A devotional thought from Joey Jernigan for “The Slain Lamb and Our Washed Robes”
Read: Luke 22:39-42
Wouldn’t it be nice to know everything? So much of our lives seems like guesswork, and there are times when some of us look to the sky and think to ourselves, “If I was God I would (fill-in-the-blank).” Even though we might not verbalize this thought, we presume that our way would really be the best way. If God would just get in line with us, then everything would be so much better. Or there may have been times when you were faced with tough and painful decisions and thought that God would never ask you to do that.
The disciples had this mentality when they heard Jesus talk about the suffering He would endure. They surely must have thought God would never allow Jesus to be arrested, much less put to death. It didn’t fit their grid for how God worked. Enter Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. There He prayed fervently for God to take away the cup of suffering that He knew was coming. If there was any other way for salvation to be accomplished, then He wanted that alternative. Yet in that moment He set an example for us to follow. He did what Adam and Eve failed to do in the garden, and what humanity has failed to do ever since. He surrendered. He was essentially saying, “Whatever You want, Father, let’s do that.”
Worship requires surrender. Instead of surrender, we want a God that we can control, understand, or manipulate, and the God of creation doesn’t fit this framework. However, if we would grasp what Jesus modeled in Gethsemane, then we would be free to worship. Surrender is laying down personal ideas and desires and giving yourself over to Him. It is this humility that makes worship possible, and it is in surrender that we find a joy and peace that transcend circumstances we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. While the freedom that comes in surrender may not make life easier, more comfortable, or pain-free, it will allow us to experience deeper communion with God as we learn to lean into Him when our toughest times come.
Pause and Reflect:
• Why do humans struggle to surrender to God?
• What do you need to surrender to God’s will?
• How can surrender lead to greater reliance upon God?