Are you a Christian who is Afraid of Surrender?
I know and love a Christian who is afraid to surrender their all to Christ. They even know and admit that they are afraid. Over and over again, this beloved Christian faces situations that seem to grow worse and worse in their severity and affect on this Christian’s own life and that of their children’s.
Frustratingly, no matter how much this is lovingly pointed out to them, they readily acknowledge the fact, but still won’t correct things. They still keep going on and on down the same long dark road, facing new and more severe consequences for their selfish wrong choices.
I don’t think my loved one is alone in this fear of complete surrender to Christ. I see this more and more among today’s modern Christians. This idea of cheap grace, where salvation is received, but surrender is ignored. Do the two go hand in hand? Or are they separate?
While I think many times a person comes to saving faith in Jesus and surrender comes at the same time, sometimes it is a separate decision. What makes the difference?
There are a multitude of reasons, and each situation is obviously different, but here I’ve listed some common denominators I have observed touching this spiritual milestone.
* THE AGE WHEN SOMEONE FIRST BECOMES A BELIEVER
Children may wholeheartedly give their hearts to Jesus at young or youthful ages. This is a good thing, but needs to be carefully handled to make sure they understand all the key points of the Gospel. A child will readily accept the love of Christ; His dying on the Cross, shedding His precious blood, and His resurrection, along with the concept of Heaven, but much care is needed to make sure they understand sin. What sin is of course, but most of all, that they personally are a sinner and need to be truly sorry for and repent of their sin. Once a child truly understands and accepts all of these Gospel points, they may easily, with the “Faith of a Child,” give their hearts and lives to Jesus.
But do they really?
Having worked with children all of my Christian life, I would say that they mostly do in sweet sincerity give their hearts and lives to Jesus, after they come to an understanding of the Gospel. But this I feel, sometimes comes in stages as they grow also. Not the salvation part – because that is Jesus’s doing to keep them and never forsake them no matter what, as He promises. It is the surrender of giving their whole life to Jesus that comes in stages for some, and perhaps for most.
Adults who come to Jesus understand more of what they are turning around in repentance from and to. So we see that they may give complete surrender at the time of salvation in many instances, or shortly thereafter, although this still may be a struggle for some adults for some of the reasons listed below. But children on the other hand, do not have a complete understanding of the nuances of life as an adult or older youth. This onslaught of experiences as they grow comes on in wave after wave of decision making, a constant expanding of the sad horizons of sin, and the consequences of sin, verses the idea of doing life the way the Bible and Jesus teaches is best.
Spiritually, children have to grow into the understanding of what it means to surrender your whole life to Jesus. Many do, whether in those stages or as a serious once and for all decision at a special service or youth meeting, etc, and we rejoice in these spiritual victories for Christ. We may have been one who made that personal decision ourselves at one time, and we would give testimony of how our lives were drastically and wonderfully changed due to that Spiritual decision. But for some, it takes many years to come to that surrender.
* BROKEN TRUST ISSUES DUE TO TRAUMA
Another reason I have seen for the resistance to full surrender to Christ is because basic trust has been broken due to trauma, especially in early childhood.
It is very hard for someone who has never learned to trust, or had that basic trust broken in early childhood to let go of themselves enough to fully trust someone else, even if that Someone is Jesus Christ himself.
God made us to have certain developmental milestones, and one of the earliest we learn is basic trust. As newborn babies, we learn that when we cry, someone comes to help us; feed us, diaper us, or simply comfort us, just because we cry out. This is how basic trust is learned. Because someone responds to our basic needs, loves and cares for us, and shows therefore that they are there for us when we need them, we learn how to trust.
But for the child who suffers neglect, sporadic care, or abuse, this basic trust is broken. It becomes a lifelong broken milestone that may affect them deeply in all their future relationships. Even though a person in this situation may come to faith in Christ, this broken trust issue may prevent them from easily surrendering their entire life to Him. It is possible in Christ to overcome this, but it presents a hurdle for many.
Trauma and other broken trust issues later in life can bring on the same fear of surrendering to Christ also. Only with conscious understanding and willing effort can one override this fear and surrender to the One who heals us from the inside out.
Here is the awesome paradox … the same Christ you choose to surrender to and trust is the One who will help you heal from a lifetime of broken trust and trauma!
* LOVE OF THE TEMPORARY PLEASURES OF SIN
Yes, sin has pleasure for a season. This is what the Bible tells us plainly. If there were no immediate pleasure to sin, who would do it? Or who would do it so frequently? The problem with this pleasure to sin, is that it is only temporary. It has a backbite that is anything but pleasurable and leaves in its wake brokenness, hurt, emptiness, and wounded or severed relationships.
There are many carnal (worldly) Christians for whom the pleasures of sin are so addictive, that they are simply unwilling to give them up. Even though time and again they can see the lasting affects on themselves and loved ones who suffer because of their selfish desires. These may not only be the obvious sins we think of, ie, sexual sins, drugs, alcohol abuse, and the like, but may also be more subtle sins such as materialism, craving constantly being the center of attention, lying (including so-called white lies), loving money in access, etc.
Any thing that takes center stage in our hearts aside from Christ is a sin that is keeping us from true surrender and the real Abundant Life that Jesus promises.
For those who never repent of sin in its entirety through Salvation, an eternity in Hell is the ultimate consequence; but even for un-surrendered Christians, this sin leads to broken lives and an inward despair of the heart. Why in the world would anyone cling to that instead of letting Christ be in the driver’s seat of our lives where He should be! It is a lie of satan to think we can run our lives better than Christ can, when He alone loves us so completely and wants only good for us and a life filled with Joy and Peace.
This point may really be a sub-point of any of the above reasons, but it could also stand on its own. Fear. Just being afraid of what God may want us to do in life if we truly surrender all to Him. What if God calls me to preach or be a missionary somewhere? This is a real emotion, and a valid thought process, but in the end, its still just a selfish position verses a Christ honoring one. Ultimately, we need to trust God that no matter what He calls us to do, we will be more fulfilled and more ‘alive’ than if we choose to do life the way our selfish thoughts drive us. God promises us an ABUNDANT Life in Him, not a miserable one! Fear like this is a self-defeating sin! It is also a basic trick of satan to keep us from yielding to God’s perfect plan, which is a far more wonderful plan than any we could imagine for ourselves.
These were the chief reasons I could think of for why some Christians choose not to surrender. You may think of some others… as I said, there are probably a multitude of excuses for not surrendering our all to Christ. But they are all empty and unfulfilling in the long-run.
Below are some reasons for why a Christian should surrender their entire life to Jesus.
* JESUS PROMISES US AN ABUNDANT LIFE
In John 10:10, Jesus promises that He came to give life, and that more abundantly! How can anyone think they can ‘do it better’ than what God sees as ‘more abundantly?’ Does this mean riches, or fame, or earthly values? No, not necessarily, although some have been given those things to use for God’s Glory. It is the deeper values of life in abundance that God is referring too. A friend who sticks closer than a brother; One who holds and loves you like no other, this is way more valuable than any thing this world has to offer. A God who hears and answers your prayers! A peace that passes understanding when all the world has to offer is strife. These, and many more, are things of great eternal value that will fulfill your heart in this world also.
* GOD IS OMNISCIENT
One of God’s great attributes is that He is omniscient. That means all-knowing. He knows everything, and so He knows what is truly best for us. God already knows what kind of life will make us be the happiest, most fulfilled, most rewarding future of all, and that is His desire for us! God knows how to give His children good gifts! He doesn’t want us to be miserable but desires for us to live out this life in accordance to His will so we will have a wonderful future and an even more wonderful eternity. So doing it the way God already knows is best, is a win/win! Why fight the best possible life with a sub-best life. Trust God who already knows!
* ULTIMATE FREEDOM COMES FROM SURRENDER TO JESUS
I love the seeming “paradoxes” of the Bible. This is one of them. Surrendering one’s life to Jesus; making Him complete Lord over your life and future plans; this brings about a freedom that is so amazing! When you surrender everything in you to everything in God…. Your world expands and becomes sweet with real freedom in Christ. He sets you free from the chains of sins, even ones that have talons gripping you. He sets you free from your past. He sets you free from your hurts. He sets you free from your failures and insecurities. Jesus is the Truth, and the Truth sets you free! (John 14:6) And if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed! (John 8:36) What great promises to cling to!
* GOD LOVES US FAR MORE THAN ANYONE LOVES US
There is a ‘Scarlet Cord’ throughout every book of the Bible that is the revelation of God’s ultimate and perfect Love for us. It is manifested in Jesus and His atoning sacrifice in our place, shedding His precious and perfect blood in payment of all of our sins on the cross of Calvary.
“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation (substitute) for our sins.” ) 1 John 4:10
“Behold what manner of Love the Father hath given unto us, that we should be called the children of God” 1 John 3:1
God is Love. Through and through. There is nothing that He wills, or does that is apart from His love. So whatever He wants and plans for us is within His great Love for us. He doesn’t want to hurt us, or wreak havoc in our lives… just the opposite! He wants sooooo much for us! All for our eternal good. No one else has our back like that. No one else ever could. So why not trust and surrender to the One who loves us like that?!
You have nothing good to lose and everything good to gain. So, stop fighting and find the sweet freedom and love in Surrender. Today!
© 2019 LauraJSE All RIGHTS RESERVED