When we think about the word surrender, it may mean something different to each of us. Maybe for you, it invokes the idea of kneeling before a victor or perhaps the idea of yielding something to someone. For me, I suddenly see surrender in a new way.
Surrender can mean giving up to something greater.
I attended the yearly meeting of the Baptist Association of which my church is a member. Near the middle of the meeting, a group shared their experiences in Boston investigating church planting efforts in the Boston area.
Boston influences the world more than most people realize. For example, all of our current Supreme Court Justices at one time were educated in Boston. There are 35 colleges, universities, and community colleges in the Boston area. In a city of about 5.9 million, there are only 115 Southern Baptist Churches in the city. Only 3 in a hundred people are a Christian, that means you will meet 97 people before meeting one believer in Jesus. The need for churches there is great!
Men and women have left their homes to move to Boston to plant churches. As I listened to the group talk about the need and the fantastic work that is going on in Boston my heart was touched. I wondered what I could do. As I began to think, obstacles started to pop up in my mind that would prevent my involvement to help in Boston. I first thought about the money. How could I convince my church to support them financially? What if my family sent money to help? Could I go or take my church to Boston on a mission trip?
To my shame, I made excuses. I talked myself into doing nothing and letting someone else help. I immediately felt the shame.
I began to think about the surrender of the people involved as church planters. They were willing to leave their homes, communities, and churches to go to a city where the church is looked down upon knowing that people there were the first in the US to experience the breaking stories of priests sexually abusing young boys. They are in the battleground of the hatred of the Church. They have surrendered their lives to go into the battle.
Surrender as a Christian means to surrender to something greater than yourself. The surrender is complete and without limits. Such surrender doesn’t come quickly. But to work, a believer must understand that the surrender is the goal of a believer who fully trusts and follows our Saviour.
A Christian’s surrender means that we no longer trust anything or anyone except God himself. Surrender like this will make us happy.
Happiness will only come to us when we have fully surrendered everything to God’s plan. When we have turned our fears, hangups, and pride over to God and started on the journey of forgiveness (of others and ourselves), humility (recognizing our flaws, owning up to them, and trusting God to handle our pride), and trust (in a God who really loves you and wants the best for you).
For some, it begins with finding a Christian Counsellor. It may start with a Pastor. Most pastors are not fully qualified counselors but should have some level of godly wisdom. A Biblical Counselor will be able to help you work through fears, hangups, and pride. And don’t get hung up on the fear of people knowing you are seeing a counselor. It is foolish for us to try to sort ourselves out on our own.
I won’t go the standard route of mentioning (plugging) Bible Study, church attendance, and prayer in this post because I recognize that these are hard to do when the world around us is confusing. I want to admit here that these three are extremely hard to grab a hold of when the world around us is crazy! (We may discuss this soon!) But practically speaking we need to begin somewhere, and for many, it may be in talking to a pastor (or someone who has godly wisdom and not just worldly wisdom) or a Biblical Counselor.
- Find a Pastor or Biblical Counselor. Check out this link for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
- Check out the Southern Baptist Focus in Boston. Others are there as well, but here is the Southern Baptist effort!