Wednesday, November 30, 2011


When I say the word surrender, what kind of images come to mind? For me, the first image is the guy against the wall, in the spotlight, with his hands and feet spread being frisked and handcuffed by the cops. I also envision the army, heads hung in shame, waving the white flag in defeat. And I think this is the idea many of us have when we think of surrender. Surrender is this negative thing for us! No wonder when we talk about surrendering our lives to God it seems like such a terrible ordeal. It’s as if our surrender to God is a punishment for all of these terrible wrongs we have committed. Like God's plan all along has been to make cookie-cutter molds of each one of us. To get us in line. To have us follow marching orders. None of that is, in essence, what surrender is all about.

I want to paint a different picture of surrender; but before I do that, we need to go over a few things. There are some lies about what it means to surrender that need debunked. Let me tell you what surrender is not. It's not about giving up my Sunday to go to church. It’s not entirely about activities I now avoid. It's not all about avoiding fun or certain people. Surrender is not about passivity, conservatism, or pacifism--or any other ism, for that matter.

Surrender, in reality is the solitary thing Christian faith comes down to. Something so simple, yet so profound; and not to mention, so freakin' difficult! How easy it should be for us to just surrender to the very God of the universe. The one who created everything--including you and me. The one with plans to prosper and not to harm us. The only one who is truly good. And the only one who willingly laid down his life for us!

Surrender--to relinquish control. Why is it so difficult? I'll tell you why it's so difficult--at least for me--because I no longer make my own decisions. Well, I guess I do, but it means it is first filtered through Godly counsel, Scripture, and perhaps God Himself.

Surrender is a proactive, conscious decision to align our lives with the teaching and life of Christ. Living a life of surrender is about learning to walk with God. It is about transforming and renewing us into what we were created to be. So, you see, surrender is much more of a positive thing than we realize. This may mean there are certain actions I do away with. I might even have to limit or avoid some behaviors. And to be frank, surrender may involve cutting off certain relationships.  Attitudes may need to be suppressed or put away entirely. But none of these is the goal of surrender! When viewed under this microscope, surrender really isn't about avoidance at all.  It is about learning to walk in fellowship with God. This means it is about giving up the normal, the ordinary, the mundane. It turns into laying aside my monotonous plans for life in pursuit of something bigger and better, far beyond myself.

With this view of surrender, it should become a little easier to do. To realize that God owes me absolutely nothing, but desires to give me everything! Allow me to take a moment and make this personal. Often, I have felt that God owes me, all because I accepted His call to ministry (very reluctantly if you know the story). Really? What better could I have done with my life? If anything, I owe God for making something of my life and giving me something real to live for. I owe him for not just the promise of new life, but the reality of the new life he has given me.

In light of this, I want to surrender more and more everyday!

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