Christmas Surrender

As I’m thinking about Christmas I want to share some thoughts from other great minds that have been bouncing around in my head and heart. Here’s something from Pastor Timothy Keller:

“People sometimes say to me, “I would like to be a Christian, but will I have to do this? Will I have to give up doing that? Will I have to pray, give up sex, quit my job, change my views?” Certainly, questions lik6ad63-dem-white-flage this have some legitimacy, because you do need to consider what it will cost you to become a Christian. Jesus himself tells us to “count the cost” of discipleship (Luke 14: 25–33). But I’m afraid many people want to negotiate the cost rather than count it. That is, they are willing to give up things, but they won’t give up the right to determine what those things are. They want to be in a position to do ongoing cost-benefit analyses on various kinds of behavior, which keeps them in the driver’s seat, on the throne of their life, as it were. I once heard a Bible teacher put it like this—“ When it comes to following Jesus, the hardest thing to give is in.”

When God comes to Abraham, he says, “Abraham, get out of your homeland, out of the land of the Chaldees, and follow me.” Abraham says, “Where am I going?” And God essentially says, “I’ll show you later.” God wants Abraham to give up the right to determine for himself the best way for him to live. In some fashion you have to say what Mary said when you give your life to Christ. Your heart must say something like this: “I do not know all that you are going to ask of me, Lord. But I’ll do whatever you say in your Word, whether I like it or not, and I’ll accept patiently whatever you send into my life, whether I understand it or not.” In other words, you simply cannot know ahead of time all the things God will be asking you to do. For example, most know that the Bible says we should not lie or cheat. But we may come to a place where telling the truth will cost us our career and telling a lie will save it. And thus following Christ will cost you dearly. So when we get to a spot like that, we must already have had it settled what we will do. You can’t know the cost of following Jesus ahead of time. So you must simply say, “I do not know all that is going to come, but one thing I know—I give up the right to decide whether or not I will do God’s will. I will do it unconditionally.””

– Timothy Keller Encounters With Jesus

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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