What words, pictures, or emotions come to mind when you hear the word surrender?
A white flag waving from the general of a defeated army? Does the idea of surrender provoke emotions of anger? Fear? Rebellion? Calm?
The reality is, we live in a state of surrender to something or someone all of our lives. No matter how stubborn, strong, or independent we think we are, consciously or unconsciously, we are yielding and submitting to emotions, circumstances, ideologies, or people.
We all bow to someone or something out of fear, weakness, selfishness, respect, worship, self-preservation or ignorance.
Through the many seasons of my life, the emotional ups and downs, the opinions of others I falsely believed to be my real identity, and the lies of satan, I have surrendered to many unhealthy, toxic situations and people.
Fears of abandonment and rejection have been the demonic tyrants that have shackled me and driven me into people-pleasing patterns that propelled me to say yes when I should have said no, to shrink back and hide, to not protect myself emotionally, to hurt others, to sin, and to not speak truth…because heaven forbid if I wouldn’t be thought of as the “nice little girl”.
I sold out to have others think well of me, to be my friend, to invite me into their inner circles, and to appear as though I had it all together.
It is hard to write those words. I. SOLD. OUT.. I abandoned what my heart really yearned for….
*to boldly live every day being the woman God, Himself, designed and called me to be.
*to speak Truth with the authority I’ve been given as a daughter of the Most High God.
*to embrace and rejoice in the giftings and talents I’ve been given knowing My Father delights in me as I walk the paths He created for me since before the beginning of time.
*to do life with friends who love and accept me for who I am….no pretenses…no masks….no performing.
What have you surrendered to?
*a manmade religious doctrine?
*a political party?
*bitterness and unforgiveness?
*addiction to food, sex, drugs, work, recreation, good works?
*the main-stream media?
*fear and intimidation?
What fruit has been produced in your life from the people or things you have surrendered to?
Good, healthy, vibrant, life giving fruit?
Rotten, worm-infested, destructive, foul smelling fruit?
It’s the same with people. A person full of goodness in his heart produces good things; a person with an evil reservoir in his heart pours out evil things. The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart. Luke 6:45 Voice Translation
I invited my sweet friend, Kelly Huenink, to J’s Coffee Cafe today, to share a bit of her life story and her thoughts on surrender. She is one of the most loving women I know! She embraces and welcomes people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and economic status, into her heart. She loves Jesus with every fiber of her being and pours His love over everyone she meets. Enjoy! You can find her here and here on social media.
“Surrender finds its place under challenging circumstances and usually comes with a negative connotation because we think of it as submitting to an opponent’s authority. But what about surrendering when it comes to God? In this case, our surrender is yielding to the requests of our Heavenly Father. James 4:10 (NIV) tells us to “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” In other words, surrender yourself.
Eleven years ago, I was in an emergency room in critical condition. I had sepsis following a knee replacement. The ER surgeon was in the waiting room telling my parents he did not think he could save my leg and wasn’t confident he could save my life. At the same moment, I realized I had nothing and no one I could depend on except Jesus Christ. As I surrendered to Him, I felt an overwhelming peace, the peace that surpasses understanding.
God doesn’t always use illness to teach us to surrender. Sometimes He uses sin in our lives. He waits until we hit rock bottom and have no choice but to succumb to His will.
I don’t believe He wants us to be dying or at rock bottom before surrendering to His will. The Message expresses His desire for us beautifully.
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. James 4:7-10 The MSG
He not only lifted me up, but he humbled me and gave me a purpose through ‘my surrender’ to his will. A year after that hospitalization, I became a missionary. I was 42 years old when I went on my first mission trip. Less than a year after that, I was overseeing our church’s work in Uganda. A few years after that, I started traveling to other countries (Kenya and Cuba) as a part of our International Training Institute. A little over a year ago, I took over Cross My Heart Ministries and am transitioning into full-time ministry. He got me on my feet. I wish I had surrendered decades earlier.
Are you surrendered and walking in God’s purpose for your life?”
I drafted my portion of the post as I waited for Kelly to send me hers. I was excited to see what the Lord would speak through each of us and how our thoughts would complement each other. Apparently, our Father wanted the question, “what are you surrendering to?” asked twice!
When we read or hear something twice, it is called a “double moment”. For the Follower of Jesus, it can be a sweet gift of confirmation for something He has already deposited into our heart, or He is really, really, serious about getting us to pay attention!
I believe He is urging all of us, for our protection and well-being, to intentionally take inventory of our lives and our hearts, to make an honest assessment of who or what we have handed control of our thoughts over to.
Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. Galatians 6:6-8 Amplified
Dear Friends, we each determine the fruit of our lives, good or bad, life or death, by what or who we align ourselves with. Have you made room for, surrendered to, the One who loved you enough to die for you?
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Romans 12:1 TPT