Surrender

I’m reading Not I, But Christ, a devotion book by Corrie ten Boom. Chapter six is entitled “Surrender.”

Interestingly, I remembered this chapter from looking ahead yesterday and read it just now because of something I put in a comment to Monday’s post, “The Religious Melting Pot.”

I quoted atheist Christopher Hitchens in his debate with William Lane at Biola University in which he refers to God’s rule as “celestial dictatorship.”

Corrie ten Boom, who lived under the Nazi dictatorship first in Holland, then in prison, and finally in a German concentration camp, understood surrender to a dictator. She contrasted the experience with surrender to God:

When I was a prisoner of Adolf Hitler and his followers, I had to surrender my will completely. During the time I was a prisoner, I could not decide anything myself. I just had to obey …

But we have to surrender to Someone else, to God, who is love. He is not a dictator; He is a loving Father. There is no limit to what He will do for us, no end to His blessings, if we surrender to Him. Surrender is trusting God.

Trust is the defining difference between surrendering to a dictator and surrendering to a Father. A dictator imposes his will for his own purposes. A Father requires surrender for the good of His child.

In the same way that a person drowning must surrender to the swimmer who wants to rescue him, we must trust that God isn’t grabbing hold of us in order to impose His control to our detriment.

A passenger in a jet plane trusts the pilot and his ability to take off, fly, and land. Rarely does an untrained traveler believe he could do a better job than those certified to control the aircraft.

A year-old baby trusts his mother and father to hold him, possibly even to toss him in the air and catch him. He often clamors to be picked up by a parent, even as he shies from less familiar adults. He trusts those he knows love him.

This is the child-like faith the Bible refers to (“Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all” – Mark 10:15). The teenager comes to a developmental state in which he asserts his independence in order to mature. But spiritually, maturity comes from remaining in that place of trust that keeps us wrapped in the sheltering arms of our Savior.

Essentially “surrender” is acknowledging that God knows what’s right, that His plans are sound, that His ways are safe. Ultimately I must give up any claim to the role of master or captain, even of my own soul, because God already holds that position.

Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm  Comments Off on Surrender  
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