Over the years, I have learned one very important principal when it comes to freedom from fear: we must completely, absolutely surrender.
Initially, this can be hard to grasp, especially in our American culture. We are taught that surrendering is a sign of defeat. But, in God’s kingdom, it’s quite the opposite. I call it the “divine paradox” — to win, we must surrender. Jesus said it this way, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life” Matthew 16:25.
Let me give you a visual example. Before you met Christ, you’re driving down this road by yourself. You’re the only one in the car. But then, you see Jesus on the side of the road. So, you pull over and ask him to join you. He climbs into the passenger seat, and off you go.
While on the road, you come to know Jesus and give him your life. Then, you ask “Lord, guide me, show me where to go. I surrender.” You genuinely desire to do what Jesus tells you to do. The problem is that you’re still driving. When you’re driving, it’s up to you to decide what to obey and what not to obey. This is not surrender–this is commitment. Sure, it sounds good. “I’m a committed Christian.” But, we’re not called to be committed–we are called to be surrendered.
I recently read a great article called “Why I’m Not a Committed Christian (And Why That’s a Good Thing)“. For more information on this concept, you should take some time to read this article.
We are called to surrender. Here’s what we need to do: we need to stop the car, get out and let Jesus drive. “Jesus, take the wheel.” That is absolute surrender!
So, how do we do that?
Recently, I’ve been reading a book by Andrew Murray called “Absolute Surrender”. (You can read it for free online, or listen to it for free online.) While reading this book, I keep getting stuck in chapter 1, because he so wonderfully describes the surrender process. Here are the steps he describes for absolute surrender:
God expects your surrender
When you think about God’s creation, is it not already surrendered to God? The sun, moon, stars, flowers, trees–all is surrendered to God. Andrew clarifies, “Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielded up, surrendered, given over to God as He works in it its beauty?” And, God loves us so much that he has given us the choice to surrender to him, and when we do, we can be all that he created us to be.
God accomplishes your surrender
I love this! It is God who works in us and accomplishes the surrender for us. Andrew instructs, “God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the power of your will; God is willing to work it in you. Do we not read: ‘it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:13)?” Even if you’re not sure you’re willing to surrender, pray “Lord, make me willing.”
God accepts your surrender
God wonderfully accepts our surrender when we give him our lives completely. Andrew said, “There is a God present who at that very moment takes possession of you. You may not feel it, you may not realize it, but God takes possession if you will trust Him.” God receives you with open arms and an open heart. You don’t have to be perfect to come to God. Come to him as you are, and he will accept you. “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” Hebrews 4:16.
God maintains your surrender
This is also wonderful news that it is God’s duty and responsibility to maintain our surrender. It’s not our burden. Andrew said, “When God has begun the work of absolute surrender in you, and when God has accepted your surrender, then God holds Himself bound to care for it and to keep it.” Jesus clarifies it this way, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:29. Oh, that may find rest for our souls when we give him ourselves completely!
God blesses when your surrender
I believe the reason God wants us completely, absolutely surrendered to him is so that he can bless us with all the promises he has for us–promises of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). And, as we surrender completely, we can then receive all the promises of God that are freely given to us as our inheritance as children of God. Andrew summarizes, “This absolute surrender to God brings wonderful blessings.”
So, I encourage you today to stop being a committed Christian and start being a surrendered Christian. Ask God to show you what that means and how to walk it out. If you get a chance, read Andrew Murray’s book. And, let’s talk about it on Facebook.
Prayer: Father, I know I’ve been driving for too long, and I have not been completely surrendered to you. Lord, I stop the car, get out and let Jesus take the wheel. I completely trust you!
[…] for surrender and what is looks like coming from someone who suffered greatly from mental illness. Freedom from Fear: Learning to Surrender – Season of Peace –I have problems with trust (and maybe pride/rebellion), so I am not surrendered. Maybe I just do […]