Summary: Surrender to God is the way to a blessed life. It is not a commitment to God that we asking for, which focuses on what we can do for God. We are called to surrender our lives to Him.
The way to a blessed life is to allow God to take control, when we invite Him into every area of our lives.
• In Rom 12:1 Paul says, “...I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.”
• Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
The picture here is one of SURRENDER. But people do not like to this word. They replace it with another word COMMITMENT. Let’s make a commitment to God.
• But they are not the same. The unfortunate thing is that the word “commitment” puts too much emphasis on self, on self-efforts.
• At the last retreat, in his last message, Rev William Soh shared about the difference between commitment and surrender:
1. What I want to do for God
2. What I can or have achieved for God
3. Focus on your diligence
4. Self-centred living
5. See my sacrifices for God
1. What God wants me to do
2. What God has done; I can do nothing
3. Focus is on obedience
4. Christ-centred living
5. See only the Cross, His sacrifice for me
The weakness of "commitment" is that we are in control; we are the ones making the decisions. We can still decide what and how much we want to commit.
• The truth is it is more important to know what God wants us to do, than to focus on what we want to do for God.
• The focus should be on Him and not on us; on what God wants and not what we can do, on God’s will and desires, and not my plan and wishes.
At first, it sounded the same – commitment and surrender, but they are not.
• Scripture speaks of surrender, not commitment.
In The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority there is an account of a conversation between the late Adrian Rogers and Rev Josef Tson, the Romanian pastor, author, and president of the Romanian Missionary Society who survived years of persecution and exile under cruel Communist rule. Rogers asked Dr Tson for his perception of American Christianity.
Josef said the key word in American Christianity is commitment. This is not good.
"As a matter of fact, the word commitment did not come into great usage in the English language until about the 1960s. In Romania we do not even have a word to translate the English word commitment. If you were to use commitment in your message tonight, I would not have a proper word to translate it with.
When a new word comes into usage, it generally pushes an old word out. I began to study and found the old word that commitment replaced - the word surrender."
What is the difference between commitment and surrender?
“When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to.
But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told… Americans love commitment because they are still in control.
But the key word is surrender. We are to be slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Today, people are usually asked to make a commitment to follow Christ, to go to the mission field, to give financially, or pray for certain things - but we are in control.
• We decide what and how much we want to commit. The decision still lies with us. It puts a lot of emphasis on us.
• Being in control also means that you CAN CHOOSE not to do them. That’s why most people cannot keep to their commitments, even in marriages.
• Resolutions made at the beginning of the year, usually die off over time because we are focusing too much on ourselves.
No wonder life has been less than good or abundant. We’ve been running our life. We’re still on the driver’s seat.
• The Bible speaks of surrender, not commitment. We are to submit to God (James 4:7)
• He is the Boss, we listen to Him, we obey Him, we need Him and He is in control.
WHAT DOES SURRENDERING TO GOD MEANS?
(1) Surrender means YIELDING CONTROL or ownership to what we consider ours – our lives, our possessions, our time and our “rights”.
We are acknowledging that what we "own" actually belongs to Him.