In Christianity there is much talk about the concept of surrender. Indeed, acts of surrender are the foundation of our faith. God surrendered absolute control when he gave freewill to his creation; He surrendered His own Son as a means to save that same creation from themselves; Jesus surrendered His life so that a humanity destined for Hell might live. While He walked on this earth, Jesus implored those who would follow Him to surrender everything to do so. That same call remains today.
So what exactly does true surrender look like? With Easter nearing, many Christians are celebrating a season of Lent. During this time it is customary for them to give up or surrender something they cherish, usually expressed as a certain food or activity. Is this what true surrender looks like? Or perhaps surrender means simply abstaining from the traditional “sins” of modern Christendom: smoking, swearing, dancing or gambling? Is this surrender? What of those Christ followers that do not subscribe to the aforementioned beliefs, are they lacking in some way so as not to be surrendered to Christ?
I believe a life lived in true surrender is a life lived in reverent awe of our God. Traditionally this has been referred to as “the fear of the Lord”. I read an absolutely outstanding definition of what it means to fear the Lord in the notes of my study Bible (since the actual author of the note is not identified, I will source my study Bible in full, The Apologetics Study Bible). There it is defined as “The worship of, and respectful submission to, the authority of God in every area of our life”. I believe a life lived in this manner will be a life lived in total surrender to God. It is a life in which we hold nothing back. Whatever we were or may have become has now been replaced with a life that honors God, a life that allows others to see Jesus through us.
Are you ready for this kind of surrender? Can you honestly say that you will put everything aside for Him? If not, what’s holding you back? What is it about your life that you don’t want to give up? Ask yourself, “is this thing more important to me than Jesus?” If you had to choose between that which you do not wish to give up and Jesus, what would your choice be? That may seem overly harsh or dramatic, but Jesus did not consider such a choice too great or dramatic for us. Are we followers of Christ or merely observers? Are we imitators or admirers?
We must each choose which path we will follow in life. If we should choose to follow Christ, the path is too narrow to allow baggage of any kind. That is why Jesus tells us we’ll have to give it all up and place it on Him. Only He is strong enough to shoulder the load on such a narrow way. Are we willing to surrender everything we have, all that we are in order to follow Jesus on the road He travels? The choice is ours, but it must be made. Are you ready to surrender every area of your life to Him? If not, why not? Will you remain a wishful admirer of Jesus or are you ready to imitate Christ in all you do? He demands true and total surrender; what is your response?