Okay, it would seem since it has been quite some time since I began this series that I must have gotten lost somewhere in the writing process.
Maybe part of the delay is that part three is the hardest part for me to actually do. I can handle the listening and the observing because I’m still involved in seeking out the solution. Part three in dealing with being lost is that we must surrender. There, I’ve said the word: Surrender! Being lost causes us to surrender our will and desires to one who knows where we are and how to get to where we need to be — that is if we want to be “un-lost”.
I generally have a good sense of direction and usually can find my way around new places rather easily. Even when I am out traveling and end up in unfamiliar territory, I often just keep driving, figuring eventually something will look familiar or I will see a needed road sign or somehow discover where I am at so that I can begin to make my way back to where I want to be. At times I am so confident of my ability to figure out where I am at that I end up in unknown territory, way out of the way, lost, before I finally surrender and pull out a map to help me discover where I’m at and how to get to where I am going.
While that is hard enough for me to do, the more difficult times are when the map isn’t available, or doesn’t help, and I am forced to completely surrender and tell someone that I have no idea where I am at and need their help to get to where I am going. You would think that after enough practice having to do that, it would be easier — especially when it becomes apparent how much time and energy could be saved simply by surrendering and asking directions much earlier.
Many times, people remain in their lost state in relationship with God because they refuse to surrender. There is no way to make it to a vibrant and growing relationship with God except to surrender to the lordship of His Son, Jesus. He put it this way in Matthew 16:24-25:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses (surrenders) his life for me will find it.”
Then in John 14, Jesus comforts His followers with the news that He is leaving to prepare a place for them and that He will return for them. He assures them that He will be back to take them to the place that He is going to and that they know how to get there. Thomas is not so sure and responds, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” The answer from Jesus in John 14:6-7 is classic and points out that the disciples did know the way to where Jesus was going — that way is Jesus Himself!
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Wow! When I am lost, I must surrender to the only way out. This cuts straight across the grain of modern thinking — particularly modern religious thinking. Rather than surrender to God when lost, people have a tendency to “drive around”, thinking that somehow they will find another way to get to where they want to be. Recent surveys show that many “religious leaders” profess that there may be multiple ways to get to heaven and varied paths to God. It makes me wonder what they do with the Bible, especially the words of Jesus above from John 14:6. Jesus could have said, “I am a way” or “I am the primary way” or even “I know the way” but instead He said, “I am the way”! Just in case we miss the exclusive nature of His statement, He emphasizes it with the next sentence, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
When a person is in a lost condition, separated from God, surrender is absolutely necessary. There is only one way to go from lost to relationship with God and only Jesus can get us there. It is time for each of us to really examine our life and commit it to being a life surrendered fully to Jesus.