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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

I Surrender All

The words of this song came to my mind just before I fell asleep last night. It's a song I've know almost all my life, and maybe many of you do too.

I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to thee my blessed Savior, 
I surrender all.
But even though I've sung it many times in church and I've heard sermons preached on the topic, I still sometimes wonder, what does it really mean to surrender all to Jesus? Does it mean being passive, not taking the initiative to do anything and just waiting on God? Or does it simply mean giving your life to Christ?

Someone said to surrender is to let God take full control. He used the example of the sheep to illustrate his point. Sheep are supposed to be dumb animals, because they simply allow themselves to be led by the shepherd. If the shepherd doesn't keep a watchful eye on them, they may fall off a cliff. That's how dumb they are. Really? No, they are not dumb; they have simply learned to depend on their shepherd. 

Oswald Chambers speaks of surrender this way: "Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result" (My Utmost For His Highest). Even if those benefits include being delivered from sin. In other words, we should surrender to God because we want to be with Him. Like the sheep, we follow Him blindly, not knowing or caring where He takes us because we trust Him.

Rick Warren says, "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." In other words, let go and let God.

We can rid ourselves of a lot of stress if we would only learn to surrender completely to God, to trust Him the way the sheep trust their shepherd. This Lenten season, as we focus on Christ and His death on the cross, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us surrender all to Him just as Jesus surrendered completely to His Father's will, even though it agonized Him.

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