1 John 1:1-10, Colossians 3:1-3. Romans 6, Hebrews 12:1-2
All to Jesus I surrender; Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken; Take me, Jesus, take me now. All to Jesus I surrender; Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. – Judson W. Van DeVenter
Surrender is an interesting word. It’s saying you are not enough, it’s also declaring with your heart and will that you are not capable. But God IS! Surrender is not like the dramatic end of a war, where one side waves the white flag to the other, thereby making one the victor. Surrender in the Christian life is a daily thing, without surrender there is no true obedience.
Paul told the Church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians, that in surrendering their temporary things for the Kingdom of God, God would bless them. Not because they gave possessions, but because they gave of themselves (surrender) for the cause of Christ and others, because they loved God and others.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 ESV
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
When Jesus came to this earth, He not only took on the appearance of a man, He became as fully a man as man could be (Jesus was the perfect example of a man and of a person obeying God). He was also as fully God as God (therefore He deserves our worship), in fact, He never stopped holding the universe together! While on this earth He experienced what it was like to be hungry, thirsty, tired, and exhausted from the heat of the day (John 4). He could easily have limited His experience of manhood so that He wouldn’t have had to experience the same things we experience, but He didn’t. He was coming to save mankind from their sins (which is huge!) and giving up His humanity would not have been sufficient for salvation (if Jesus didn’t become a man, He would not have been able to suffer in our place). But because He was submitting to the Father’s will, He fully surrendered to what God the Father desired. This not only would bring glory to Himself, but also to glorify God the Father by saving us sinful people who never deserved salvation in the first place!
God calls us to surrender many things in our lives: when He tells us to give up the things of this world… like the things that cause us to sin (wrong friends, music that produces bad thoughts, pornography, gossip, etc) or have too much of a focus in our lives. Whether it’s our money, our time (or waste of it), or our relationships, He’s saying that on the smallest level it all begins with giving up your life for the will or desires of God. This means you go hard to fully follow Him as a learner (i.e. Disciple, one who learns and follows Christ’s example) and bond-servant (i.e. a slave, someone whose entire life was owned by another) of Christ.
The part about surrender that people don’t get is the fact that, in Christ Jesus, you surrender your life from being a slave to self and sin, and submit to being a child of God. Your owner changes; who controls your life changes. There is no half way street; the color grey is not mostly white, it still has darkness in it, making it darkness, not light. A professing Christian, who says they repented while never changing their lifestyle to fit that repentance, proves that he or she still loves sin more than Christ (which leads to asking yourself… “Is God really Lord of my life?”).
The point of surrender is not only to find freedom, but also the One who can set you free… Jesus! And by finding the One who frees you, your life is forever written in Him. No going back. No compromises, and if your heart is with Him, you shall not desire to leave the One who cleansed you.
This week, reflect on how surrender has changed your life… or if it really has. If you haven’t surrendered to Christ, then run to Him! What’s stopping you, except a sins temporary pleasure that won’t last forever?