As I study the call to surrender and grapple with what this looks like for me, I have come to realize there are quite a few obstacles that question the sensibility of doing this, as well as my ability to embrace this endeavor. Some obstacles rear their head in the form of red warning lights that blink brightly, shouting questions like “What if?” Many of these cautions evoke an onslaught of turbulent emotions. In order to move forward in obedience to this call to surrender, it is crucial to identify, interpret, and remove anything that holds me back from full surrender. In my next few blogs I will focus on some of the obstacles I find myself contending with daily..
Perhaps one of the greatest physical, emotional, and mental struggles I deal with as I dive into the practice of surrender, is the reality that surrender doesn’t just invite me into the realm of the unknown, it demands it of me. When God asks me to surrender and let go, he is asking me to let go of all that I know and am familiar with and to obediently step into the unknown of His Providence and Sovereignty.
I like the uncomplicated rhythm that familiarity brings to my life. Change can be scary and is often disruptive, exhausting, and at times painfully uncomfortable. I love adventure. It is something my husband embraces with childlike delight, and after 18 years of marriage, I ’d like to think that I have learned to enjoy and share in his passion to experience and see different things. But, whether we are soaring into the heavens inside a small metal box with wings and a prop, or plumbing the depths of the ocean with small metal tanks strapped to our backs, we still maintain some degree of control. These adventures come with a clear understanding of what we are doing, where we are going, and how long it will take us to get there. Flight plans and dive plans are made, measuring fuel or oxygen consumption. Risk assessments determine if our adventure is a go/no-go, and each adventure requires lots of preparations so that if any surprise arises, is isn’t as surprising.
Surrendering to the call to follow God, is to relinquish control and the right to decide what path I walk, where the journey will take me, how long my journey will take, and what this Divine adventure will require of me. Surrender invites God into my life, my home, my family, my work, my hobbies, and my giving. Surrender gives God the freedom to disrupt the calm of the known in order to rearrange my priorities so that I can travel His path of Kingdom work. This might look like interrupted evenings, resumed education/training, transition of careers, diverted funds, and even (gasp), less involvement in earthly family so I can join in the work of growing His Kingdom Family!
How in the world do I find the strength and desire to cry out to God the words, “All to Jesus, I surrender, All to Him I freely Give?” Well the answer is found in the next part of the song 🙂 I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.” Jesus proclaimed that any person who does not hate father or mother, brother & sisters, wife & Children or his own life, that he couldn’t be his follower. This isn’t a call to actually foster the emotions associated with hate and to treat those on my life with acts of contempt. His point is that when I truly Love God and understand His unsurpassed value and worth, I will spend my days identifying and opposing anyone or thing that threatens to rob me of, distracts me from, or take from me any degree of what he desires for my life. True surrender means I am willing to forsake, push aside, and deny myself earthly comforts and pleasure because I do not want to miss even a second of His riches, glory and sweet fellowship. True surrender means I not only understand God’s value and worth, I believe it in an earth shattering, life changing, priorities shifting way. I surrender because I both Love and Trust Him. It’s hard to comprehend a love greater than the loveI have for my husband and children! I can’t even hope to foster a desire and drive that exceeds the relationship that with my family, but God declares that kind of love was bestowed upon me and that depth of love can grow and thrive inside my heart. I want this. I want to understand this love and be consumed by it. I want to know Him so deeply and fully, that any command, no matter what it is, can be yielded to without questioning, doubt & Fear!
All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him, In His Presence daily live
All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me Jesus take me now
All to Jesus I surrender, Make me Saviour wholly Thine
Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine.
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all