The Tension Within

by Peter Swann

There is a tension that rests within each of us. It’s a war of priorities, ever ravaging our minds and our souls. It pursues us, and at times consumes us.

The tension comes from competing values. We simultaneously espouse both God’s Kingdom and our own. We are a people dominated by the battle within.

Paul, the leader of the early church, himself expressed that tension. He wondered why he did evil when he claimed to want to do good. Our tension was Paul’s tension. It’s the tension of every follower of Christ.

It’s perhaps for this reason that a careful read of Scripture constantly points to surrender. Jesus talks about it so much we almost wish He’d pick another topic. He pounds surrender into His disciples, constantly calling them toward an absolute release of all things for His glory.

Our challenge today is perhaps compounded by our view of success. It’s all about fame and acclaim for us. The number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, people who come to our funeral… it’s all about fame and acclaim.

Yet a true surrender to the King means He determines our success. Our life’s worth is now in His hands. We no longer dictate it. What’s more, we release Him to make a fool of us if that’s best for Him. We completely lift our hands off of our lives and bow to His every wish.

Yet to do that, we must trust Him. We must know Him, embrace Him, and trust Him. His character and nature must be secure in our minds and our hearts. We surrender because He is who He says He is. And we surrender because we trust who He says He is.

In that surrender is total peace. And joy. And rest. That surrender is like our long-lost home. Until we arrive, we ever live in tension, wanting the glories of Christ in our lives but also wanting our own version of success. It’s time to let that go.

So, for all of us, surrender beckons – complete, full surrender. Without it is tension, with it… the glory of God, and peace.