It’s Not IF . . . It’s To Whom

airplane_flyingSome years ago I read Not I, But Christ, a devotion book by Corrie ten Boom. Chapter six is entitled “Surrender.” Something there stands out in sharp contrast to a comment by the late atheist Christopher Hitchens in his debate with William Lane at Biola University. He referred 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 what living under a dictatorship really meant. 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. A person may acquiesce to a dictator, even surrender, from all outward appearances, but trust brings true surrender, complete submission.

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, though he undoubtedly shies away from adults he doesn’t know. He trusts Mom and Dad because he has experienced their love, care, and protection.

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).

Teenagers come to a developmental state in which they assert their independence in order to mature. But spiritually, maturity comes from reaching a place of trust that keeps us wrapped in the sheltering arms of our Savior.

Ultimately, I am surrendering to something–my self-will, the tyranny of Satan, society’s mold. Or to God.

Essentially “surrender” to God is acknowledging that He knows what’s right, that His plans are sound, that His ways are safe.

Originally posted as “Trust” in December 2009.

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Published in: on May 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm  Comments (1)  
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One Comment

  1. This reminds me of the To Shelter, or Not To Shelter, debates that some homeschoolers had, in earlier days, with those who, undoubtedly, assumed that homeschooled children were suffocated. To me, it seemed a little ludicrous to debate about such a thing, because, without parental shelter, every child would die of physical exposure, just like the Spartans and the Chinese have practiced, with selected individuals. So, really, it is not a matter of whether to shelter a child, but how much, and what is and is not, appropriate information and emotional exposure, at what ages. I found myself perfectly content to give information on both opposing viewpoints, when discussing hot topics, and give my reasons for my own choices, and allow my child to make choices and give her reasons for her own choices. To me, a child does not have a choice, with only one viewpoint, and no set of tools for coming to logical conclusions, without both information, and a canon with which to measure its value. Even an atheist would, I think, want to avoid the troubles of historical debacles, and might use history as a canon, at least, in place of the canon of Scripture, which has never failed me.

    The reason it has not is that the immutable God is behind His own Words, to back them up and to, appropriately shelter us, while He gives us choices. Praise His Holy Name!

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