I talk about surrender all the time. It’s because I believe it is so fundamental to the believer’ s walk. To be a follower we need not be distracted by stuff. The most distracting stuff is the stuff of self. I read an interesting metaphor the other day. It was by Andrew Murray. He said surrender is actually natural to us. We know instinctively what it looks like. For example to use a pen is to know surrender. a pen must be surrendered to the writer. If not the writing won’t go well. The author won’t be able to produce the poem! That is pretty clear. But for us and God what does that look like? Here is a passage you know and have probably heard thought as one of those “you better do this” passages.
James 4:7. Submit yourselves therefore to God.Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
What are you submitting to? The obvious answer is God’s will. But what is His will? This is where it gets weird. This is where the religious spirit rolls in and throws stuff at you that looks like law. For example this most amazing verse gets used as an instrument of “you better do this.”
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments
The religious roll in with the commandment list. The law-Grace people will roll out the 10 or 9 or other combinations. The Grace-but people will make a shorter list like this one.
Matt 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Then they will add in a few sprinkles of flesh and spirit management. I am going to let you in on a little secret. It is so much simpler then that and I am just now getting it. We submit to GOD. That is what it says. It implies that we are submitting to His WILL but we are really submitting to the entirety of God. Like the pen example He gets to do the writing.
I was pondering what all this means this morning when I really felt like God said “do you know what it means to surrender to Me?” and I said “I am trying to understand what that meant.” Then the most obvious answer jumped into my brain. God is so good. Ready, it is so amazing….
God is love.
It is so simple but so much bigger than anything I can understand. We submit to the love of God because He is love. We actually become His love because He is in us and we live His life. We get to pass on and represent His love because we are overflowing, rivers of living water are pouring out of us. These rivers are His love. Isn’t that so powerful? All along I thought I was supposed to be “figuring out His will” in any given situation when all along I was just to submit to being His love. Crazy. That is very exciting but this one thing really blew me away.
My daughter is at ministry school. I get to hear her stories about how God is working in her life and revealing stuff to her. She said this one thing that so impacted me. She said “Jesus told me that He loves to love me.” OK…whew, deep breath. That makes me cry. Jesus loves to love us. Not just Jesus loves us, but He loves to love us. Think about that. God is love and His joy is loving. Are we willing to surrender to that? Do you know that the toughest place of surrender is to actually let God love us? The enemy has so filled us with all the garbage about how unworthy we are. Listen, I get that we don’t deserve it. I totally get it. What Jesus has done for us I can’t even begin to comprehend. But still why are we so reluctant to move forward and surrender to His love?
The cross makes it possible. The cross is the guarantee. His resurrection is His love. We are living in His resurrection. The cross brings us to Him. The cross makes it possible to be with Him. But His present condition is ALIVE! The word “keep” in John 14:15 means to cherish and protect. It means to guard and keep close. Want to keep His commandments? Submit to His love. Become His love. Let Jesus love you because He really loves to love us. Amen.