TAKING BACK SURRENDER

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urrendering might be the most difficult thing. True surrender–the kind where you feel powerless and empowered at the same time. Powerless because everything you’ve believed, everything you’ve fought for and were convinced about, is being laid down. Empowered because surrendering is, in fact, an action. No one can force us into it. No one can make us put up our hands and wave a white flag, even if we convince ourselves we are out of options.

Surrender is an act of will. Our will. Despite obstacles, challenges, hurdles where we can’t imagine a way through, surrendering is still a choice, a way forward.

Surrender doesn’t have to mean a step back.

Surrender is empowerment

The truth is, we can indeed say no to surrender: we can keep running; we can keep resisting; we can keep trying to carry on, do things the way they have always been done. We can fight and push and hold the line. We can be stubborn and prideful, opposed to change. After all, our opinions, our thoughts, our feelings are valid, right? Well, yes, but . . .

Our heart knows when it is time to surrender. No matter the struggle. No matter the cost.

Surrender isn’t easy

I wish surrender were easy. I want it to work like this: I say I will be different and–with a wave of a magic wand–I am different. There. All done. I want the act of surrender to have immediate results, with no pain, no discomfort, no uncertainty about results. I want the choice to surrender to equal the act of surrender. But, yeah, I know it doesn’t work that way.

When it comes to surrender, Jesus got it done

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus chose surrender. He knew the cost; He knew it was worth it.

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground”  (Luke 22:44).

Jesus knew what his surrender involved: torture, humiliation, physical and mental agony, death on a cross. And yet still, He chose it. He gave to God his body, his mind, his heart, his very soul. He did this for the love of the Father. It was surrender that paved the way to Life.

And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’ And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak'” (Mark 14:36-38).

Jesus modeled complete surrender, the only surrender that really works. The only surrender that makes any of us different people.  The only surrender that makes us free, not ensnared in sin. The only surrender that lets us experience God’s love and the reality of being whole. And Jesus knows firsthand how challenging surrender is, telling his disciples, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Surrender and the Spirit

Our spirit’s willingness and our flesh’s weakness are why our acts of surrender must be acts of the spirit, not the flesh. Our flesh does not want to obey us; it wants to do what it wants to do. It does not want to be corralled, cajoled, reined in, controlled. But the spirit, the breath of God in us, knows what is good. And when we cling to what is good, as Paul urges us in his letter to the Romans (12:9), we are entrusting to God our will, our mind, our body, our soul, our heart.

So even though our flesh resists surrender, the Spirit of God that dwells in us helps us indeed cling to what is true: God’s will, not our own.  Jesus reminds us of the power we have in God, and the powerlessness we have without him:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1-7).

Surrender begins with abiding in Christ

Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. In Christ, we can do anything. Through the act of surrender, we get to choose Jesus’ life in us, making surrender one of the most powerful weapons we have against the enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus’ surrender led to the death of our sin so that we get to choose surrender for ourselves now–the power of Jesus in us, or the weakness of our own flesh.

What are we going to choose?

Surrender means we get out of our own way

Jesus gave God, his Father, everything. And God gave to Jesus, and thus to the world, everything back. So, sister, though this life is difficult, though we struggle and fall, we can yet surrender, again and again. We can surrender our hearts, our minds, our bodies. We are no longer slaves of our sin, but children of God, alive with the Spirit of God in us.

Surrender? Yep, we can do this.

Surrendering is empowering after all.

Want to surrender together?

Let’s do this. Let’s pay attention to our hearts: How is God inviting us each to surrender? And how can we make this practical?

For me, I am surrendering to God my mind and heart–praying for 40 days that I better honor and respect the opinions and feelings of my family. (I am hoping that the concrete goal of 40 days will help me approach my act of surrender with steadfastness and diligence.)

Want to join me in this step toward saying yes to Jesus today?

Share one thing, in the comments, that you are doing in your act of surrender. And let’s pray for one another, shall we?

taking back surrender
taking back surrender
taking back surrender
taking back surrender
taking back surrender
We get to choose Jesus’s life in us, making surrender one of the most powerful weapons we have against the enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Read more of the post . . .
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Showing 31 comments
  • Stephanie Sample
    Reply

    This blog is beautifully timed for my heart, and I thank you!
    After 17 years as a stay at home mom, and 27 of being able to pursue every dream, idea, or desire I had, I am starting (this week, in fact!) a full-time job so that my husband has the time and space to explore the dreams, ideas and desires of HIS heart without the pressure of supporting our family through his income alone. I’m mostly happy – thrilled, actually – but there is a part of me resisting, grieving, convinced my 17 and 15 year-old will suffer if I am not here in the house waiting for them to need something. Wondering if I made the most of the years I had. Knowing for a fact I did not. (Who does?)
    So yes, I’m in! In and grateful for the company.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Stephanie, I LOVE that you’re here. Praying now, sister. What a beautiful situation–a beautiful gift–to surrender! Bless you as you lean into Him. I will continue to pray!

  • Crystal
    Reply

    I’m surrendering control of my life and surroundings. I know what God has promised me and my family and I’m surrendering to God all control of that promise. Walking by faith may look absolutely crazy to some of our friends and family, but we’re doing it. Not my will, but God’s will be done. Taking each day one step at a time knowing the path is already laid out ahead even when I can’t see it.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Wow, Crystal. This is awesome. You encourage me. Praying for you now–what beautiful faith you have in His promises!

  • Martha Bergen
    Reply

    As I read this blog post, I was thinking of surrender – and yes the how powerful that is. – and 40 days of surrendering over and over again, for me part of surrender is accepting the grace when I mess up. Instead of constantly beating myself up. I am choosing to surrender my kids – my family life, and a very dear friend, who is struggling, whom I seem to think that I can fix LOL – found out that is not my job, So please pray that as I surrender her to God, that I will still speak the truth in love. and to surrender the frustration that comes from her life choices.

    Thanks – I am all in for 40 days,

    • Jacqui Bergen
      Reply

      Martha, here in Oklahoma I, too have been struggling with a friend…. thinking I can help her ALL THE WAY. I’m surrendering her now to Papa’s hands. She recently found her heart was blocked enough to have 3 stents in this week. Feeling that it is somehow my fault not convincing her to change, surrender her very lifestyle I lift her up & pass her on. I’m letting go of this; of her. Pray, my Camp Sister girls with me!! I’m thankful for you, Martha for putting this into words for me ?

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      This is so awesome, Martha. So, am I right-that we are committing then, to October 1?

      Love that we are doing this together! Praying for you now, sister–for freedom and peace . . . and the gift of kindness to your heart in the surrender and trusting in Him.

  • Roxanne
    Reply

    I am surrendering my daughter to Him. Only He can make all things beautiful in His time! As I pray in these next 40 days, I am also surrendering our future to Him! He knows the future, but we must submit to it…. Lord let us turn to you as you have our best interests in mind, as well as the people around us that you have entrusted us with! Lord let us not be prodigals (wasteful of time) but let us use our time for your good and glory!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Amen. Right with you. Thank you, Roxanne. Love and appreciate this so much.

  • Theresa Rozanski
    Reply

    After walking with Jesus for 20+ years, I’ve had many wilderness experiences. The one I’m currently in is baffling to me. I’m blessed beyond what I ever expected yet find my relationship with God currently muted. It’s as if the gift giver dropped off all these gifts, but won’t talk to me. My feelings tell me He’s absent, yet the truth is He is near. It’s a struggle to hang on to that truth. By the way, I appreciate the Spotify worship list you offered in one of your Loop devotionals. It’s helping me be mindful of God while my heart feels alone. The recent devotional “Go Forward, Girl” with John 15:5 scripture, was a reminder that this too is necessary. God used John 15:5 back in 2011 in a mighty way to set me free from the bondage of legalism and experience in real life the grace that embraces me. The song attached to that devotional – Will Reagan “Help Me Find My Own Flame”, revealed to me that this part of my journey, not relying on the passion or experiences of others, but to accept this as part of my story, a part I’ve never experienced before in this duration. Thank you Jennifer, for your words, commitment, and your story that helps us to remember that we aren’t alone!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Theresa, your honesty here is such a gift to me. Thank you. Praying now for our Jesus to come and show you His face in a new way, for you to be lead to a new picture–His reinterpretation of your story as you see Him in the gifts He gives. I know all about the mess of feelings versus what is true! I love your heart for pursuing Him, knowing He is near, despite our emotions. Bless you, his dear one.

  • Janet Trenda
    Reply

    Prefect timing, thank you. I believe God asked me to lay down my dreams and vision for my ministry last week and wait and listen each day for what He has for me. I wish I could say I’m doing this easily, but it has been a wrestling . Humorously, I twisted my hip…. and when the chiropractor asked how I did it, all I could think was… wrestling with God! Maybe there’s a name change coming?
    I loved the reminder that surrender is the best tool for spiritual warfare. I needed that. Thanks.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Janet, oh, I am so sorry about your twisting your hip! But I love how your heart is wide open to hearing Him and seeing Him now. (I love His names for us, too!)

      Father, meet your daughter now, in the midst of this surrender, in the midst of her trusting you. You are her strength. You are her victory, her path, her vision what is ahead. Thank you that you have the most beautiful plan for her. Thank you as you help her to trust you with it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • Linda Johnson
    Reply

    I am now 61 years old, and I gave my heart and mind to God at the age of 17. I have not been near what God expects me to be, but I have struggled to please Him. There are many things that I need to surrender to God, so I will sum them all up to striving to give them over to God; Husband, daughters and sons and family. What I most fervently pray for is our children, that they will look to God, whom is their beginning and their end. We have one daughter that is a strong believer, but she won’t leave certain things be that she is putting into her system (beer and weed). She sings beautifully, she praises God to the highest. My weakness is I worry about her and know I need to turn it over to God. Please L.P.S pray for her when you pray and I will certainly do the same for you all…..Also sisters I need prayer to help me determine whether to start going back to online college or not. I’ve come a long way, but funds is a LARGE issue right now, and I keep telling myself that I know God has the provision to see me through, but at 61, I’m discouraged, and to be honest I’ve felt like a failure having to stop my classes, because of money issues. Yes surrender Jennifer is what I need to do so that I can concentrate on what God may be telling me…..but with a clouded mind, I can’t hear. Love you all for all of the encouragement I’ve received since I joined LPS.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Linda, What a beautiful honor to be able to pray for you, to join you in the surrender of our hearts, our families, our careers, our finances, our doubts, our futures. We know He holds all of these things, and He is with us, never leaving us. I will add an invitation to Loop Prayer Sisters so that everyone there can add the ways they are surrendering so we can pray for one another there. When you see that, please copy and paste your prayer of surrender so everyone in that community can see it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LoopPrayerSisters/

  • Carmen Allison
    Reply

    Im highly blessed, i received many blessing through God my Saviour. I give God al the praise and honor. I specifically want to surrender my whole life & everything to Him. Glory to God. I also want to lay all my problems & hardships at His feet. God proved to me that with Him evrything is possible through faith.

  • Deitra Shoemaker
    Reply

    Perfect timing. Funny, last night I lettered your instagram post Cling to What is good on a bookmark. Then today I was reading your post and stopped cold when I read those words, realizing that God’s sacred echo was ringing in my heart. He was already speaking to me about surrender and then your post and then John 17:2 spoke saying….I’m pruning not to hurt you but to give you MORE fruitfulness!!!!! YES Jesus, i say yes to surrender…prune away so that I may grow into who you have created me to be.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Deitra, this is so beautiful; just amazing. I am smiling the biggest smile now. Thank you. You encourage me greatly. And yes, Jesus, we trust You with your pruning! Do your work in us! We want to continue to be shaped by your loving hands and heart! In Your name we pray, Amen.

  • Ailie
    Reply

    This is so beautiful. I’m busy working on surrendering my need to change the world and accept God’s plans for this season of my life. So, I lay down my big dreams and desires. I pick up his call to love my hubby, homeschool our boys, and continue blogging. I surrender to God as an act of trust, knowing he won’t let me down because he has so much awesome in store.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Amen to “so much awesome in store”! Yes! Love to you, sweet Ailie. Praying as you continue to surrender and look to Him each day. Praying for protection of your heart as He whispers to you His dreams for you . . .and they are beautiful . . . I love how His definition of “big” and “small” turn our definitions upside down!

  • Jacqui Bergen
    Reply

    Well, right now timing is perfect for me…. thank you for this plan! I bow & vow to surrender my mornings…. HECTIC no more. I will be still before my Papa I Am (in my morning pain) & know he is here. Life pushes me to rush around, be valid, “hurry-hurry you’re not keeping up & the world is going on without you”
    SO this is my surrender. I’m excited about this, having sisters in Spirit praying with me! I’m with you guys!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Jacqui, I love how you wear the armor of His truth–knowing that he equips you to hear His voice and respond to Him, silencing the lies of the world that tell you your worth is in success, productivity, speed, etc. Bless you as you surrender. I join you, sister.

  • Kimberly Nelson
    Reply

    A friend of mine who knows I’m struggling sent this to me and I’m printing it and putting it in a continual visiting spot in my home. Five years ago I embarked on a journey to patent a product. Heart and soul I put into this dream to find out in December, after fighting, hoping and praying for five years, it was a final “no”. As I sat in my cold pleather office chair, coffee in hand, my eyes filled with tears and my dreams were all of a sudden crushed. A state of depression I fell into. I’m still pushing and moving forward as I try and pay off the remainder fees and startup expenses but feel in my heart it is time to surrender, raise the flag and say okay, it’s in your hands. “If not he is still good” from the book of Daniel plays in my head daily. I’ve spent so much of my time away from my children and husband and just hope that one day I will find out the reason and whether it was all worth it. And after having read your post have come to believe that once I surrender I will find out the answer. Thank you for the inspiring words that I so needed to hear.

  • Natasha Trennery
    Reply

    The Last 8 months has been hard since my Husband passed away on the 16th Dec 2016. I Praise our Father for your emails that I received each Monday and Thursday and blessed others with it by sharing it with them. My new journey has just begun but I have learned in this process that if you give (surrender) everything to the Father that everything works out in your favor. I don’t always understand why things like this happens but i Choose to trust our Father no matter what. He has never failed me nor forsaken me. I pray for my 15 year old son that is going through this journey with me, although his path is different, I always pray that he will stay close to our Father and that he will find the Joy of our Lord is his Strength. We found out that his Grandfather his lymphatic cancer and that it has spread through his entire body. I just keep trusting in You Father and surrender even this situation to you.

  • Yolanda
    Reply

    I am really battling to surrender our finances at the moment. We are struggling financially & although everything in the natural is screaming lack I am standing on the promises of God to provide for me and my family. Not easy at all!!!
    But through it all God is good & I will continue to Trust Him………and if all else fails I will stand 🙂

  • Nadine
    Reply

    I surrender my heart mind soul and body, I surrender my whole life to Jesus, I surrender our finances we have been battling a financial crisis the last couple of months has not been easy at all, but with the Lords help we have been provided for each day moment by moment day by day, we are also battling to get out of the area we are living inn I surrender this too to the Lord.. I surrender my marriage and my child and our businessto Jesus.
    I surrender it all, I thank God that I can approach His throne of Grace and lay it all down at His feet. I trust Him and have hope in Him and know He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

  • Bambi Pu'uwai
    Reply

    I’m 61 years old… I got saved about 15 years ago & the relationship I’ve had with God has seriously blown my socks off. He’s proven to be the dad I never had. He provides for me, protects me, loves me like I’ve never known. But I’ve allowed alcohol to come back into my life and it seems to be a battle I can’t win. Working through a lot emotional damage has made drinking it away easier than dealing with it, even though when I do hit things face on God is always there to comfort me. I always promise God, “with your help I can do this”, but like you said, the flesh is weak. I want to surrender this again, once & for all. I seriously want my Heart, Mind & Soul to belong to HIM & HIM Alone!!!! I want back the intimate relationship I have had with Him but in a greater measure so that I can be all that He created me to be. I’m in.

  • Ann Karien
    Reply

    Yes! Let’s all “…remain in HIM and HE in us…” for these 40 days; amen❤️

  • Anrika Marais
    Reply

    I surrender my relationship with my boyfriend. We are talking about getting married but there are still some progress waiting to happen like how we manage conflict… I don’t feel like I am getting the attention and quality time I would like to. It is driving us further apart. It is difficult to choose the right thing to do.

  • Patsy
    Reply

    After suffering many restless and sleepless nights and wondering how I will hear God’s voice in our situation I have realized we have to surrender our finances to the Lord. We have to surrender everything that keeps us chasing to produce more in order to meet more and more commitments which Do not serve us or God in any way. We have to redirect what we invest our time and money in. I believe that as we surrender our aims and goals and dreams and what our future holds, He will begin to
    Bless us abundantly. Amen.

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