Putting God's Word into Practice…

Commitment vs. Surrender

on July 24, 2012

This blog post is not from my journey through the New Testament this year, but comes on the heels of a message I have been pondering since Saturday night.  

Committed-devoted, dedicated

Surrendered—submitted to authority, yielded, given entirely over to

(Excerpt from message given by Wes Humble) When Adrian Rogers asked Romanian church leader Joseph Tson about the difference between being a committed Christ follower or a surrendered one, Tson described the difference, “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.”

Commitment comes easily for me—because I can do it in my own strength and I choose what I give up and take on.  But commitment also zaps the joy and fun of the Christian life.   Surrender, on the other hand, lets us live life fully relying on God for His supernatural strength and supernatural results.  It culminates in a joyful, purposeful and fulfilling life.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  I don’t think God gets as much joy out of watching us commit to and accomplish work “for Him” when they are not the works He laid out for us.  When we are surrendered to the Lord, He equips us and empowers us to do the work He planned specifically for us.  Unfortunately, we can never know what those works are unless we walk a surrendered life. 

I think commitment is good.  God is committed to us.  But it has to come under the umbrella of surrender…of trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)  In Proverbs 3:6 there is a promise that if we acknowledge—surrender, submit, turn to—God, he will make straight our paths.  In surrender, we find out where we need to commit.

What rights do I need to surrender?  What activities do I need to surrender?  What sins do I need to surrender?  What plans and dreams do I need to surrender?


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