Surrender. When people think of surrender they often imagine the wave of a white flag during battle; the last resort when there is nowhere else to turn. What if I told you the very thing the world deems as utter defeat is actually the very thing that will set us free? It is surrender to God and the renewing of His love that breaks even the tightest chains of sin and darkness. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize this.
I grew up in a culture that told me that if I gave my life to God I would be missing out on so much that the world had to offer. I found myself running from the very thought of giving my heart to Him – after all, how could I trust a God that had allowed so many bad things to happen in my life and the lives of those whom I loved? But the thought of completely abandoning the faith scared me even more than it did to surrender to God because I feared the consequences of my sins. So I decided to have one foot in the door and the other out, truly believing that a partial commitment would give me the peace I longed for. The Bible says in Mark 8:36-37, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Even after this half-hearted commitment, somehow I was still empty and the things that the world told me were supposed to satisfy only left me more spiritually and emotionally hungry. On the other hand, the things that the church told me would give my life purpose seemed powerless; where was the change in those who professed to be followers of this so-called “Savior”?
The same hands that had been pushing Jesus away for so long soon became the hands that desperately reached out for Him. My scarred, fragile heart could no longer resist the healing God had to offer. In humility, I remember falling on my face (quite literally), surrendering my life to Him for the first time. I had never experienced such a relentless, patient, all-consuming love as I did in Jesus and it awakened hope in my heart. Who are we to withhold our love from God? Until we realize our need for the Savior, and learn of His everlasting love for us, we will not be changed, and surrender cannot be the joy it was always intended to be.
Often times we see it as a burden to choose God’s way over our own; how then could it be a joy to surrender to Him? We must first understand that because God loves us so much, His will has our best in mind. A few Bible verses on this topic are Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 37:4. They read:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
“Delight thyself also in the LORD, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
When we hear the voice of God we need to trust Him! There is a peace we can receive in knowing that we are safe in the palm of His hand, come what may. Whether it be surrendering to Him in temptation or choosing what to do with your future, His ways are best. God will not ask us to give anything up that is for our good, only that which is harmful to us. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8). When we try to take matters into our own hands, everything will crumble due to a lack of God’s sound judgment and ways of selflessness.
It comes down to a choice. Will we choose to follow God and everything He asks of us (having the ultimate best in mind for you and others), or will we choose to follow Satan for temporary pleasures that in the end do us so much harm? “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other,” (Matthew 6:24). Choosing Jesus’ way is a daily battle, and we will struggle with our old, fleshly desires. However, we are not alone in this controversy, for Jesus has made provisions for us to be His and His entirely: entire surrender to God.