Growing up one of my favorite cartoons involved a very determined coyote and a clever roadrunner. Every episode was predictable – the coyote was out to catch the roadrunner. Pretty simple right? He tried every trick in the book, yet at the end of the show, he always pulled out his raggedy white flag and waved it in defeat to the pesky roadrunner.
Waving a white flag has been an international gesture for hundreds and hundreds of years. It has been used by the military around the world in times of battle to signal and communicate one thing – YOU WIN, WE SURRENDER!
In Romans 12:1 (The Message) Paul writes, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
When I think about the word “surrender”, I often think about how it relates to our worship to God. The bottom line is that “surrender” and true “worship” cannot exist without each other. In the book, “Worship” by Joel Engle and Jarrod Jones, Engle writes one the best definitions of worship I have ever read. “Worship truly is falling down and abandoning all of our desires and commitments before Christ. It is a lifestyle of daily pouring out our heart’s devotions and our live’s pursuits.” Worship is about living an abandoned life.
Luke 9:23-24 goes on to say, “And he (Jesus) said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Following Christ comes with a price. It involves emptying ourselves every day of our desires to be filled with things of Christ. I can imagine the look on your face right now. You are probably saying, “That seems so extreme!” Maybe so, but is trading our rights, wants, and selfish ambitions worth it when it comes to the incredible joy of knowing Christ? I love the passage in Philippians 3:8 that says “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” For some like my friends Mark and Amy, it involves giving up all our earthly possessions to go overseas to share the hope and love of Christ with those who do not know Him. For everyone, it means denying anything of who we are to follow, love, worship, and center our lives on Jesus, no matter the cost.
Worship is so much more than singing on Sundays or Wednesdays. It is more than a weekly gathering in a building. It’s definitely not about checking off a to-do list of religious exercises. True worship is about waving the white flag of surrender to Him in VICTORY of gaining Christ, living a life that is “holy and pleasing” to God that reflects Him in all that we say and do.
1) What are some areas that you struggle with surrendering to God?
2) What is holding you back from giving up everything?
3) What does Paul mean in Romans 12 when he says we are to place our lives as an offering?
Please leave us comments below on these questions.