Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser. Surrender evokes the unpleasant images of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. Captured criminals surrender to authorities.
There are three barriers that block our total surrender to God: fear, pride, and confusion. We don’t realize how much God loves us, we want to control our own lives, and we misunderstand the meaning of surrender.
That desire-to have complete control-is the cause of so much stress in our lives.
We aren’t God and never will be. We are humans. It is when we try to be God that we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing.
We accept our humanity intellectually, but not emotionally.
You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don’t have to always be “in charge.” The Bible says, “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.”
Instead of trying harder, you trust more. You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself. Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You don’t edge others out, you don’t demand your rights, and you aren’t self-serving when you’re surrendered.
Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego. You were designed to worship God-and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. E. Stanley Jones said, “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.”