Surrender to God (1)

Yet not what I will, but what you will.’

Mark 14:36 NIV

The 14th century theologian, John Calvin, defined surrender in these words: ‘To have no other will, no other wisdom, and to follow the Lord wherever He leads.’ To give our whole life over to God means we have to surrender control to Him. But most of us like to feel like we’re in control, especially of our own lives. We like bringing Jesus along in the passenger seat in case we need Him, but we struggle to let Him drive. Our prayers often sound like: ‘Lord, I have a health problem, and I need Your help. Something hard is going on at work, and I’d like it to be different. I’m feeling anxious, and I want You to give me peace of mind. I’m feeling sad, and I’d like a little hope.’ When Jesus was praying in the garden just before He was arrested, He showed us how to surrender to God. ‘The Bible says: Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will”’ (Mark 14:35-36 NIV). Even though Jesus knew that following God’s way meant He had to die on the cross, He was still able to surrender to His Father. But this wasn’t easy. In Luke’s account, it says: ‘And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground’ (Luke 22:44 NIV). Jesus knew the struggle that surrendering can be. He understands when we struggle to let Him drive. But we can trust Him to take control of our lives and lead us on.

What now?

Read through the account of Jesus praying in the garden in Mark 14. Thank Him for the surrender He made.

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