covering and protection. We can stand on His promises that cannot return void. We can hold tight to every promise in His word and expect Him to bring it to completeness. Would you rather deny your flesh on this Earth in order to gain everything the Lord has for us in eternity? It’s only difficult for a season, but the reward on the other side is better than we can ever imagine.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him — 1 Corinthians 2:9
Hannah Smith, author of the Moving Mountains blog, is a woman who feels she has experienced a lot of life in her 30 years.
At 19 years old, Hannah joined the Army. After moving around the country, getting a divorce and losing what seemed like everything, she landed back where God wanted her in Ohio, even though she fought the whole way. She is now in charge of the prayer team at her church and seeks the Lord with all she’s got.
Hannah is married and a RN, but works as a stay-at-home mom to her daughter, Isabella, and her son, Grayson.
She loves to hike, travel, drink coffee, and talk about Jesus. Hannah also has a heart to create a home and life in which she can be a safe place for the hurting and the broken.
To her readers, Hannah says, “I believe that God set every single one of you reading this apart, for such a time as this. It is my hope and prayer that God would use the words I say to change your life in a way you and I never thought possible!”