The Strength in the Surrender
The word “surrender,” according to dictionary.com, is defined as the act of yielding something “to the possession or power of another.” It is giving up, abandoning, or relinquishing oneself. In theory, most people view this act as a sign of weakness. Those who cannot handle the battle any longer give up because they realize they cannot take another step or continue without assistance. Completely surrendering is difficult to say the least. It requires brokenness, trust, bravery—and most importantly—a strength most people do not know they have or perhaps keep locked away.
Songs like “I surrender All” and “I Give Myself Away” are so often sung at various services, but how many of these lyrics that we repeat do we actually mean? What occasions can you recall in which you truly gave everything? This might seem like a far-fetched idea, but think about it.
Many times you have found yourself in an altar crying out to God and uttering the phrases “I give everything to You” or “I’ll do anything You want me to do.” You experience a life-changing service and make huge promises to God, but you don’t always follow through.
After the “high” of your prayer experience, you convince yourself you are doing better. You tell yourself you will, without a doubt, fulfill the callings in your life as long as you can continue clasping tightly to your fleshly safety a little while longer. It just so happens, that in the middle of your secret, self-help pep talk, the devil joins in on your conversation. He makes every effort to persuade you that the things you are keeping for yourself aren’t really a big deal and don’t make that much of a difference. After this discussion, you enter into the “I surrender some” mode—the manner of knowing God knows what is best for you but choosing to withhold some things because you are scared or unsure.
I am no exception to any of this. I can recall countless times that I have buried my face in a carpet and yielded to the presence of God, all the while walking away not fully free. I’ve told God that I will go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone He wanted me to be, but I still knew that somewhere in my heart I was holding something back.
For some, you might be clinging onto hurt, fear, or confusion. Others may be grasping tightly to the hopes and dreams they have for themselves. Whatever it is, the inability to fully release it to God inhibits you from totally being where you need to be.
I am often reminded of the story in Acts chapter five of Ananias and Sapphira. They lied and said they gave their all. They retained just a small portion they said they had been given and it ended up costing them their lives. What you are preserving for yourself might be what is costing you the furtherance in your ministry, or moving forward with the rest of your life.
Over the years I have learned that denying the release of my present conditions or circumstances hinders me from my full potential. There is something so beautiful found in the brokenness of surrendering: the point you come to where you literally cannot go any further and you can only rest in the arms of Jesus and the position in which you give Him everything—the good, the bad, and the harbored.
So take a step back. What have you withheld from God? What parts of your life can you not seem to let go? One of the phrases I have thought of to get me through times when I am feeling weak is simply this: Do not let people or situations alter the path God is creating. Just let it all go. Your future is waiting.
That very thing you are holding onto could be the thing that is holding you back. There is an incredible strength waiting for you in your place of surrender.
Living What We’re Learning
If you are finding it difficult to fully surrender or trust God you could try these things:
Rachel Thorne was born in Florida and has lived in many places throughout the United States. She is currently attending Urshan College, formerly known as Gateway College of Evangelism. She wants to make a difference and change her world. Rachel is actively seeking the will of God for her life and is willing to do whatever He has for her.