Submit and Surrender…
There are lots of articles written about these two words. I even came across some that are not “Christian” that are well written with great ideas about how to apply these two concepts.
I won’t be able to cover everything in one blog. I’m sure you have read articles about these two words before. I’m writing about them because it is something I am learning more about.
I forget how these words came into my mind. When I began to study them, I soon realized that there is a difference between the two, and sometimes we confuse them. Then, as I did a little more study, I read that the word surrender is ONLY used in the Old Testament. I found this interesting. I have reached out to my Hebrew speaking friends to find out their thoughts on these two words and to discover if Hebrew has two different words. I will process their thoughts this week and maybe another blog will come out of their teachings.
What I do know is, the concept of surrendering to God is accurate, but it isn’t clearly discussed in the Word. We are often told to “submit” to Him, but not to “surrender.” The concept is there, but the actual word is not.
In my opinion, the idea of “submitting” is to do something because one “has to.” As a woman I am told to “submit to my husband.” Everyone is told to “submit to the governing authorities.” Husbands are told to “submit to God.” These are instructions we are expected to do.
Jeremiah 10:23 Adonai, I know that the way of humans is not in their control, humans are not able to direct their steps as they walk.
I Peter 2:13-17 For the sake of the Lord, submit yourselves to every human authority — whether to the emperor as being supreme, 14 or to governors as being sent by him to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do what is good. 15 For it is God’s will that your doing good should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Submit as people who are free, but not letting your freedom serve as an excuse for evil; rather, submit as God’s slaves. 17 Be respectful to all — keep loving the brotherhood, fearing God and honoring the emperor.
The idea of “surrendering” is doing something because we WANT to. If we truly love God we will surrender to His thoughts and ideas and let Him lead and guide. It is easy to surrender when we know and believe that the person we are surrendering to has our best interest in mind. It is not as easy to surrender when we do not know how things will play out or what will happen.
Because we do not always know how God is going to “handle a situation” we can often find it difficult to truly surrender. To “lay our lives down” and let Him lead and guide it without saying anything is challenging. We still want to have our say. We still want to get our way.
We can say the same in a marriage relationship. When we know our partner has our best interest in mind we find it easy to “move together and make things happen.” When we question the motive, or mindset, of the other person everything becomes difficult.
Even when we think of surrendering in war, as difficult as it is, there comes a point when one realizes that to surrender might be the best option. Sometimes giving your life willingly can bring the best outcome.
I know this can be argued both ways. One could say that a person should never surrender when standing for Truth. So then, I guess one can say that sometimes to surrender means to “give your life.” Jesus surrendered to the Father’s will when He took our sins and nailed them with His life on the cross. In a war, to surrender might mean to “give your life.”
When it comes to life today, there are times we need to submit, and times to surrender. It is time for us to pray and seek HIS will on when and how to respond. Sometimes we just need to say, “this is what I’m asked to do, so I will do it.” Other times we might need to stand up and be willing to surrender our lives for HIS cause.
People have all sorts of thoughts and opinions about what is “right” and what is Truth. Knowing when to do what is not always easy when we only listen to the world. It could be quite confusing. All of this means it is just another reason to LISTEN to the Father and Spirit and let HIS WORDS guide. They will be the lamp to your feet and light to your path.
This week seek HIM on how HE wants you to respond. When a situation arises, ask if you should “submit” because you know you need to, or surrender completely and let HIM be in control even if it means “laying your life on the line.”