Surrender. What comes to mind when you hear that word? A word that’s often used in sermons and brought up during prayer meetings, christians are encouraged to claim it, live it, and do it. We sneak it into our prayers as we ask the Lord to "help us surrender our lives - oh and please bless the children."
It’s a powerful word that has deep meaning, but usually we skip over having an in-depth conversation about what true surrender is. What does it mean? What does it require? Who does it apply to? Why must we do it? Surrender is more than just a buzz word and we shouldn't be using it lightly!
Jesus tells us in the gospel of Luke to count the cost of being a disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."
True surrender is more than just giving up Sunday brunches so you can make it to church or fasting from social media. It’s more than simply scraping off the surface; it’s going to take soul searching and sometimes a stripping away of things that are important to you. Before you can fully surrender your life to Jesus, you must estimate the cost that it will require from you. There will be hard times, there will be trials, there will be pain. We are promised that in the Bible. But there will be amazing times, powerful experiences, relief of soul burdens, and so much more.
Are you calling yourself a follower of Jesus and you want so desperately to go deeper with Him? Then count the cost of what surrender means to you. It could mean giving up relationships that are drawing your attention away from Christ. It could mean recognizing an addiction in your life. It could mean opening that part of your heart that is locked away behind strong barricades. True surrender requires sacrifice, “the act of giving up something valuable for the sake of something else regarded more important.” (Merriam-Webster). Is the sacrifice Jesus made for you important to you? Tears will fall, your heart may crack, pain will surface. But our God is a God of healing, of protection, of intimacy. He will not allow you to crumble under the pressure.
It's when we tear down the guards of our hearts that we truly surrender to God. The Bible tells us to “Submit to God and resist the devil.” Too often that gets flipped and we resist God, but submit to our desires. Resisting what God can control will never give your spirit rest. Surrender permits us to fall with a sigh of relief into the arms of Jesus! Allowing God to control the seemingly uncontrollable in our lives is when we will find ourselves walking in peace and complete surrender.
Are you still willing to pray for surrender? I truly hope so, because you will discover an overwhelming intimacy with God. It's an everyday surrendering, not a "one and done" action, and it is so beautiful.
Psalm 37:7 "Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."
- Makalia Redden