I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.-Romans 12:1-2 If there's one word many absolutely HATE in the United States, it's surrender. Considering that we're a nation of rebels, from the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, to Civil Disobedience, and many other things even to this day, we're a people that want to get our way, on our terms, and will loudly tell you that!
But what if, and believe me, this is a big what if (or not, depending on what you conclude at the end of this), it's that rebellious spirit and nature that we celebrate that keeps us from that true and real relationship with God? What if we're so used to having things on our terms, that we are missing out on what Jesus has for us? We want to surrender to Him right? But what about our terms for surrender? This notion comes from an idea that there's a negotiation in surrender. Throughout history, after all, armies negotiate terms of surrender, peoples, nations, and states negotiate, why shouldn't we? The short answer is simple: if we have God on our terms, we don't have Him at all. The long answer is not as simple, but has everything to do with our own rebellious nature.
The fall in the Garden of Eden was all about Adam and Eve doing things on their terms. The fall of Israel and even the nations that God removed from their midst was about doing things on their terms. If we are to abide in Christ, as we're called to, then we must, therefore remove our terms, stop negotiating with God, and throw up the white flag, surrendering with no uncertain terms to obey the will of the Heavenly Father who's always had our best interest in mind. God desires us, but on His terms, because His way is pure, and ours is rebellious. He reminds us through Isaiah: “Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.(Isaiah 55:6-9) And so, to know true peace, we must surrender, utterly and completely. We must not give terms, but accept His, because our ways, even though they feel free, are the reason Jesus went to the cross. If our ways condemn an innocent man to death, His resurrection should prove that we need to do it His way. Surrender, and gain everything!