Do you know the meaning of “I Surrender All”?
Written by Christi Given | July 26, 2014
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Most of you have probably heard the famous hymn “I Surrender All,”the words of which were penned by music minister Judson W. Van DeVenter in church. According to sources, it was put to music by Winfield S. Weeden (1847-1908) and published in the late 1800s. This famous song and popular hymn within the church declares a surrender and submission—to really give God your life, your will, your heart, for His will and purpose for your life. Some of the lyrics are:
As we are halfway through the year, I wanted to share this idea and the topic of “surrendering all.” Do we really do this, and are you willing to surrender all? Do we truly know the meaning of “surrender,” literally and biblically? Let’s dig deeper into what this truly means when we speak of living a life pursuing the things of God and passionately following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The definition of surrender generally means several things, but typically it is submitting oneself, for example, under authority, in war, to give control to a power or an authority and so forth.
SURRENDER: a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand; b: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another; 2a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another, especially as a prisoner; 2b: to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence). (Merriam-Webster)
Do you feel that you surrender or give control to God? Do you consider God to be in charge of your life or do you try to control things? Pause for a moment, and if you are journaling or taking notes, pray about this and possibly write down some prayer requests or goals for how to do this or how you think you can better submit your life to the Lord on a daily basis.
God loves us so much. He gives us SO many blessings, yet at times we still want to wrestle with God in certain circumstances or ignore His divine instruction or correction because we think we know better. Granted, God gives us grace, but we the truth is, we are not entitled to anything. We are GIVEN life, every breath we breathe. Every day we have is a literal present, and the relationships, homes, cars, jobs, friends, food and other added things in our lives are just overflow. How can we submit, surrender and really lay our lives down? Because Christ died for us, we should live for Him, or at least want to, amen?
But how can you submit or surrender to God’s will? Let’s take a look at the Bible and see what it talks about regarding surrender. I think of worship and sacrifice, like the example of the lambs that were brought as offerings. When a lamb is on the altar and is going to be given as a gift to God, it is symbolic of surrender. (Read Romans 12.)
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. (Romans 12:1)
Even Jesus surrendered to the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. His flesh was warring against Him, and because He is divine, He KNEW what was coming…He even asked the Father to take the cup from Him, yet after admitting He didn’t feel like going, He knew in the Spirit that He had to. Jesus asked God in a submissive manner to do not HIS will, but the FATHER’S will (Luke 22:42).
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)
(Jesus surrendering in Gethsemane before the cross)
Do you tell God what you want and then get mad or rebellious when it doesn’t go your way or happen the way you want? Do you submit under your authority whether to your parents, your husband or your employers, or do you override and do what YOU want? Let us all humbly evaluate. We are all guilty. We all need forgiveness. We all need a gentle reminder. Let us go back to the heart of submission, of bowing before God and asking Him HIS best and perfect WILL for our lives. Amen? In the end, His plan is the best anyway! (Jeremiah 29:11) Why do we doubt?
Regarding submission, this isn’t just about your life and God’s plan for it. I believe surrender also pertains to WORSHIP. We are called to worship God in the beauty of His HOLINESS! (Psalm 29:2) We are commanded to worship because HE IS WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE! Not because we only thank Him for the blessings in life, but even when things are bad or unfortunate, it doesn’t change who God is because HE IS ALWAYS GOOD. His character and nature is loving, holy, gracious, kind, generous and filled with all benevolence (which means all good). God doesn’t change! (Malachi 3:6) People change, life changes and circumstances change…but that is life!
Let us always have a heart of worship and surrender regardless of what may come. Even though it can be hard, we know God will be with us and it will work out for our good in the end.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. (Psalm 29:2)
When we are obedient, it commands a blessing (Deuteronomy 28). Surrender is like a fragrance of worship, a sign of humility indicating our fear and reverence for God—for Jesus the Son of God that He died for us so we could be in communion with our heavenly Father when we DIDN’T DESERVE it. He paid the price for every sin we ever committed and ever will commit. Can you believe that amount of love, mercy, favor and everlasting kindness? It just makes me want to sit at the feet of my King and sing and worship. Why? I want to surrender, I want to submit. When we understand the meaning and value of true surrender, it deepens our faith and our relationship with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you to pray and listen to “I Surrender All” by awesome artist Greg Attwells, available on iTunes.
Please post a comment or prayer request below. God bless you, PI Girls!