Would you agree that the only appropriate position for a created being is to live in complete submission to its Creator? That anything less than total surrender to the Master’s will is “black-hearted” rebellion? Evidently, the Lord thought so, for when He discovered that Lucifer was going his own way apart from God’s leadership, that rebel was cast out of heaven! Satan became to first to serve self-will and through that departure from Grace, he fell into master-minding the Great Rebellion.
Ultimately, a third of the heavenly host and the entire human race joined the enemy in embracing self-will, rather than God’s will as the ruling principle of their lives. Now, aren’t you glad that the Father has made a way for us to return to Him, despite our participation in that rebellion? We have not been forever cast out–indeed He has gone to great lengths to win us back.
The question must still be asked (daily): Have we really broken with the rebellion? Have we really returned in full surrender to our God? Let the familiar words and tune of this great hymn run through your mind and heart as you read them:
All to Jesus I Surrender
All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
Isn’t this the heart attitude we yearn to see fulfilled in us? And yet, during my years in parish ministry I encountered a parade of very devoted believers and good citizens coming through my office, who would confess privately to me that the hardest thing for them to do was “give up control”–to surrender all to Jesus. Always there was that place inside themselves that held back, that couldn’t fully trust, yield and let go, allowing God to take charge and lead the way. This is widespread. This is even understandable–considering how risky life can be.
But Beloved of the Lord, this shouldn’t be! We have the greatest Friend and Master imaginable and it is He who is calling us to become childlike in our trust of Him. Whenever we do surrender and trust–at that level–the peace becomes so sweet and deep that life begins to flow like a river. You know it’s true! You’ve experienced it at times! But it is not meant to be an occasional experience. This is the very stuff that brings the New Creation to life!
Since the place of surrender is the “sweet spot” that our heart yearns to continually enjoy and since the hazards of life throw us back onto the wrong kind of Self-control, we need prayers at the ready to help us enter into our rightful place of resting contented and delighted under His leadership. Here are several that have been hugely helpful to me (I have prayed them almost continuously):
“Lord, help me want to want what You want and hate what you hate.”
“Make me willing to be made willing to surrender everything to You.”
“I believe, help me cast down my unbelief!”
“Father, help me truly say, ‘Not my will, but Thine be done’.”
The tricky issue of free will means we have to ask for help. I am convinced that our God wants to go to work in our hearts to help our hearts to shift, but I am equally convinced that He has given our hearts to us as the primary realm of dominion over which we get to exercise our free will (Proverbs 4:23). This means that unless I ask the Lord to come into my heart and help me with my need to surrender, He will refrain from intruding. These prayers give Him permission. I have never yet seen Him fail to produce a shift in me, once I have begun to pray these prayers in earnest. Surrender all to Him!
For more on gaining freedom through surrendering see Spiritual Health at our website.