This post was written by Kasey Clark. Kasey is a pastoral assistant at New Circle Church.

“Go in peace.” These consoling words were spoken by Jesus after a sinful woman wept on and washed his feet. How weird was this situation? A woman walked up behind Jesus eating dinner, profusely sobbed onto his feet, then proceeded to mop His feet with her hair. Pastor Barry interprets this action as being “her declaration that she was the lowest of the low.” The woman waved her white flag of surrender, and literally bowed down to worship Jesus. This story of the sinful woman who met Jesus that day is a powerful example to us of how we must lay down our lives in response to Christ’s forgiveness. We must respond to Christ in surrender, humility, and joy. We will be cherishing these responses as we reflect on the beautiful old song, “All to Jesus I Surrender.”

SURRENDER

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Have you surrendered all to Jesus? Have you freely given everything to him? One thing we learn as we read Scripture and experience life is there is a war in our hearts. We are born with hearts that are actively at war with God. We are born as part of the army of darkness, and so we wage war on the light of God at every turn. In our rebellion against the light of God, He actively makes an effort to release us from our rebellion. Like Pastor Barry says, “If you think to yourself, ‘I came to Jesus.’ Jesus says in response, ‘No, I came to you!’” How He does this is by shining the light of the gospel into our hearts. Regarding this, Paul explains,

“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed…For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 3:16, 4:6)

When the light of the gospel shines in our hearts and reveals to us the glory of God, the waving of our white flag is the only right response. Wave the white flag today. Give up your war on God today, and turn to a lifestyle of loving and trusting Him as the song compels us. This leads us to consider how we surrender our all to God.

HUMILITY

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

The humility displayed by the sinful-turned-saint woman is breathtaking. This woman acted in pure humility when she took a jar of ointment and anointed Jesus’ feet. Along with this, she wiped down His feet with her hair. Then on top of all that, she kissed His stinky, sweaty feet.

Pastor Barry shows not only how her action would have been seen as the ultimate sign of humility, but also the contrast to how proud Jesus’ host was. The impudence of this Pharisee to invite a well-known Rabbi and a sought-after Prophet who had just recently raised a man from the dead to your home and not wash his feet was rude. He finishes his display of pride by questioning in his heart the actions of the Son of God, which is a slap to the face of God himself. This “religious leader” did not desire to surrender all and humbly bow to his God. He decided to clench tightly to his worldly pleasures and reject Jesus.

What will you do? Will you wave your white flag,  humbly bow your knees, forsake all worldly pleasure, and cling to Jesus? If you do, there are innumerable joys that await you at His feet.

JOY

All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to His name!

After the humble surrender of your heart to Christ, His goal is to glorify God by satisfying you. He satisfies you by lighting the wick of your soul with His eternal flame so that you experience a spectacular joy in God. This is the fire that blazed in King David’s heart when he said,

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him.”
(Ps. 34:8)

It was no mistake then that when David turned his back on God to his worldly pleasures, the fire of his heart was faintly flickering. During this dark time, he pleaded with God,

“Return to me the joy of my salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
(Ps. 51:12)

The desire of David’s heart was joy. The aftermath of humbly surrendering your heart to God is joy. The aftermath of this sinful woman’s waving of her white flag is the comforting benediction of peace. The aftermath of your surrendering all to God is the forgiveness of your sins, all-satisfying joy in God, and a peaceful reconciliation with God. Please, do not pridefully shrug at this Jesus. The angels proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Lk 2:14) Jesus’ mission was to bring peace to the enemies of God. So don’t shrug. Surrender, humble yourself, and pursue the only fountain of all-satisfying joy there is. It’s not far from you. It’s found in the face of Jesus. Look at His face. There, you will find peace. There, He will whisper in your ear, “Go in peace.”