An honest and open attempt of relevantly relating the Bible to post-modern culture in a God honoring, Christ exalting, joy-inspiring way.

Monday, October 22, 2007

the meaning of surrender

I'm tired. It's been a long week and getting behind in my classes doesn't help at all. But today I've been thinking about something I just can't get off my mind. And so instead of diagramming verses for my commentary on 2 Peter 1, I'm writing this little note.This morning in church we sang a song called "Lead Me to the Cross," a song that I've loved since the first time I've heard it. It's a beautiful song of surrender, dedication, and of remembering Christ's love and sacrifice for us. This morning as the song was played, instead of singing along, I sat and listened to everyone else sing. At times this is more powerful and meaningful to me then singing until I'm hoarse. But as I was listening and watching the thousand or so people around me singing, some with hands raised, others with their eyes closed, it struck me: do we really know what we're singing? The chorus of the song reads:

Lead me to the Cross where your love poured out
Bring me to my knees, Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself, I belong to You
O lead me,
Lead me to the Cross.

This sounds awesome right? I mean isn't this what being a Christian is all about? Yea. It is. But I don't think we fully understand the weight of these words some times, myself included."Bring me to my knees..." This isn't referring to a kneeling at the altar. Think about it in terms of war. When one nation brings another nation to its knees it means that it is totally and utterly incapable of moving unless the conquering nation allows it to. I get a picture in my head of someone holding a gun or a knife to someones head or throat as they are kneeling in total surrender. That is what we're asking for. When we sing songs like this we're asking God to take our legs out from under us. Without our legs we can't move, we can't run away, WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING.

Surrender isn't pleasant, and it's definitely not easy. In my life, right now, I'm at a time a where it feels like God has answered my prayer to be brought to my knees. I'm used to doing what I want and going where I want. But right now that's not an option. I've been talking to close friends about how I'm trying to give everything over to God, how I don't want to keep it inside of me, but I'm not even sure how to do that. The past week or two haven't been easy. They've actually been pretty difficult. Feels like God is saying to me, "Look, I let you do things your way for a little while, and you know that it didn't really work. Now it's my turn. Just wait and see what I'm going to do in and through your life." And honestly, that's possibly the scariest thing I've ever thought about. I like being in control. I also don't like admitting I'm wrong. But surrender is the act of admitting defeat. I don't know anybody that enjoys being wrong. And if you do, there's something wrong with you.

I'll finish with a story that a lot of you have probably heard. Michelangelo was once asked, in reference to a sculpture of an angel that he created, how he could see take a block of stone and create such a masterpiece. In response he said it was simple: all you have to do is take away everything in that block that doesn't look like an angel. If you know even the slightest bit about sculpture you know that it involves hammering and, essentially, cutting off chunks of rock. That is what total surrender means for us. It means that we give up the playing of our games and our attempts at hiding different areas of our life from and God and allow him to take away everything that doesn't look like Christ.

It's not pleasant.

It's not easy.

But it is totally necessary and totally worth it.



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Anonymous Jessica said...

Absolutely Jeremy! For sometime now God has been telling me to surrender my dreams and like i typical human who has too much pride in oneself i convinced myself that i had. huuuhhh i was lieing to myself all that time because months later I received the same word from a different messenger 'surrender'. I finally waved a white flag and admitted i was defeated not by my situation bt by my own pride fuelled defiance against God's will. Now, through prayer I have completely surrendered and am now living in completely surrender to His will for my life. After all it's His will that will prevail. Be blessed!!

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