Strong spirits: surrender!
We tend to think of surrender as a negative. It means we lost. It means we were unable to prevail. It means we gave in to something or someone stronger. It can mean all of these things. But it need not be negative. Even though we are taught to be self-reliant and strong, surrender may be the most positive thing you can do...
In the process of recovery from an addiction, a person is challenged to admit that they can't do it alone, that they need help from others, and from a higher power. The sooner they admit this inability, the sooner they will begin to recover.
In a sense, we are all in recovery. Bad choices, sin, bad habits, and the like have made our lives unmanageable. We try and try to put things right, but we fail over and over. We need help from a higher power. We need help from God. And here's the good news - he not only is able to help. He wants to.
"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Paul the apostle (Romans 7:24,25)
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship." Paul again (Romans 12:1)
Asking for God's help is one thing. Surrendering to him is another. Surrendering is saying, "I can't. You must." Surrendering is giving as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of God- unconditionally. Ironically enough, surrender to God is the only way to be truly free. And it's not a one time deal. It needs to happen every day.
Have you surrendered to him?
Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - subscribe to our daily email.