‘All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all, all to Thee my blessed Master, I surrender all’. Many of us have heartily sung these word countless times, but living in their reality may be very different. The word surrender may be understood as a sign of weakness, and yet there’s no more secure place to live than in daily surrender to the One who is utterly faithful, unchanging and steadfast.
Definitions of the word surrender include ‘To yield to the power, control or possession of another; to agree to forego in favour of another; to give up one’s rights’. If we’ve learned to be in control of our own lives, surrender may be alien to us, because we fear being out of control.
We might say, then, that surrender is the opposite to control. The Devil controls, but God never will. Graciously He gives us each the opportunity to surrender. This of course draws us to the heart of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and intimacy with Him. In surrender we’re saying, “Lord Jesus, I make You Lord of every part of my life. I hold nothing back. I make a free will choice to surrender all I am and have to You, and to uncompromisingly obey you.”
Our ways must be surrendered. We know that our ways are not His ways, nor are our thoughts His thoughts. In each of us there’s a human tendency to go our own way, through our own choices. But when we surrender our ways in exchange for God’s ways, He promises to lead us in His ways and show us the way that’s right, the way we should go. Remember that all the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful.
Our will must be surrendered, because we’re not our own, we’ve been bought with a price – the precious blood of Christ. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we become weak-willed people, who lose their identity. It means we become strong people, in God’s strength, growing in our true identity in Christ, recognising that our real identity isn’t in what we do, but in who we are, as we prove and test God’s perfect will for our lives.
Our walk must also be surrendered, and that’s why the writer to the Hebrew Christians in our text for today told them to surrender their bodies as living sacrifices. This surrender is holy and pleasing to God. It’s a spiritual act of worship. With our bodies we walk and serve the Lord. Our bodies are valuable to Him.
Finally, surrender is a heart attitude, and God can do much with a surrendered heart. He replaces hardness and selfishness with His love and compassion, and because Jesus is the centre instead of self, the fruit of true obedience is security and peace, even in the storms of life. Surrender is perfect freedom.
Prayer: Father, I pray today for grace to surrender every part of my life to You - grace to surrender my ways, my will, my walk and my heart to You, so that Jesus is truly shown as Lord. Please forgive me for the times I’ve gone my own way, done my own thing, and forgotten that I’m not my own, and I belong to You. Thank You for Your faithfulness and abounding love. You’ve led me in the past, to this present day, and I trust You to lead me until I see You face to face, in Your eternal kingdom. I bring my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
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