The core element of faith is surrender. Some people don’t think so but Jesus told his disciples that all who want to come after him must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow him. That is what faith is all about: surrender. And not just once but daily. Because there’s always something new to surrender. As A.W. Tozer has said, “Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.”
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me[believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life[in this world] will[eventually] lose it[through death], but whoever loses his life[in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity]. (Matthew 16:24-25, AMP,*)
Faith is surrender
How then do we surrender? The amplified version of the text guides us this way: 1) Set aside selfish interests, 2) express a willingness to endure whatever may come, and 3) believe in Jesus, conform to his example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Jesus. Do you believe in Jesus that much? That you’re willing to surrender everything to him? So that Jesus may be your boss in all the areas of your life?
That’s what faith is. Because faith is surrender. Faith is dying to yourself. And faith is letting Jesus live in you. Hence faith is everything we don’t want to do. Only the Holy Spirit can change our hearts in such a way that we want to surrender to God. Then we can pray like Ignatius of Loyola: “Accept, O Lord, my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I am and have thou hast given to me; and I give all back to thee to be disposed of according to they good pleasure. Give me only the comfort of thy presence and the joy of they love; with thee I shall be more than rich and shall desire nothing more.”
Nothing better than surrender to God
Once we have dared to take the plunge, very soon we realize there’s nothing better than surrender to God. Thomas à Kempis has said “For immediately, as soon as thou givest thyself to God from thy whole heart, and seekest neither this nor that, according to thine own pleasure or will, but settlest thyself wholly in Him, thou shalt find thyself united and at peace; for nothing can afford so sweet a relish, nothing be so delightful, as the good pleasure of the Divine Will.” God blesses his children with his presence, with his peace. The more we surrender, the more we get to know God. And the more we get to know God and his will, the less we want our own way. With the words of Charles Spurgeon “When your will is God’s will, you will have your will.”
If surrender still scares you, read this post. You don’t need to worry about surrendering. God empowers you to do it. It’s all about grace.
Thank you for the gift of faith.
Help us to live it out, conform us to you.
Enable us to surrender to you, daily.
We want to give you our everything:
our spirit, mind, body, heart, mind, will, and strength.
May your will happen in and through our lives.
Be forever praised, Lord.
We love you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you think faith is surrender? And how do you feel about surrendering?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live out your faith by surrendering to Jesus daily!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].