The most important thing that we surrender is our own self-- our desire to control our lives. Of course, we don't surrender and go into a vacuum. We surrender something in order to cling to God only. Surrender is the means to enjoying more fully the most beautiful thing in our lives--our joyous love relationship with God.
~Ajith Fernando from his book The Call to Joy & Pain
I would love to be able to say to the world that I am fully surrendered to His will and that I cling only to Him. That sounds like the true heart attitude that a missionary should possess. But, honestly, I don't fit that ideal. I still nurse a childish desire to control my own life. I cherish comfort. What I really want is a surrender that doesn't require sacrifice. If I could just rest assured that all things will turn out according to what I think is best it would be easier to give Him control. Do you ever feel that way?
I have a deep desire to be able to say (like Paul in Galatians 2:20) "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I love singing the words to the old hymn I Surrender All. However, I know my head is saying "I surrender what is convenient for me".
As each day of 2012 ticks by I understand more about why my word for the year is Surrender. There is still so much more for me to relinquish. There are still so many areas of my mind and heart that need to be transformed into His image. Tom teaches that authentic forgiveness is not an event but a process. I am convinced that true surrender is also a process and not an event. As I mature spiritually I realize how much more of my self there is to let go of before I can claim to have been crucified with Christ.
God stays the same as we grow up spiritually...but we change.
Stage one of my surrender began when I was ten years old. I went forward to the altar a few weeks after Easter back in 1973 and gave my life to Him. At 16, I renewed that childhood vow. At 21, I learned about Christ being Lord of my life and not just my Savior. By the age of 35, I came to realize just how much I don't know or understand about His mercy and grace. Today, a few months shy of 49, I acknowledge that I still have far to go. God is not finished teaching me and molding me into the person that He has called me to be.
What stage of surrender are you at in your walk with Him?