Thursday, 3 March 2016

Intentional Surrender

Surrender has very negative connotations. For folks like me who love looking into history and especially military history, surrender suggests loosing, being weaker or somehow being less than others.

Intentional is a little simpler and easier to go with, something that we do with consideration or intent, something we decide rather than getting into it accidentally or in some way fall into.

Put the two together and it makes a strong and yet difficult phrase. "Intentional surrender."

In the context of the Christian faith, Jesus gave us the extreme example of this. Choosing to put aside his status ...
Php 2:6-7  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Intentional surrender to the task in front of him, led Jesus to follow God's plan for his life, his ministry and ultimately to his death on the cross. As we approach Easter, it is worth reflecting a little on what that says to us about our attitudes, our ways of life and that phrase "Intentional Surrender".

Who or what do we live for? What is important to us? How do we handle being part of a church, if we are? How easily do we accept the leadership of others, even others who seem to us to be the wrong people by our judgement? What if you are a high powered executive or someone who runs their own business? What if your perceived spiritual or leadership experience in church life appears to be extensive? How well do you take being led by someone without your apparent experience?

God's ways are often hard for us to understand,

1Co 1:27  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

We need to be reminded that God does not see things our way and we need that reminder as we consider Intentional surrender to his will, In my understanding it means Intentional surrender to those we are in fellowship with in our churches, Intentional surrender to those God gives responsibility to. It is in our weakness that we best recognise our need for God.

Christ did not surrender because he was weak, he surrendered to the cross because he was strong and made an amazing choice, for each of us, to die in our place. Intentional surrender requires strength on our part, its not about giving up, its about intentionally surrendering to God's will and plan and then actively giving it all we have to support, encourage and lend our skills and abilities to those God has called to lead or organise his people.

If there were more intentional surrender in churches, there would, in my opinion, be a lot fewer church problems with control, leadership, splits over control and our churches would be far more harmonious places, living out God's will for us, together.

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