I SURRENDER ALL?
How can one surrender their all to God?
When we sing, “I surrender all,” is it true? Do we really mean all, our whole heart and life? Or is it not closer to the truth that there is usually something we keep back? Maybe knowingly, but certainly unknowingly.
No one can and no one does know the depths of their own heart all at once. How then can one know if they are surrendering all of it? The heart cannot be measured. It is out of the abundance or fullness of our heart that we often unbelievingly think, do, or feel things that as we explain it “just happened”.
There is no way to demand or control that every thought, action, or feeling that comes out of our heart be pleasing to God. So in some ways everything is not and never can be surrendered in complete obedience to God in this life.
And, yet, we want and long to surrender all: every thought, action, emotion. So, again, how can we surrender all to God?
By surrendering what you know.
SURRENDER WHAT YOU KNOW
Is there a past or present thought or action or emotion I am aware of that is sinful, hurtful, unloving, not Christlike or pleasing to God? Than that is where I start. That is where I begin my surrender. Not with what I don’t know or haven’t done yet.
The heart is inclined towards certain ways of being or living. It is that inclination that we’re after, but we can only get to it back along the ways that lead from it.
We desire a truthful heart? We must begin by confessing the lie we just told. We desire a patient heart? We must begin by asking forgiveness for our outburst of anger. We desire a generous heart? We must begin by repenting of our selfish use of time. We don’t know the whole of our dishonesty or anger or selfishness, but what part we know about we surrender.
One act of surrender will lead to the next. Surrendering what you know will lead to knowing more of what you don’t know but must surrender. The light of obedience will unfold the path before you and the next step you should take.
THE STRENGTH TO SURRENDER
We long to be fully God’s, and we are fully his, for he has purchased us with the blood of his son, Jesus. But we also long to live fully for God. This is possible, but not primarily because we belong to God. It is made possible because through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit God fully belongs to us.
Our desire and power to obey God comes not first from the strength or perfection of our love for him but first from God’s eternal and faithful love for us. He gave himself fully for us and to us on the cross in Jesus Christ. And it is in Jesus—out of the abundance of his heart, out of his complete surrender to God—that we can find, ask and receive for our hearts the strength to surrender, the grace we need and want to live fully for God.
Let us sing, then, and with all of our heart.