Have You Surrendered?
As we conclude our series on Matters of the Heart, we finalize our discussion on complete surrender. Surrender is learning to take up your own cross and follow after Christ Jesus. Surrender is to trust God and walk in obedience to His ways even when we may not know or understand the outcome. Surrender, above all, is revering the Living God.
When we decide to relinquish our lives to God, we learn to trust who He is and what He has for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Yet, why do we find ourselves struggling internally to let go? Why do we battle abandoning our own agendas and wills? Is it out of fear? Or perhaps it is out of insecurity. Until we come to truly revere Him as God, the Omniscient One, we will not walk down the road of complete surrender to Him.
To revere God means to honor and worship Him. One of the highest forms of worship we can demonstrate towards God is our act of obedience to His directions and ways. Every part of our being says, “Not my will Lord, but yours.” I’m reminded of the life of Abraham. Abraham and his wife Sarah were promised a child by God. Abraham was 100 years old when God finally delivered His promise to him and Sarah. Abraham loved his son Isaac dearly. Yet, a time had come when God would test Abraham’s heart. Genesis 22 gives the account of how God tested Abraham’s heart. “Then God said, take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (v2) Had life’s possessions become Abraham’s obsession? Did Abraham worship his son? Or was the test a revelation of Abraham’s allegiance? Would Abraham trust and walk in obedience to God even though he could not understand the final outcome?
How many times do we allow life’s possessions to become our obsession? What item, person or position are we worshiping other than God? Or what item, person or position are we placing before God? The reality is that we do it more than we realize. We can fall into the trap of worshiping our homes, our kids, our spouses, possessions, and even our jobs. Yet, the question becomes, do we love the Lord our God more than those things? If He asked us to walk away from our job and go into a different direction, would we be as obedient to Him as Abraham was? Or if God asked us to give up our home, would we?
Further down in verse 12, the Lord commands “Do not lay a hand on the boy, he said. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” The heart of the matter is God is looking for complete surrender of the heart. Do we fear Him, like Abraham did? Will we respond to God’s direction when given? Was the situation difficult? Yes. Do I think Abraham struggled internally – emotionally, and spiritually? Yes, Abraham was human. He was not superman. Yet, Abraham’s heart was completely surrendered to the Living God.
Abraham revered God. His actions of obedience displayed honor and worship. Abraham’s relationship with God was his true possession. Abraham withheld nothing back from God, not even his precious son. He desired God’s will to be done, not his own. How about you? Is God your true possession? Are you willing to withhold nothing from the Lord in your life? Are your uttering the words, “Yes, Lord, your will be done, not my own.”
Surrender is not only revering the Living God, but it is heart trusting in the One and Only. Just as Abraham had to trust God during his trial, we too will have to trust – lean on, believe and know within our hearts that God will not fail us. Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” Abraham by faith, in other words by belief and trust, believed God and obeyed. God’s desire is for us to walk by faith with Him. Walking by faith is trusting in the One even when we don’t have all the details ahead of the time. Walking by faith is relinquishing control over our lives and knowing that God will work all things to the good of those who love Him, according to Romans 8:28. You see, it was Abraham’s faith in God to work out all the details. So let me ask you, what is God asking you to trust Him with? And will you? Beloved, walk in faith and believe God to work out the details. Trust me; He’s big enough to handle any situation you may be enduring.
Finally, surrender is not only revering the Living God, trusting in Him, but it also is learning to take up your own cross and follow after Christ Jesus. Mark 8:34 “Then he called the crowd to him along with the disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” What does this mean? It is ceasing to make one’s own self the center of life. We come to realize it – “It’s really not about me!” It’s about bringing glory and honor to the One who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Jesus displayed a heart of complete surrender to God the Father. He literally took up His Cross to walk in obedience to the Father’s will. Just as the Cross led to His death for our sins, we will symbolically carry our own cross, meaning total commitment to Christ Jesus no matter the cost. What areas within your life have you not fully committed to Christ Jesus? Is it your need to be in control? Or is it brokenness that needs healing? Or is it an addiction to alcohol, drugs or even pornography? Listen beloved, just as Christ Jesus took the Cross for our ultimate freedom in Him, He too will require for us to bear our own cross to walk in the liberality He has designed for us. We have to trust God – completely.
So perhaps, God is using this teaching to have you reflect upon your own commitment level towards Him. Let me ask you, “Do you have a ‘yes attitude’ towards God?” Is God asking you to trust Him in a particular circumstance even though you may not have all the details or even understand the outcome? Does your heart reflect, “Lord, Your will be done?” Or perhaps, He is asking you to walk in His examples so you can be free.
How I pray the Lord will bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.