In Christ—an Indeed Freedom

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This being in Christ seems to some to be in bondage—you are not in yourself, and you are not in the world if you are in Christ. This is our basic fear—the fear of losing our freedom. Surrender means a surrender of our freedom.

I spoke to a very influential group in Washington, made up of diplomats, several generals, and the secretary for defense. I spoke on surrender as the key to the Christian faith. The secretary for defense arose at the close and said: “I appreciated everything the speaker said, but I inwardly balked at that word ‘surrender.’ I deal with a group of people among whom the word would not be very popular or acceptable.” I assured him that we surrender to God, but we don’t surrender to anything else. Low at His feet we stand straight before everything else. Moreover, His will is our freedom. Bound to Him we walk the earth free. When we are most His we are most our own. “That changes the picture,” he replied thoughtfully.

Many in our churches have a wrong mental picture of what surrender to Christ means. A psychiatrist, brought up in a straitlaced missionary home where pigtails and long black stockings were signs of conformity and piety, reacted against it and was afraid of the power of Christ in a mental institution where people were in desperate bondage to themselves. She confused being in Christ with being in a system. Jesus was crucified because He wouldn’t conform to a system. He said, “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). In Christ, there is an “indeed” freedom.

THE PRAYER

O my Lord and Savior, Thou dost bind me to Thy heart and set me free at the same moment—free to love, to live, to grow, to enjoy with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I open my arms to Thy bondage, for my heart wants freedom. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY

If I don’t surrender to God, I will surrender to things.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. It is written in the scriptures that we are all slaves to something or someone, either to sin and the ways of this fallen world or to Christ the king and his kingdom of light. I choose Jesus.

  2. Self-protection
    Hardens our heart
    And entangles us
    In self-bondage.
    Self-surrender
    To the living God
    Makes our heart tender
    And sets us free
    To joyfully hear
    And obey Jesus.

    A heart of stone
    Is a heavy load
    To try to carry
    Along life’s road.
    Hiding behind
    Our heart’s hardness
    It’s easy to
    Block out God’s light
    And live in inner darkness.
    We need to continually
    Surrender our heart
    And let the risen Jesus
    Shine brightly inside
    So we can reflect His glory
    Like a broken geode
    That sparkles
    In God’s tender sunlight.

    Hard hearts
    Look to systems,
    Forms and formulas.
    Tender hearts turn
    To “Christ in you,
    The hope of glory.”

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