Webster’s Definition of ‘surrender’: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand ; to give up completely or agree to forego especially in favor of another.
I believe this word to be a key to our Christian experience. How does it strike you? It may seem to suggest weakness, but I believe it is part of our pathway to a powerful life as a child of the Most High God. The depth or completeness of our surrender to God determines our ability to fulfill our purpose and destiny in God. When I say our purpose and destiny in God, what comes to mind? Our calling, our ministry or what? If this is what you are thinking then I believe you have the cart before the horse so to speak. If you don’t realize that the horse is supposed to be in front of the cart leading the way, it would be very difficult to reach your destination. To be successful, we must keep first things first. As a child of God our very first destination, our very first purpose in life should be to become intimate with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Out of that developing relationship, our calling will be revealed, our ministry birthed and our character strengthened so that we can live our new life representing God in the earth. The transition from living life in the flesh to living our new life in the Spirit is a challenge. Surrender is a major requirement to our success.
Sadly, many of us withhold areas of our life from God’s influence or control. For whatever reason, we don’t trust Him enough to totally release ourselves to Him. We don’t seem to realize that this is self-defeating if we want to fulfill our purpose and destiny in God. The warfare between my priorities, opinions and desires and the way I think life should go compared to what God thinks and does can be intense at times. Some of us haven’t gotten the memo from Isaiah 55:8-9 where God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways My ways says the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Here He warns us of the impending conflict, yet we enter our relationship with Him as if we are expecting peace, love and harmony from the git go! No. The battle between flesh and spirit must be fought until spirit wins. That victory requires flesh to surrender. Discovery or revelation is an essential part of our transition. Father is very competent in revealing the areas of our life that are a hindrance to our success as His child. Then it becomes our responsibility to surrender those areas of our flesh and character to Father so that we can receive His power to help us change. Remember this, change is not change until it’s change. Promising to change is not change. Words are not enough. Repentance is not repentance without change. We must begin with surrender. That includes repentance for all areas of rebellion, self-centeredness, stubbornness, fear, covetousness and any other sin that the Holy Spirit reveals. We must be willing to enter into whatever healing and deliverance process that may be required in order to secure the change necessary. Every time we surrender our way in life we are empowered to live life His way. Every time we surrender our way of thinking to Him, we are empowered to think His way. I believe II Corinthians 5:15 is a cornerstone to build on. It says, “And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.”
Our surrender to Jesus is the only pathway to Father that is available to mankind. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.” Now we can be a stiff necked and stubborn people and make our own path for life, surrendering to our own desires and priorities and suffer the disastrous consequences, or we can surrender to God’s ways and grow in His love, His power, His provision and fulfill His purpose and destiny for each of us. You might call this process, dying to self and living for Him. Our flesh and the devil can use this concept against us if we will allow it. I can take the attitude, ‘I have to give up everything I want and the things I want to do in order to please God!’ But what about me? What about my happiness and goals and desires? That is fear and our self-centered flesh talking. The truth is when Father’s desires become our desires, then our desires become His desires. He doesn’t want to take from us without returning something better. In reality, our heart’s desires are incomplete without Father’s desires for us, just like our ability to love is incomplete without Father’s love working in and through us. And His love as a concept is incomplete without having personal experience with Him.
Surrender is a heart issue. Heart issues are empowered by love in a positive or Godly way or heart issues are empowered in a negative way by lack of love and abuse. The lack, or love hunger, empowers satan to influence our decision-making process and the spiritual conflict results in continuing stress until we learn to surrender and crawl up in Father’s lap and receive His love.
Surrender is one of the most positive things we can do to move our life experience forward in God’s grace. Remember, our ways are not His ways. In our way of thinking surrender might show weakness and that is not good. But in Father’s eyes, our surrender to Him and His ways shows strength and a heart desire to live for Him and not ourselves. When we finally experience Him and learn of His desires for us and combine that with our desires, we become a more complete person. When we combine the natural (our desires) with the supernatural (His desires) we become as the Scriptures say, a new creature in Christ. We no longer live in the flesh, but in the spirit. We live in the natural and the miraculous supernatural. This is what sets us apart from the world and the religious. The pathway is simple. Surrender and receive or rebel and live with the consequences. In my almost 40 years as a Christian, I have lived in both realms. I cannot count the number of times I have surrendered to God’s instruction for my life and then been angry with Him because He didn’t do what I thought He should or shouldn’t do in the situation. How pathetic we prove ourselves to be when we become God’s judge and critic. This exhibition of pride and arrogance on my part would be laughable if it wasn’t so sickening, yet every time Father has confronted me in my sin, I have chosen to surrender and repent and He in return has forgiven me and told me how proud He is of me. This is His way and it is far above our way, isn’t it?
So what do you say, is it time to surrender? Are you brave enough to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of your life where you are withholding from God’s influence?
Consider spending time with the following Scriptures:
Luke 14:33; Romans 14:7-9; I Corinthians 7:17; II Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians Chapter 4; Ephesians 5:10 & 15; Colossians 1:10-12; Colossians 2:6-7; Colossians 2:20; Colossians Chapter 3; I Peter 4:1-2 I John 2:3-6