In Christian circles, we often hear people call us to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. One of the most cherished hymns of all time is “I Surrender All’, but what does the word surrender actually mean?
According to most dictionaries, surrender means ‘to cease resistance to someone or something and submit to their authority. This got me to thinking. Just how do we surrender - cease resisting God - and just how do we submit to His authority?
These questions were brought to mind by an old song of mine I wrote way back in March of 1993. That song is called “Almighty, I Surrender”. If I surrender - cease resisting Him - in all areas of my life and if I submit to His authority in my life, I need to surrender all or nothing or I have not truly surrendered, have I? I decided I would go through the lyrics of my song, line by line, and ask myself what surrender to God might look like from each point of view detailed in the song. Here we go…
“You are clothed in majesty!”
Majesty denotes Kingship - royalty. I bow my knee in submission to the majesty of the King of Kings by submitting myself to Him as a subject of His kingdom…to seek first that kingdom and His righteousness. The benefits are many. In fact, by doing so, all my needs will be met!
“You are crowned with glory!”
The glory of God is the sheer weight of His presence. I surrender to His glory by simply acknowledging His presence is always with me. I choose to believe that truth even when the enemy would’ve me believe otherwise. The benefits? I am never alone.
“You are pure and holy and God!”
The purity of God is found in the fact that He has never sinned. The holiness of God is in the fact that He is something other than mere human. I surrender to His purity and holiness by recognizing that He has washed me by the blood of His own Son and that He has set me apart for use in His kingdom. The benefits? I am a joint-heir with Christ. All He has in mine!
“Yet You gave Your Son to be sacrificed on Calvary! This, Your greatest mystery, that You could love me!”
I surrender to His love for me by reminding myself that He loved me right where I was in my sin, but that He loved me enough to not leave me there! I submit to this love when I am afraid, and fear is defeated.
“Rushing Wind Who calmed the sea”
Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as a comforter and as a source of divine power. I surrender to the power of God to fill me to overflowing as often as necessary and I submit to the authority of the Holy Spirit…and I walk in the authority this affords me as a new creation! I have authority over the lies of the enemy!
“Master of eternity”
God transcends time. He knew us before time was even a human concept. He forgives our past failures, our present failures, and our future failures! He walks through each phase of our existence with us and calls us to see and live our lives from His point of view. I surrender to the One Who masters eternity!
“Worthy of all majesty and awe”
I stop resisting His majesty and awe-inspiring presence and submit to the grandeur of life with my Creator. I practice this submission every time I worship Him…every time I praise Him…every time I simply acknowledge Him for Who He is in my life!
“With my life I bow before You, the One that I adore!”
To bow before the Lord physically is one thing. To bow before Him with my entire being is quite another. I can bow on the outside all day long and not bow on the inside. Because He has demonstrated His love for me - even when I ahem turned my back on Him - makes it easy to bow my entire being before Him in submission.
“Faithful Friend and so much more, my Savior, my God!”
It seems I have longed for a best friend my entire life…and I had one all along - especially when I felt the loneliest. I submit to the friendship of Jesus by allowing Him to know me intimately, nothing hidden from Him…and by believing He wants me to know Him in the same manner!
“Almighty God Creator!”
I cease striving for approval and affirmation and submit to His approval and affirmation…and I revel in His love for me.
Jesus redeemed me when I thought I was un-redeemable. He set me free when I thought I would remain captive to my own thoughts for the rest of my life. I cease resting these truths and submit to them…and I find redeeming love and freedom in the process!
“Salvation’s Celebrator, God!”
For far too long I felt my life was worthless…nothing to celebrate. And then Jesus set me free and saved my soul and all of the entirety of heaven threw a massive celebration in my honor! I submit to this truth and find great validation!
“My Father, my Defender!”
Every human longs to know and to be known. Every human longs to know whether or not they are were fighting for…worth defending. I submit to the work of the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus as proof that I was worth fighting for.
“My dear Broken Heart Mender!”
In several instances in my life, I have felt used and betrayed…and have had my heart broken countless times. Jesus was betrayed and had His heart broken and completely understands what we face in our human existence. I submit my broken heart to His broken heart and find healing and sending for my brokenness.
“Lord Jesus, I surrender all! You are God!”
If surrender is to cease resisting Jesus and walk in submission, that truth applies to every are of my life. Submitting my physical body to Him and for use in His kingdom…submitting my thoughts to Him…surrendering my feelings and emotions to Him…submitting my senses to Him…surrendering all I am to all He is brings me to one place.
True and lasting freedom…
Submit to God and be free!
6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore [it] says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:6-10 NASB
Picture courtesy of https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/02/20/10/57/worship-2082141__480.jpg
To listen to the song, Almighty, I Surrender, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/almighty-i-surrender/