sur·ren·der | \ sə-ˈren-dər \
1a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand // surrendered the fort
b: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another
2a: to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner
b: to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence)
Surrender is one of those concepts (like submission) that is almost universally regarded as negative. In the world today, and especially our American corner of it, giving up control or power is a sign of weakness, of being beaten. It’s unimaginable that anyone would do it willingly. And yet, surrender is the very foundation of our relationship with God.
Our small group and the Ladies’ Bible Study have been studying The Four Cups by Pastor Chris Hodges. It’s a great study with a lot of powerful revelations, but it all starts with the truth that God has promised us many wonderful blessings in His word, including Salvation, Deliverance, Fulfillment and His continual presence in our lives. What’s the catch? Only this: He will never force any of these on us. They are free cups of blessing which will profoundly improve our lives, give us purpose and bring us true joy, but He only holds them out to us – it’s up to us to take and drink from them.
Now, if your hands are full of responsibilities, treasures and unhealthy habits, it will be impossible to take those cups from God. You have to lay that stuff down – surrender it – before your hands are free to receive God’s cups of blessing. But God’s plan for you is not a little remodeling, it is a full tear-down renovation. He needs you to surrender your whole self: body, mind and spirit.
Like Abraham and Moses, God wants to move us to a new place where we will be depending fully on Him. Step one is repentance – turning our backs on our yesterday, our before, our ‘used to be’ and leaving it behind to follow Him. Step two is surrender – we have to let go. We have to leave behind our baggage, our chains, our ‘leeks and onions’ and our comfort zones. What’s the point of being free and starting over if you bring your old chains of bondage, co-dependencies and triggers along with you?
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19. This verse is in both the Old and New Testaments. This is God’s plan for us: to make a way where there seems to be no way and to bring life from what seems dead. God wants to deliver us from our old way of life, from following the culture, from trying to impress people, from trying to succeed by man’s standards. It will take our complete surrender. It will require giving up our control, our power, and giving ourselves over to the Almighty, Living God who created us with a purpose to fulfill.
But consider the freedom of putting yourself fully into God’s hands – of living without care and anxiety – of flowing along in His will. He loves you. He wants the best for you. He has a plan for your life to bring you joy and contentment. Will there be struggles? Sure, but He’ll be beside you the whole way, and He promises to use those struggles to bring good to you and others (Romans 8:28). In fact, He promises that if you surrender yourself to Him, He will bless you, and through you, He will bless the entire world! (Genesis 12:2-3) That truly is sweet, sweet surrender!
PRAYER: Lord, I want to surrender all to You. It’s hard to give up control of my life, my family, my hopes and dreams. But right now, in this moment, I fully yield all that I am to You. Meet me here tomorrow and every day afterward to help me do it again, dying to self, laying down my life, picking up my cross and following You.