WEEK 11: Surrender
Surrender is a foreign concept to most Christians – especially in the 21st century. Everybody likes to hear that they have “victory in Christ”, that they have “won the war” and that they are “on the winning team”.
What most Christians fail to realise is that we are actually prisoners of war. Yes, it is true that we have won the war, but only in the sense that we did not die in the heat of battle. We were all graciously saved by our former opponent (enemy) – God. Paul makes this point very clear in Romans 5:10 (“…while we were enemies…”) and James 4:4 (“…friendship with the world means hostility with God…”).
We are indeed on the winning team now, but it is not because we chose the right team to start off with – it is only because we were ‘forced’ to surrender and submit to the One who is most powerful.
One scripture that helps us to understand this concept is 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
This verse uses two specific Greek words that are crucial to our understanding of what it means to surrender. The first word is aichmalōtizō (to make captive or to bring into captivity) – this word is derived from aichmalōtos, which is used to properly refer to a prisoner of war, or a captive. The second word is hupakoē (compliance or submission).
These verses help us to realise that we need to actively choose to surrender ourselves to God’s will and purpose. To surrender to Christ – in the way that these verses advocate – means to surrender our sentiments (feelings, reactions and outlook), opinions, mental dispositions, interests, affections, cares and thoughts to God. We need to ‘wave the white flag’ as it were and stop fighting, and adopt God’s feelings, outlook, opinion, interests, affections, cares and thoughts on every topic.
Lord Jesus, please help me to surrender my thoughts, feelings, opinions, interests, affections, cares and thoughts to You. Help me to realise that Your ways are much higher and much better than my ways. Help me to become more aware of the areas in my life that I need to surrender to You and help me to stop fighting Your will and purpose for my life. Amen.