Give yourselves to God. Surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes – Romans 6:13
Surrender is a word we don’t necessarily like to hear in this generation. It’s the idea of yielding your power to a higher authority, or an image of being defeated. We are taught to never give up, to fight for our rights (these skills are valuable in many instances), but definitely not where the things of God are concerned. Surrendering to God is the heart of worship.
True worship happens when we give God 100% of ourselves. The following three barriers block our total surrender to God:
Fear – Can I trust God? We can’t surrender to God until we trust Him. We can’t trust Him until we know Him better. Fear stands as a big wedge, but according to I John 4:18, perfect love, which is only completed in Christ, drives all our fears out. As we realize this love God has for us, surrendering becomes natural. In John 3:16, we’re told, “For God so loves Oreofe (insert your name), that He gave up His only begotten son, Jesus Christ to die for all my sins. Now, because I believe in Jesus, my soul and spirit will never perish, but have everlasting life.” We have the liberty to take nay scripture we like, and personalize the message to ourselves, because yes, God had you in mind when He wrote that.
Pride – Admitting our limitations: W Tozer said, “The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ” We are humans, created with limitations. When we try to do it all, we want it all. We respond with jealousy, self-pity or envy when we realize that God gave other people some characteristics that He didn’t give us. But He is God, and we will happily succeed in life when we surrender to His will and purpose for our lives.
Confusion – What it means to surrender: Surrendering is best demonstrated in obedience. C.S Lewis observed, “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own. Psalm 37:7 says, “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” As I continue to surrender to God, I find myself giving up total control to Him. This doesn’t mean you don’t fight for what you want, but allow God be the driver of all your efforts. Let go and let God could be such a cliché, but honestly, it’s the most efficient one I know. If you’re waiting on God, don’t worry about timing. He works in His own time, and trusting Him is the only way that gives us peace. Surrendering is not easy. Even Jesus, our only perfect example struggled a little with this. The night before His crucifixion he prayed in Luke 22: 42 – 44, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” When God still intends for us to go through something, despite our petitions to Him, He strengthens us to face that.
We learn in Job 22.21-23 that we need to, “Stop quarreling with God! If you agree with him, You will have peace at last, and things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty and clean up your life, you will be restored.” Nothing is more powerful than the life that is totally surrendered to God!
Eventually, we all surrender to something. It could be to God, your pastor, your boy/girlfriend, money, anger, lust, pride, fear, etc. E. Stanley Jones said, “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.” Surrendering to God should not be our last-stop after we’ve tried, (and failed) at all other things, like it was in my case, but it should be a rational, intelligent act, as when you really weight things, it’s the most sensible thing to do.
Surrendering is also not just a one-time deal. When I present myself to God, I do so as a LIVING sacrifice. That means I have blood in my veins, and I can still sin. Even when we fall, re-surrender. He remains faithful! He cannot deny that characteristic! When we surrender to God, we WILL be tested! But with Him on our side, we can surely overcome the taunts of the enemy.
Food for thought: What area of my life am I holding back from God?