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Surrender Is Different Than Sacrifice

We can’t muster up that kind of attitude toward God as long as we’re thinking of keeping him off our back. Surrender, in other words, doesn’t come from religion, but from gospel. It’s the response of a grateful heart. We remember that God gave up everything for us, and without him we have nothing. For the God who offered up his very life for me, I would gladly give it all.

Surrender means coming to God with open hands and an open heart. What happens next is between you and the Holy Spirit. He may ask you to leave your comfortable life and move it overseas. He may ask you to end a sinful relationship. He may ask you to start investing your money (and not just your talk) in the kingdom.

The question is not, “What does surrender look like for someone else?” That may inspire you, or it may distract you. But it’s not the key question. Don’t look to others to set a benchmark of obedience when God is asking you to come to him in full surrender. Come to God, open your hands, and ask the uncomfortable and live-giving question: “Am I fully surrendered?”  

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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.