Many of the worlds we commonly use in church we take for granted. They are part of a “church vocabulary” we have learned and always used. Word, like hope, faith, love, justification and others.
One word we have heard and used often is “surrender.” What does surrender mean? In some areas of life surrender is synonymous with defeat and fear. It means to many to lose, to give up, to throw in the towel or to quit. In reality, in the secular vocabulary there is a good application of the word surrender. In our society the idea is to win, to conquer, and to assert yourself. The word is “success” not “surrender.”
But to a Christian it can have a wonderful meaning. Think of the statement, “surrendering to God’s will.” Most of us have heard the words of the hymn: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.” Sometimes at the end of a sermon we “I surrender all, I surrender all … as a call to commitment.”
Someone said the best definition of surrender is to “hold lightly” to things. We have determined to do God’s will and have surrendered our lives to Him. The things of the world system and material culture is of only passing importance. It is as the verse “… for me to live is Christ,” (Philippians 1:21). It is “presenting our bodies a living sacrifice,” (Romans 12:1-2). Surrender is abandonment of self. It is a total yielding to Christ, it is relinquishing our rights, it is to give God “carte blanche.” It is holding this life lightly, and be occupied with Jesus Christ.
Martha Nicholson wrote a marvelous poem called Surrender:
Let me hold lightly things of this earth,
Transient treasures, what are they worth?
Moths can corrupt them, rust can decay;
All their bright beauty fades in a day.
Let me hold lightly temporal things,
I who am deathless, I, who wear wings!
Let me hold fast, Lord, things of the skies
Quicken my vision, open my eyes!
Show me thy riches, glory and grace,
Boundless as time is, endless as space!
Let me hold lightly things that are mine,
Lord, thou hast given me all that is thine!