I finished the book/study 'Surrender' by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I was leading the class on Saturday evenings. Good way to spend Saturday evenings: church, bible study, Hoosier Man has dinner prepared when I get home with the boys (he goes to church with me but doesn't have a study to go to Saturday evening so comes home and fixes dinner so we're not tempted to go out to eat).
The chapter in the book that hit me the most was 'A Hole in the Ear: Bondslaves Forever. DeMoss wrote about a Christian by the name of Josef Tson who studied American evangelicalism and the spiritual pardigm shifts that have taken place. The first shift took place in the beginning of the twentieth century when emphasis on pursuing holiness shifted to a desire for uplifting, ecstatic experiences. The second shift took place in the 50's and 60's when the call to full surrender became the call to 'commitment'. Tson explained the difference: 'Christian surrender means that a person lifts his or her hands and says to God, 'Here I am; I surrender; You take over; I belong to You; You dispose of me!' But this is America, the country of the independent people! This is the place of 'Nobody should command me!...I belong only to myself!" A call to surrender, and even more, to full surrender, simply doesn't go well with such people. Therefore, the preachers, who wanted 'results' and wanted them in big numbers, felt (and gave in to) the temptation to soften the demand, to reduce the cost, to make the message more palatable. And they hit the word commitment. Commitment means "I engage myself to do something for you, or even lighter, I promise to do something for you,' but I remain myself and I may keep my promise or not.'
Another shift came quietly, says Tson, "Translators did not like the term 'bondslave' to be applied to people. Who wants to be somebody else's slave? Therefore, they replaced it with 'servant.' Again, a reflection and demand of the independent spirit! In the Greek, 'slave' is doulos; 'servent' is diakonos. In the Greek bible one never, never diakoneo to God - one never serves God; one only douleo to God - that is, one slaves to God. Jesus makes it clear in Luke 17:10 that however much you do for God, at the end of the day you say 'I am an unworthy slave; I only did what is the duty of the slave to do!' But all that is gone now, by the replacement of the word 'slave' with the word 'servant'." Slavery is a concept we resist, yet absolutely appropriate is we are to choose to be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pursuing Holiness vs. an uplifting, ecstatic experience; Full Surrender to Jesus vs. Commitment to Jesus; Bondslave of Jesus Christ vs. Servant of Jesus Christ.
Surrendering to Christ doesn't mean I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior and I'm assured eternal life - and I'm done. Surrendering to Christ is for the whole of my life. It is daily. It is hourly, It is moment by moment. Choosing. To Surrender.