There is plenty of talk about surrender in church circles. Surrender isn’t something that can be taught though; it only comes when you have no other options. It is as if someone snuck up on you with a gun and you are out of ammo. There is no way you would surrender if you had more bullets; it is only because you are out that you put your hands up.
While there is an element of surrender in the Bible the truth is it is going to take more than just surrender-it takes death. Surrender implies there is something left within for you to give, but death on the other hand means there is nothing at all left. The sixth chapter of Romans tells us this very thing. It says, “We that have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into his death.” In other words we too have died. That is God’s way of removing our sin problem. It isn’t just a submitting of our will to his it is a real death to our old man. Reading a little further we discover if we have been joined with Christ in his death we are also joined to him in his resurrection. Wow!! That’s even better than surrender.
Since being co-crucified with Christ we can now walk in newness of life. While calling it a surrendered life may be okay it actually is revealed to us in the letter to the Galatians that it isn’t even us living but Christ. In fact Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Did you catch that? It is no longer I who live but Christ. Wow! So it is Christ living within me. We are in union with him. Christ is the true life of the believer.
When we talk of surrender we talk as though we have a choice. I mean, it’s as if we think we have the choice to keep going or we could simply surrender as if it is a decision rather than a necessity. Trying to manage life has a way of wearing on you and backing you into a corner. There always seems to be more that needs to be done, more people to please and more things about myself I don’t like, so I work harder and harder to fix them.
If you haven’t discovered this yet let me let you in on a little secret. Trying harder will never fix your life or make it more manageable. What will happen is you will eventually come to the conclusion all of us must and that is “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We all try and fail until we finally cry out for a Savior that is more than ready and willing to be our Savior. He has known all along we couldn’t do it. The thing is he also knows we have to discover this on our own. It usually takes a sufficient amount of suffering and pain before we come to the conclusion he knew all along. We cannot manage our lives properly. There is a reason we call Jesus Lord and that is because he is the only one that can rule in life. What I have observed is a pattern of trying, failing and surrendering. Eventually we have to come to the conclusion death, to the old trying man, is the only solution. Once we see him as truly dead there will be no need of talk about surrender.
Written by Louie