Whether in the body of Christ or out in the world, we aren’t going to get along with or understand everyone. We all bring our own “stuff” to the table, believe our way is the best, and tend to react with our feelings before responding in grace.
I believe, to some extent, that airing frustrations or “venting” with a trusted friend is helpful, but we must know the line between sharing frustration and gossip. We must know when to stop venting, start praying, and look for solutions.
As I meditated over the word surrender, the hymn “All to Jesus I Surrender” played over and over in my mind. This song was written in 1896, by Judson Wheeler Van De Venter, as he recalled his personal journey of surrender to enter full-time ministry.
“All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.”
Saying we love and trust Jesus is one thing. Daily practicing that love and trust is another. God is YHWH Jireh, our Provider. Yet we worry and fret and fuss about everything in our lives. Despite His track record, we “toil and spin” rather than trusting Him. Wouldn’t you rather live in His peace?
“All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow; worldly pleasures all forsaken, take me, Jesus, take me now.”
This verse ups the ante, doesn’t it? Humility and forsaking the world are counter-cultural concepts. Living as set apart often leaves us feeling alone and ready for the return of Jesus, but do we mean these words? The world will go on without us, but we have such a need for control, could we let it go and pray this way?
“All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me.”
God has given us the same power that rose Jesus from the grave, if we have accepted the gift of salvation, surrendered in baptism, and become a new creation. Christians ought to be the most loving, joyful, active servants on the planet, but are we?
“I surrender all; all to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”
We must surrender to truly live. We aren’t walking in all the blessings of God if we are holding onto things of this world. God is in control, but we must allow Him to work. Sometimes we don’t have because we either don’t ask or we’re too busy trying to do everything our way.
Our journey of surrender is deeply personal, but Judson Wheeler Van De Venter’s words powerfully illustrate what surrender means. What do you need to give up so that you can truly live in the blessing of God’s provision?