It’s easy to romanticize the word, surrender. How many have said, “I surrender” while imagining some grandiose picture of enduring some sort of hardship for the sake of Jesus? It’s easy to utter those words in a church service when you’re invited to do so from the pulpit, or sing them accompanied by a sweet melody as you stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow believers. In the moment, there’s resolution to follow through, but, to what extent? When you say, “I surrender, Lord,” what exactly do you mean? How far will you actually go?
At their core, some will surrender up to the point of discomfort or the possibility of giving up something they value. “I’m laying it all at Your feed, Lord!” Everything, but what? When someone says everything, does he really mean everything, or is he still holding something back? Perhaps a pet sin or wound, or maybe it’s a prized possession or position. “I’m giving you my finances!” What would you do if He said, “Give away all your money?” Please understand, goading you into something is not the point of this writing, especially if it has nothing to do with the will of God. This is about self-awareness and knowing where you really stand for your benefit. Moreover, you should not be moved by pride, but by Holy Spirit. No one is asking you to prove anything. Let’s leave the proving process to God! By the way, He owns everything; so in the end, the finances were His to begin with, we’re just stewards.
This leads to another point: we cannot determine for ourselves what God may ask of us. We really do need to wait on Him to do the asking; otherwise, we’re laying conditions of surrender. And that may lead to compromise and manipulation. Not to mention, leading ourselves on a tangent. It would be easy to think of the what-if scenarios, and start acting on them as if God led the direction of those possibilities. And of course, that includes any personal agenda. To a degree, it can be based on a previous point: trying to prove we’re willing to submit to anything. The question is: what is God actually saying?
Speaking of manipulation: some surrender in order to fulfill their agenda, and that’s not true surrender. It should be unconditional if it is to be true. That agenda some are dearly holding onto, is holding them back from God’s best for them. They have this strange idea they know better than Him. For them, submission stops when things don’t go their way. “I’m following You, Jesus! Wait a minute, where are You going? I didn’t sign up for that! See Ya when You come back.” If they trust Him as they say they do, why would submission be so difficult? If you want to win, you have to lose.
Matthew 14:24-25Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
Trust issues and strongholds (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5) are two components that hinder submission. Deep seated hurts and false reasonings antagonize people to the point where trust is rather limited. Ask Holy Spirit to show you any area holding you back. This too requires a willingness to step into uncomfortable places, but He will go with you, and His grace will empower you to do what needs to be done. 2 Corinthian 12:9And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. As a reminder, when facing giants, in Him you’ve already won!
Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.