What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of the “word of the cross”? The first word that comes to my mind is surrender. Surrender encompasses the whole of the scriptures. To surrender means to to yield to the power, control, or possession of another; to give (oneself) up into the power of another; or to give (oneself) over to something.
The daily devotion that popped up on my phone this morning gives us a great word picture of this verse. Proverbs 15:31-32, “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”
Proverbs 15:33 is a verse that we quote a lot and it gives us great insight as to why the world thinks that scripture is “foolishness”. “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.” (NASB)
What is the opposite of humility? Here’s a list from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: arrogance, assumption, conceit, egotism, haughtiness, huffiness, loftiness, lordliness, pomposity, pompousness, presumptuousness, pretense (or pretence), pretension, pretentiousness, pride, pridefulness, superiority.
No wonder we see so little of God’s power in His people! Unfortunately these traits are not only in the unsaved, but those who are believers. So, let’s go back to our scripture for today. Is God’s word the power in your life, or does it seem foolish to you? Yes, God gave each of us tremendous gifts, but He didn’t give them to us to misuse them, or to use them apart from Him.
I challenge you today to allow the Spirit to reveal where there is worldliness. Because when any of the above attributes are active in our lives, we will be struggling with something or someone. Peace, God’s peace, cannot reside in our hearts when we are not in surrender to His cross.
Almighty God and Father, this is a hard word for many of us today. Surrender is not a word that even fits into our vocabulary. We associate it with being weak and placing ourselves in a position of being walked all over. But yet, You have eternal perspective and know that it is only through our giving ourselves wholly over to You that You can manifest Your presence through us. We need Your Presence in this world, in our lives! I pray these words of the Apostle Paul over each one reading these words today, “for in Him we lie and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’ Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent,” (Acts 17:28-30) (NASB) Amen!