A few weeks ago on two separate occasions I heard some very impacting words that have continued my thinking of this theme of surrender. One was a quote in a sermon preached by Andy Luchies - which you can listen to Here. One is a line from a song titled Dawn to Dusk written by All Sons and Daughters - which you can preview Here. The paraphrased quote and song lyric go as follows:
The pain of discipline is more bearable than the pain of regret.
Tomorrow's freedom is today's surrender.
Both of these hit a nerve with me, and really they feel like two sides of the same coin. I can choose to listen to God, to surrender my selfishness and pride, let go of my own will, submit to and endure His discipline to ultimately find freedom. Or I can shut out God's voice, stay in my selfishness and pride, hold on to what I want, choosing momentary pleasure but ultimately feel the pain of regret.
This also seems like it can apply to a vast array of life's struggles.
If I seek financial freedom, today I have to surrender impulse purchases and be disciplined to save.
If I want physical health and freedom, today I need to endure by disciplining my eating habits and enduring through exercise.
If I want freedom from sin, I need to surrender to God in the moment of weakness and let the Holy Spirit work in my heart, mold me day by day to be more like Christ.
And if I want to live in freedom, to live a life wholly devoted to Jesus, it will often take surrender and experiencing that pain of God's discipline, listening to Him and walking with Him.
One thing I love about these quotes is that they acknowledge that surrender is painful. Discipline, in both senses of the word (practicing a daily discipline, and enduring God's loving correction), is not easy, but often painful. But I have to agree that enduring that pain is infinitely better than the pain of regret, the pain of not being free.