by Rick Warren -
The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender is an unpopular word, especially in the American culture. Surrender means, to many, defeat. We love winning so surrender is unthinkable. But surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy. We give ourselves to Him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, 1 John 4:9:10, 19. Paul urges us to fully surrender our lives to God in worship, Romans 12:1. There are three barriers that block our total surrender to God: fear, pride and confusion. We want to control our own lives so we misunderstand the meaning of surrender.
1. Can I trust God? Trust is essential to surrender. I won’t surrender to God unless I trust Him, but I can’t trust Him until I know Him better. Fear keeps me from surrendering, but love casts out all fear. The more I realize how much God loves me, the easier surrender becomes. How do I know God loves me? God says He loves me, Psalms 145:9. I’m never out of His sight, Psalms 139:3. He cares about every detail of my life – Matthew 10:30. He gave me capacity to enjoy all kinds of pleasure, I Timothy 6:17. He has good plans for my life, Jeremiah 29:11. He forgives me, Psalms 86:5. He is lovingly patient with me, Psalms 145:8. God loves me more than I can imagine. He gave His son for me, Romans 5:8. God is not a cruel slave driver or a bully who uses brute force to coerce me into submission. Surrendering to Him brings freedom not bondage.
2. Admitting my limitations. The second barrier to surrender is pride. It is the oldest temptation, Genesis 3:5. The desire to control our lives is a great source of stress. My struggle to have control in my life is a struggle like Jacob’s, a struggle with God. A.W. Tozer said, ” the reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us”. When we try to be God is when we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing.
3. What it means to surrender. Surrendering to God is not passive resignation, fatalism, or an excuse for laziness. It is not accepting the status quo. It may mean the opposite: sacrificing my life or suffering in order to change what needs to be changed. God often calls surrendered people to do battle on His behalf. Surrendering is not for cowards or doormats. Surrendering does not mean giving up rational thinking, God does not want robots. Surrendering is not repressing my personality. God wants to use my unique personality. Surrendering is best demonstrated in obedience, Luke 5:5. Surrendered people obey God’s word even when it doesn’t make sense.
Trust is another aspect of fully surrendering. You know you are fully surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. Let go and let God work. You don’t always have to be in charge, Psalms 37:7. Instead of trying harder trust more.Surrendered people don’t react to criticism and rush to defend themselves. Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You don’t edge out others, demand your rights, nor self-serving when you are surrendered. Money is the most difficult area of surrender for most, Matthew 6:21, 24. Surrender is an intense warfare against our self-centered nature.
The blessing of surrender, Peace Job 22:21. Freedom, Romans 6:17-18. Gods power in life by overcoming temptation and problems, Joshua 5:13-15. Surrender does not weaken me, it strengthens me. Surrendered people are the ones God uses, Luke 1:38.
The best way to live. If you don’t surrender to God you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or your own pride, lusts, or ego, Romans 12:1. Surrender is the most sensible way to serve God. I cannot fulfill God’s purpose for my life while focusing on my own plan.
If God is going to do His deepest work in me, it will begin with this. Give it all to God: my past regrets, present problems, future ambitions, fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of my life and take my hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid, Philipians 4:13, I Cor 15:31. I die daily, Luke 9:23. It is a daily habit. The decision to live a totally surrendered life will be tested.
HT: Purpose Driven Life (Notes) – The Purpose Driven Life What on Earth am I Here For?