That is the resurrection life, you have to die to get it. You have to die to enter there, we die to our sin, we die to ourselves, we die to the opinions of man. And we die to the old world, we die to fear of spooks and demons and devils, and prove the truth of the text. Greater is He that is in you, Then he that is in the world.
We read the stories of Jesus—his joy, his resolute peace through uncertainty, his unanxious presence, his relaxed manner and how in the moment he was—and think, I want that life. We hear his open invite to “life…to the full” and think, Sign me up. We hear about his easy yoke and soul-deep rest and think, Gosh, yes, heck yes. I need that. But then we’re not willing to adopt his lifestyle. But in Jesus’ case it is worth the cost. In fact, you get back far more than you give up. There’s a cross, yes, a death, but it’s followed by an empty tomb, a new portal to life. Because in the way of Jesus, death is always followed by resurrection.
Jesus’ comment about how serious it is to cause a child to stumble reveals the jealous, protective love of the Father for His lost, orphaned children—which includes all of us. Jesus went to the Cross to avenge the stolen innocence and broken trust we all inherited after the Fall. When He declared that we all had to be “born again,” He was saying, “We’re going to start this trust thing over again. I’m placing you in the Father’s arms, where you are going to experience unconditional love, acceptance, and care. He is going to meet your needs when you cry out to Him—especially your need to be loved. You’re going to learn how to trust again. And you’re going to be able to build relationships with Me and one another, relationships where your heart will be satisfied.”
Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.
Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will really be yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
Perfect consecration is a putting off self and a putting on Christ; a giving up your own will in all things and receiving the will of Jesus instead. This may seem well-nigh impossible and very disagreeable to your unsanctified heart; but if you mean business for eternity, and will intelligently and unflinchingly look at this strait gate through which so few enter, and tell the Lord that you want to go through that way, though it cost you your life, the Holy Spirit will soon show you that it is not only possible, but easy and delightful thus to yield yourself to God.
I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. … When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. … Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world.
Total surrender will bring about a depth of peace and relationship with God we can’t get any other way. It all stems from living out Deuteronomy 6:5, loving God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Nothing in life is certain. Circumstances roll in and out like the ocean’s tide. And the unknown can sometimes seem so frightening. We can’t stop or control things that roll our way any more than we can stop the water’s edge. But we can make the minute-by-minute choice to let our souls rest in God… We don’t have to understand; we just have to trust.