What Does It REALLY Mean to Surrender?

Does surrender mean we wave the white flag in defeat? Come out of the castle we have been defending with our hands high in the air? Lie face down on the ground praying we won’t be killed?

I have often wrestled with surrendering, alternatively angry and fearful. Angry at Him for demanding it, requiring that I walk on His path and not my own. And afraid of the unknown. Although the current place may not be perfect, at least I know it. I am familiar with the ropes. No surprises here. I can keep everything under good control.

But surrender is a leap into the unknown. Will He really catch me before I hit the bottom?

Yes, surrender means we come out of the castle we have been defending. The castle of idolatry of our plan, our way. And no, we don’t need to pray that He won’t slay us in anger, for He is all grace, and His mercy triumphs over judgment.

To me, surrender is laying aside my plan — which seems good and comfortable and right — for His better plan — which is completely obscured from my eyes. I mean, if I knew a better plan, wouldn’t I be on it? Can I really trust that there could be a better plan?

The most fascinating thing about surrender is that surrender to the Lord is actually victory. It is His triumph of lordship in my heart, and it is always a vastly better path than I had chosen. Sometimes, the “vastly better” about it is not obvious for a while. But the deeper and deeper I surrender to Him, the more I am able to trust that His way is absolutely for my good.

What are your thoughts on surrender?

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Celeste Li, M. D. is the author of
Triumph Over Suffering: A Spiritual Guide To Conquering Adversity
She is active member of Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens Florida.
Celeste teaches a course in Triumph Over Suffering and serves in Christ Fellowship’s Ministry for the Suffering.

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