Understanding John 3: Surrendering 100% Self


“There was a man named Nicodemus…After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God…’ ‘I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit...’ ‘…We tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?  No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.’” John 3:1-13


Being raised in a Christian family, I was always taught about the significance of baptisms. My Sunday school teachers, pastors, and even family members would tell me that it’s a personal choice you make when you’re ready to surrender your life to Jesus and His plan for you. As an adolescent and even a teenager, I understood the words they were saying but didn’t understand the implications of what they actually meant until later in life.

Throughout high school and college, I focused on two things: school and volleyball. While I remained a Christian and had a belief in God, my relationship with Him was plainly surface level. My identity had become self-centered, comprised of the things only I cared about. Whenever I would lose a game or miss questions on a test, I would put more focus on my individual effort. I thought I could personally control any outcome in my life from scoring a point to acing a class. I perceived that I had my life under control for the most part. But that all ended when I hit a brick wall with my father’s cancer diagnosis. I realized that I could no longer count on myself to change or help the situation. Towards the end of his battle, I couldn’t even rely on his doctors or the medicine. I felt lost and helpless.

I broke down and realized how out-of-touch I was with God and an understanding of what it meant to surrender my life to Him. After my Dad passed, I realized I needed to make that reconnection with Him, but this time, with complete capitulation of any earthy or personal control I grasped. I finally learned that the act of baptism is more than just being dunked underwater in front of an audience. It’s about letting go of your control, your inclinations, and personal motivations and giving those to God so that you are a vessel for His greater plan.

Take it from someone who once thought she had everything organized and controlled; the truth is that any plan I could ever come up with suffered in comparison to the plan that Jesus had and will have for me.

  1. Are you in control of your life or is God?
  2. Do you believe that God has a greater plan for your life? Explain.

Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Peter 3:21


“Dear Lord, I thank You for what You did for me on the cross. Without Your sacrifice, I would never know the true love, comfort, and joy of eternal life with You. Help me to remember that You are in control of my life and to always know that Your plan is good. Amen.”

Bible Reference: 
John 3:1-13
Galatians 3:26-27
1 Peter 3:21