Finding Freedom Through Surrender
Last week I attended a ladies’ retreat where we were refreshed in the Lord! We participated in a Priscilla Shirer simulcast which was amazing! While there, God continued showing me how much He wants to bless us when we choose to surrender our “all” to Him.
How many times do we ask God to free us from chains that we have placed on ourselves?
God often calls us out of our bondage, but we choose to stay in the comfort of what we know even though we are hurting. During her simulcast, Priscilla talked about just this… Emotions are not smart (just LOUD!). Do not let your emotions talk you out of obedience. We may hope that a speaker or pastor holds the answer. But no amount of approval from others will grant us freedom; no seminar or sermon (or devotion!) can unlock the chains we allow to hang on ourselves.
The key is only found in our own hands—that is, in surrendering completely to God.
How do we surrender and experience victory simultaneously? In our culture, surrender is equivalent with failure, right? Surrender is giving up. Surrender means we are not strong enough, not good enough, not “something” enough to complete the task at hand and come out on top. No, we are not anxious to wave our white flags of surrender. We clutch them tightly and keep them hidden behind our backs. We are not weak. Or at least we don’t want the enemy to think we are.
So then why, of all things, does God the almighty and victorious one call us to surrender?
He does it often. From the Old Testament when the Israelites were rebelling and refusing Babylonian captivity to the New Testament when Jesus upholds those who are meek and instructs us to “turn the other cheek.” God’s word urges his people to surrender from the battle within and from the battle around us. We often grow unaware of these battles, forgetting that our flesh is at constant war with our spirit and that good is at constant war with evil. These battles are too big and too important for us to fight on our own.
The battle occurring within each of us is too dangerous to forget about. Our flesh leads us down paths of destruction: bitterness, jealousy, anger. Our flesh tries hard to achieve our worldly desires and goals. We work hard to save money, get a promotion, not let others hurt us, not let others hurt the ones we love, fix people’s problems. It is exhausting work. And lasts only until we hit a wall or rock bottom or completely fail, realizing we have nothing left to offer.
Rather than depending on ourselves until that point of defeat, God calls us to lay our weapons down at the start of battle, take a deep breath and resign to what we fear most—surrender. But God promises captivity is not what we will walk into if we raise our white flag. Actually, He promises the opposite will occur: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). When we choose Christ above our own ability, we find freedom from our struggle. In that sense, when we finally raise our white flag, we are actually raising up the cross. And in the cross is more power than we could ever have.
Paul tells us that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When we are not able, He is able.
Able to pick us up so we can stand again (Romans 14:4);
Able to bless us abundantly (2 Corinthians 9:8);
Able to make us wise (2 Timothy 3:15);
Able to keep us from stumbling and able to bring us into God’s presence (Jude 1:24);
Able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine for our lives and for this world (Ephesians 3:20).
Priscilla also talked about this particular verse… the Hebrew translation of this verse says God will go “beyond beyond”… meaning He will go beyond our wildest imagination for what we think is the absolute best for us. If we think of the absolute BEST for us in our situation, He can go beyond that!! Isn’t He good?!
He fought the battle a long time ago, on a cross, and “this is the victory that has overcome the world” (1 John 5:4). Now He simply waits to see our white flags being raised one by one.
As soon as we get out of the way and allow Christ to be our defender and victor, we are free and He in turn is enabled.
Once we surrender, we are free. Once we succumb to our weakness, we are strong in Christ. Explaining this sounds a little insane, but experiencing it makes more sense than anything else in our lives. And once we grasp this biblical concept of surrender, our white flags are no longer a symbol of weakness but, instead, a gift we exchange for freedom.
Prayer: Lord, today I give You my broken heart, my broken dreams, and my broken life… I give You my “all”. Make them into something beautiful for Your glory. Fill me with a growing passion for Your presence and Your Word. Thank You that as I seek You in a deeper way, I will draw closer to the victories and blessings that belong to me in Christ.
References: January 28, 2014||“White Flag” by Chris Tomlin: Devotional written by Andrea Lucado
PS: There is a song for that! I Surrender All!