Everybody Surrenders to Something
By Rick Warren
— May 2, 2010
Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. Philippians 2:6-7 (LB)
Everybody surrenders to something or someone in life. If not to God, you'll surrender to popular opinion, to money, to resentment or fear, or to your own pride, lust, and ego.
We were designed to worship something, and when we fail to worship God, we create gods (idols) to surrender ourselves to. E. Stanley Jones said, "If you don't surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos." You're free to choose what you surrender to, but you're not free from the consequences of that choice: "So give yourselves completely to God" (James 4:7 NCV).
Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. Nothing else works. All other approaches lead to frustration, disappointment, and self-destruction.
The King James Version of Romans 12:1 calls surrender "your reasonable service." The Contemporary English Version translates it: "the most sensible way to serve God."
Surrendering your life is not a foolish emotional impulse but a rational, intelligent act, the most responsible and sensible thing you can do with your life. Your wisest moments will be those when you say yes to God: "So we make it our goal to please him ..." (2 Corinthians 5:9 NIV).
Sometimes it takes years, but eventually you discover the greatest hindrance to God's blessing in your life is not others, it is yourself - your self will, stubborn pride, and personal ambition. You cannot fulfill God's purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. If God is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this.
So give it all to God: your past regrets; your present problems; your future ambitions; your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Christ in the driver's seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don't be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control.
Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything: "I am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me. I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency" (Philippians 4:13 AMP).
You may worry, "What if I stumble or relapse?"
If? You will stumble in pleasing God! No one can live a perfectly surrendered life except Jesus.
But God has provided for the inevitability of your sin: "If you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely" (1 John 2:1 LB).