Surrender. It’s not the type of word we use regularly. It implies things we don’t want to consider. We don’t like giving up. We want control. We want to do things our way. We want to be self-reliant. But we can’t. There is no way for us to truly do everything on our own. There is no way that we can have true control. We have a God, an almighty God, reigning over every detail of our lives, and we will ultimately bow before Him whether we choose to serve Him now or not (Philippians 2:8-11). We have but two options. We can either kneel at the foot of the cross and give our lives up to Jesus, or reject Him and try to do things on our own. Make the choice today.
You Can’t Do It
This one simple fact has been clear throughout all of history, and yet so few have recognized it: You can’t do it. I can’t do it. We need God. No matter how hard we try to succeed in life, we will not be able to achieve true satisfaction. We will not be able to fulfill true purpose. No matter what hobby you perfect, no matter what “righteous” deed you perform, no matter what job you attain, it will come to nothing. No matter what we do, our efforts are ultimately meaningless. It is only through surrender to God that we will ever be able to honor Him. If we deny our Lord’s gift of abandonment to Him, we are left to wallow in our evil ways, and eventually suffer a just punishment for our sin. However, if we give up all that we are and all that we have to the living Most High God, we will find what it really means to “live life to the fullest.” We will experience true peace for the very first time. We will experience true joy for the very first time. We will learn how to let Christ reign within us and truly love others for the very first time. It’s a thing that cannot be adequately described without participating in it.
Have You Surrendered?
Whether you know it or not, you might be denying the fact that you can’t do it. You might be trying, like so many others, to find happiness in your own abilities in this world. We all do it sometimes. We find an instrument that we get a lot of enjoyment out of playing, and end up turning to music instead of prayer when faced with difficulty. Or maybe we get noticed a lot for our speed in soccer, and find ourselves relying on our reputation whenever we get discouraged. Sure, we can say, “God is number one in my life,” but is it true? If Jesus is being treated as a shiny accessory instead of our only Savior and Lord, then He isn’t our first passion in life; He’s our third, fourth, or fifth passion, right after guitar, friends, movies, and our favorite TV show. Many of you are probably staring at your screen right now and thinking, “Oh, that’s not me. He’s talking about those other Christians who compromise their beliefs.” Well, I’m sorry to say that I am talking about you. I’m talking about all of us. The fact of the matter is, everyone has something that tends to get in the way of God and is hard for them to surrender to God. For me, sometimes it’s the perfection of an ability, like a musical instrument. Other times it’s my mornings, and how I spend them.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” – Hebrews 12:1
You have something that’s hard for you to give up as well. What is it? What makes you squirm if it’s denied to you? Is it your favorite music? Is it a dream for a career? Is it something as simple as winning your arguments with your siblings? Look deep into your desires, even the ones that seem completely innocent. When you find something that holds a position in your heart higher than God, give it up to Him. Lay it before your King and give Him full control over it. Surrender it to Him. If that means deleting some of those songs you listen to excessively, so be it. If it means giving up on your aspirations to be a singer, so be it. If it means a little bit of humility on your part, so be it. Nothing is more important than your relationship with God. We need to be willing to give up anything for Jesus Christ, and if we see in our heart of hearts that we cherish something in this world more than we cherish God, we must surrender it to Him. The only way we can have a loving, joyful, honest relationship with our Lord is if we truly let Him have every part of our lives. This can only be done by examining what we think about the most, what we spend our time on the most, and what we enjoy the most.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
When we do surrender to God, it brings such peace! It brings such joy! It clears our vision and encourages us to follow Him all the more. It relieves us of the burden of guilt, and saves us from our natural reluctance toward God. Like I mentioned before, it is a feeling so wondrous that it has to be experienced to be understood. Even the most incredible peace and contentment you have ever felt in this world is absolutely pathetic compared to what Christ has to offer you. Surrender to God today. Surrender everything to the one who saved you, and experience His indescribable joy in your life.
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” – Luke 9:23-24
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20