Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found In appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!
We have a very dear friend who is a delight and an inspiration to be with. Although a casual observer in a supermarket might see a ‘little old man’, who struggles a bit with mobility, and is clearly shopping ‘just for one’, the reality is that this is a mighty man of God who has walked with Jesus through thick and thin for more decades than I have been alive.
As we talked the other day, rich and deep, amidst much fun and laughter, he shared how his journey with Jesus over the past few days had led him to the challenging question, “Will I yield?”
I remember when I first came to Jesus. I had such an awareness that, if Christ had saved me, then I was no longer my own. I belonged now to Him. My life and my days were His. They still are.
I have been so challenged by my friend to really live as if every bit of my life is God’s, no division between my ‘church bit’ and the rest of my week, or my ‘holy bit’ and the secret places of my deepest heart and thoughts. I felt afresh, the ache of knowing that life in all its fullness (John 10:10) really does mean a life completely surrendered to Him. I heard afresh the call to a life that mirrors Christ’s.
When I think about Jesus, I see such a journey of yielding, not because He was in any way weak, but because He was strongly dependent upon and obedient to The Father (Philippians 2:5-8). If we consider Jesus’ life, we see this from the very beginning when He didn’t come to a kingly palace but was born amongst the animals to a teenage girl in precarious circumstances. He grew up as a refugee child, with very little to ‘show off’ about. He was vulnerable to the people around him and, ultimately, He was killed. Indeed, in Jesus, God made Himself vulnerable: He undressed, and He suffered before, ultimately, He was raised to glory.
But, through it all, we see how Jesus was actually living completely surrendered to the Father. He gave up everything to come and serve, rather than be served. He lived such a life of humility and servant-heartedness. But always and only in obedience to The Father.
So, I ponder, where do we look for affirmation and approval? Where do we find peace and fulfilment? The answer I arrive at, time and again, is that we were made by and for God and, therefore, only in Him can we truly find peace and life. And so … will we yield?
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