What does it mean to surrender to God?
Surrender doesn't actually mean giving up...
It took me a long time to start writing this post. When I was given the task to write about what it means to surrender to God, I was unable to grasp the concept. Surrender sounds extreme. It is the word correlated with losing a battle; for when the white flag is raised, all is over. But surrendering to God is not the end of something, it is the beginning of all holy things within us.
Surrendering your thoughts, feelings, and desires may sound pointless. Perhaps you are trying to distance yourself because you feel abandoned. Hearing nothing but silence can be discouraging.
The truth is that we are never alone. Deuteronomy 3:18 says “The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.” If you are feeling stagnant, tired, afraid, angry, or really any other negative feelings today, rest in the fact that you are held. The internal conflict of knowing something to be true but feeling that you may be wrong is real. We’re only human; we will never understand what God is up to all the time.
There are a lot of things that cause us to be distrustful of God, and it can be really hurtful when someone expects us to blindly trust Him. That’s not to say that He isn’t completely trustworthy — He is. But when deep pain or confusion creeps up on us, it can feel impossible to place our faith in something/someone we can not see. I encourage you to press into that discomfort and distrust. Be honest with God. Tell Him about your distrust. He has just as much compassion and patience as He does anything else. We get so caught up in the feeling of shame that it doesn’t dawn on us to be vocal about our doubts — and we all have them.
Winning the battle
It was never us vs. God. Our lives are filled with constant battles. Some are within; a lot of us struggle with mental health or insecurities that cause us to think less of ourselves. Other points of turmoil happen externally. Relationships with people are hard and sustaining a relationship with the Lord can be hard. But the reality of all of this is that we are not meant to do anything on our own. We often forget that Jesus really is holding our hands through it all. He just wants us to stop carrying our anxieties and pain by ourselves. To raise up our white flag and say, “yes, I need you.” What does it look like for you to raise your white flag to God? I promise it won’t be counted as a defeat. You will triumph when you place your life in the hands of the One who created you.
Written by Jasmyne Bell from Biola University. Find out more about Biola today.