Absolute Surrender

(Posted on June 28th, 2014)

After I surrendered my life to God, an imminent transformation occurred in my life. It was so significant that it needed to be accompanied with fireworks, confetti, balloons and even sparkling juice. But none of those celebratory items were actually involved during this phenomenon.
In fact, this transformation came in the most gradual way possible. However, I must clarify that it only took place because I was being intentional about this whole process. You must be intentional about wanting this to happen. Before I go on further let me elaborate my point...

When we accepted Christ into our lives, he changes our lives. But that change doesn't happen on it's own. It happens the moment you let it. 

But how can I let this "change" happen? 

In Luke 9:23 it reads, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me." To break it down even more, let's take a look at what it means to "take up our cross" and how exactly we can do that.
Despite what it means today, the cross in the 1st century signified death. When Jesus said 'take up your cross" it meant to self denial, dying to self, absolute surrender, etc (All expressions are acceptable). 

What does it mean to "die to self"?

 Romans  8:4 says "...do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." 
Before I became a devoted follower of Christ, I lived a life for myself. In other words, I lived according to the flesh. I can recall being at an unsteady rhythm of unrest, discontentment, and self importance. It led to an unfulfilling lifestyle, because living for myself was a difficult and a tiring thing to do. Especially because I thought I was living for Christ, but something was deeply missing. Living for Christ means to give up your own way of living life, and living the way God would want you to. He would want us to shed the fleshy parts in a replacement for the Spirit. This is where the phrase "die to self" or "dying to self" takes place. If we take a look at Luke it mentions the word "daily", so ideally this occurrence is to happen every single day. 

Now how exactly can I "die to self" or "take up my cross"?

Don't assume an immediate alteration in your life, that would imply being a Christian is an easy thing to be (It's certainly not easy, but it is easier than the life you were living). Your past lifestyle saturated with sinful behaviors/thoughts/etc must all be put away. If your past lifestyle is still your present, I believe you have not made any effort to become a true follower of Christ. You cannot get rid of your sinful ways by focusing on the sin itself, but rather focusing on Jesus. Once you focus on him and obey his word, a new way of living inevitably follows. That is if you are truly focusing on him with all your heart, mind, and soul. And as you are, you are trying to become more like Christ and...


This means learning to no longer worry about leaving a good impression on people....
This means learning to not be consumed over what people think about you...
This means learning to recognize your blessings although you don't have everything you need/want...
This means learning to love the unlovable...
This means letting any hint of pride die....
This means learning to not become defensive when someone hurts your ego...
This means learning to leave your worries onto God....
This means learning to become slow to anger.....
This means learning to have faith in times of trouble....
This means letting God measure our worth and not the people of this earth...
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. 

That's why this whole transformation is a process, it takes time and persistent training of the spirit. It's daily because we are to constantly let our circumstances mold us to be more like Christ. If you fear that you will lose your own personality in the process, fear not because the exact opposite happens. 
As C. S. Lewis once said, "The more we get what we now call "ourselves" out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become."
The moment you allow yourself to reunite with the creator of your own personality, is the very moment you become the realest of you you were created to be. 

Photo credit: OnceWed