For many people, the word Surrender is fraught with emotion and meaning. In the military it means raising a white flag. For abuse victims it means letting abuse happen. No one wants that!
So, when faced, in the midst of faith and Scripture, with the admonition to submit or surrender to God, we are often left with repulsion! Never! Would we “raise the white flag”, let abuse happen! And rightly so!
In both cases tho, the surrender demanded is in a framework of “control over” and domination. The act of war is one of exerting power over another country or group of people right? And certainly, most abusers don’t do so just because of the purely physical feeling… they do so because the power over another gives them a very sick joy. It’s always about dominion over another person…..
But God… But Abba isn’t about power over. Messiah isn’t about control. He gives us the right to choose, in all things. Choice and Surrender go hand in hand.
In His love for us he has given us free will choice. Period. Full stop.
Let that sink in.
Let it be personal.
Our Creator, Lord and Redeemer is NOT every going to exert “power over” you. He’s never going to demand and then force you to do something you don’t want to do. He’s never going to drag you kicking and screaming. He’s never going to annihilate your defenses as an act of war. NEVER. He gives EVERY person the free will choice and he doesn’t take that free will choice away… You have the right to choose. You have the right to your own person. You have the right to own your choices and the consequences of them.
Bottom line – God – Abba – Father – Yehovah – Jesus – The Spirit – Yeshua – The Ruach… THEY WILL NOT FORCE YOU. There is no power over, there is no dominion. There is only free will choice.
So, why would we choose to surrender to Him?
There’s a really simple math equation in Scripture:
God is Love – 1 John 4:8
Love is… – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Therefore it follows that
God is patient, towards you (——-insert your name here——).
Father is kind to you.
Our Creator does not envy,
He will not boast, (Nor gloat about His Power over you )
He is not proud.
Abba does not dishonor others – He will not be rude nor selfish in how He treats you personally. He is not self-seeking, He seeks your best good first.
Yehovah is not easily angered, and especially not towards you!
Almighty God keeps no record of wrongs. (Read that again.. Read it a hundred times… let it sink in… God keeps no record of wrongs.)
God who is Love, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Father God always protects,
He always trusts – your heart towards him.
He always hopes – the very best for you.
He always perseveres. He endures. He always loves you, regardless of your choices.
Love – God, He never fails. Father will NEVER fail you.
Truly, this is the simple equation of Scripture. God is Love – Love is defined in 1 Cor 13 very succinctly. Therefore God embodies 1 Cor 13 in his thoughts, actions and deeds toward us, His precious creation.
If this isn’t an equation you’ve deeply settled into, that has transformed your thinking of who Abba is and who you are in relationship to Him, I encourage you to meditate on this equation and deeply settle into it. Take the next month to write these verses daily. Write them as Love is… Write them as God is… Write them as God’s heart and actions towards you, personally! Put your name in there! …. Let the words sink deep into your soul and psyche.
You can not even begin to surrender if in any way you believe that Abba is about control and power over. It isn’t until your heart understands completely that Abba is LOVE, and LOVE is the opposite of control, that you will be open to surrender…
I was recently asked about my thoughts on surrender. But I can’t even discuss surrender until the above framework is laid. Surrender to God is NOT surrendering to a “Power over/Dominion”… it is surrendering to a Being who is the very essence of Love.
I took 1 Cor 13 into my being in my junior year of high school. I was practicing calligraphy at the time and wrote it many times over in that process. It changed the way I saw God, and myself. It’s the framework for my surrender.
I know I’m loved. I know I’m in a relationship with a very loving God. I know he wants the best for me. I know he doesn’t rejoice in my downfall or in evil which I may participate in. I know he won’t ever stop loving me.
A relationship of love gives us the freedom to feel safe and not feel like we have to have our defenses up against being hurt. We can trust that He won’t hurt us. And in that relationship we can surrender….
Let’s look at this in the most intimate setting possible within human relationships for a better understanding of surrender in the midst of love..
My beloved and I – We are married.
We make love. When we make love, we stay present in the moment. We don’t worry for tomorrow. We don’t think over our to do lists. We don’t fear that we will be harmed in the process of making love… because we have developed a relationship of love and kindness – right?
So, in the act of love making, we surrender one to another. He surrenders to me… I surrender to him. I don’t control how he orgasms, or when, nor do I control myself in how or when I orgasm… I stay in the moment, I stay surrendered to being loved, fully and completely. I stay surrendered to loving him, fully and completely… and in that surrender, in that mutual loving – release, beauty, and orgasmic love follow..
We become truly one. We lay entwined, breathless, and one flesh.
This… THIS is surrender to Father.
He wants just as intimate a relationship with us, on the level of the Spirit. Surrender is merely an act of love, of love making, to our Redeemer who is Love.
So, for instance… My Beloved says to me, “Sweetheart, I’d like you to set aside this specific day to take time away from the world and spend it with me. I’d like to have an early breakfast, go hiking someplace spectacular and then come home and make love.”
I don’t whine and tell him another day is better. I don’t fuss about what he’s going to make me for breakfast. I don’t show up for a hike wearing heels… I submit/surrender to his wishes and get up early with him, delight in the meal he prepares, put on my hiking boots (and a lacy pair of undies beneath my jeans) and off we go… During the day we flirt and caress and when we get home we make love.
In the same way, for me, when Abba says, “Hey Misty, I’d like you to take this day and rest. Take a day away from the world, come commune with me, spend time, go out in nature and enjoy what I’ve created for you, let’s have fun, and flirt and caress and enjoy our union – You in me, I in you.”
When he says that, I say, “Great! Let’s do it.” I don’t wine and moan, I don’t argue, I walk in obedience… WILLINGLY. I choose to be in this relationship. I choose to trust him…
So…. Surrender is as simple as Talking to God, Choosing to Trust Him to work it out, Choosing to walk in peace.
It’s born out of a place of Love. Abundant, never ending, Love.
That said.. there are times He asks hard things of us. He may even strip us of our security measures… We may feel like we have nothing safe to hold onto, like we are on a precipice, can’t see and have no guardrails (I hit that place a few years ago)…
But, I had the Rock beneath me, and I just needed to sit down. 😉
Anything He asks from us, hard as it may be, is always for our good. It’s always for our healing. It’s always for our hearts to be more healed, more full, more blessed. Yeshua (Jesus) said he came to heal our wounds, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to give us Abundant Life! So when he asks us to give something up, or asks us to face hard things, etc… The end goal is healing, liberty, Abundant Life.
We’ve been taught, by the church, that Hell is a place to be feared. That fire is bad. That being consumed is awful…
But Father is “an all consuming fire”.
But our enemy, before he was cast down, “was on the holy mountain of God, walking back and forth amongst stones of fire.” (Ezekiel 28:14)
But David asked, in the Psalms, “Who may walk on your Holy Hill? And answered – He who has clean hands and a pure heart”
But Father says He will try us as gold, as a refiner deals with silver…
What if the fire of ABBA’s refining is not to be feared? What if it’s how he cleanses us, and consumes all the pain, selfishness, unloving ways of thinking within us, little by little? What if we are brought so close to Him that we literally walk on HIs Holy Hill, amongst the fiery stones.. without being consumed? What if it’s merely a process of Him giving us a hug, and us being brought closer and closer to the depths of his heart, with our dross and our character flaws being consumed – cleansed a bit at a time, lovingly and without shame? What if we choose this???
And, What if all Hell is deep in the heart of God, where all sin is consumed… and what if when those who are destroyed there are so full of sin, are so full of hatred, control, etc that they literally choose to be no more rather than enter into a loving relationship with God?
Whether that’s what Hell is or not is still to be seen…
What I do know is, he is a refining fire, and his fire has a name. That name is Love. It’s the passion that burns between lovers. It’s the draw to be one’s best self. It’s the thing that we stand in front of, and gently submit to. It’s the Lover that slowly disrobes us, with kisses and caresses, and kindness… and then takes us to the bath or shower to be clean…
That’s what His love does. That’s what his fire does.
And that’s why it’s okay to surrender to stepping into hard things. Because in facing hard things, we are being held more and more closely to the heart of a loving, passionate God. We are being made one with the maker of the world in the most epic act of lovemaking ever seen in the universe. This is surrender.