Webster has several definitions of surrender:
1. resignation: acceptance of despair
2. giving up: a verbal act of admitting defeat
3. give up or agree to forgo to the power or possession of another
4. relinquish possession or control over
5. the delivery of a principal into lawful custody
1 and 2 are definitions of defeat. ‘I Give UP!’
I can point to times in my life when my definition of surrendering to Christ was to give up and quit trying. Definitely not the Christ like image of surrender, but more of a pity party where I got tired of trying so hard with nothing working out that I just said ‘fine…I give up’.
But that’s not right. I know that surrendering to Christ
is an act of victory, not defeat.
3 and 4 are definitions of submitting to the authority of a stronger power. ‘I Give UP and agree that God is my source of strength and direction and I relinquish all control to Him’.
I can also point to times in my life when my definition of surrendering to Christ was exactly as 3 and 4 describe it. Hands raised, ‘amens’ loud and strong, shouting and singing ‘God is God of all’, but when things were not working out as I needed or desired, I took control of the situation and made sure “God’s will was being done”.
Did you hear that last statement?
I’d took control of the situation and made sure
“God’s will was being done”.In the midst of those moments, if you had asked me if I was surrendering to the authority of God I would have honestly told you YES. But looking back, God shows me that my answer was actually, ‘not really’. I did not have rebellious intentions, but true surrender was not being exhibited. Call it ‘type A’ or a ‘driven personality’…whatever label we give it; the bottom line is that true surrender does not mean we step in to make sure things happen the way God would want them to.
Which takes me to definition #5…I Give it to YOU Lord.
I put it into YOUR custody. Your lawful custody.
I had a heart breaking experience over the weekend in which I had to let go of trying to ‘fix’ my sister who is in a verbally abusive and controlling relationship. Through a series of events that culminated with a hurtful confrontation, I was able to see that I needed to truly surrender this situation to Him. My eyes were opened to see that while I was lifting her up and asking what I was to do for her, I wasn’t giving her into His custody.
When you surrender custody of a child, you are giving all authority of another person to parent, care for and raise that child. According to the law, you are not ‘partnering’ with another person to raise that child. You are giving over ALL authority. You are giving that person the authority to make the decisions for the future of that child and giving up the right to question their decisions.
I know God loves my sister more than I can ever imagine loving her myself. He loves her the same as He loves me. For years I have walked with the attitude that I needed to 'partner' with Him to raise her. This weekend, my partnering got in the way and resulted in painful conflict. I didn’t do anything bad or ill willed. I was actually doing a ‘good’ thing that had the potential to mend past wounds.
But that ‘good’ thing complicated the situation.
So I surrender. I am not giving up on my sister. I am not giving up on a restored family relationship. But I am surrendering custody of her to our Father.
Since that moment of realization this weekend, I have come to the table with my God and asked Him to show me other areas in my life that I have not truly surrendered custody to Him. He has fed my soul with food from His word:
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
~ Oh Lord, my heart seeks to do your will, thank You for reminding me that I can surrender even the planning of my steps to You.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him …” (Psalm 37:4-7)
~ Lord God, thank you for reminding me that I do not need to toil for You but to REST in You and wait patiently for You to work in all things. Your word says “YOU shall bring it to pass”! I surrender it all to you.
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon His God.” (Isaiah 50:10)
~ God, I trust in the power of Your name and rely on You completely. I realize that while You will call me to do Your will here on earth, You do not need me to come along side and help You out. I surrender it all to You.
I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to Thee my blessed Savior.
I surrender all.
God of heaven and earth, I come to praise You. Forgive me for the times I have come before You with 'good intentions' to partner with You and discuss how Your will is to be fulfilled. I praise You and thank You for being the Almighty Father that has custody of everything in my life. Give me eyes to see things that my flesh is holding onto so that I may completely surrender custody of it all to You. I rejoice in the peace that overwhelms me. A peace that passes all earthly understanding but consumes me as I embrace the full meaning of complete surrender to You. Thank You Jesus for Your completely surrendered life that I may have a right relationship with my Creator. Amen.
What meals have you shared with God recently? Is there a scripture that fed your soul lately that you could share? Join us at the table and leave a comment of agreement or encouragement!