The hymn “I Surrender All” has always been one of my favorites.
In this hymn, the writer makes the statement, “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to him I freely give; I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.”
The word surrender means more than just ceasing resistance. It is a word that in English indicates giving up. An online dictionary gives this definition: “give up or agree to forgo to the power or possession of another.”
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 8:32, does not use the word surrender in discussing the gift of Jesus on the cross by God the Father, but the idea is there. Paul wrote, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32 ESV). God gave his son up for all of us.
It’s interesting that Jesus could have, at any time during his trial and crucifixion, called upon his father to send 12 legions of angels to rescue him and avoid his painful death, but he did not (Matthew 26:53). Instead, Jesus surrendered to the Jews, to Pilate and to the Roman soldiers who scourged and crucified him.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, he could have saved himself at any time, but did not. Instead, he allowed life to flow from his body and died so that we might be freed from sin (Romans 6:7). Jesus surrendered all, so that we might live, provided we surrender all.
One way of surrendering to God is by repentance. Recently, one of my friends wrote on an Internet page that the subject of repentance is not being preached as often as it should. He’s right; it isn’t. But, isn’t repentance the act of surrendering ourselves to God by turning away from sin and turning to righteousness?
We should be willing to look at ourselves inside and find the wrong thoughts, wrong motives, wrong beliefs, anything that is wrong inside and surrender those things: just give them up. Then, we need to replace all those wrong things with right ones from the Bible. If we do that, then we meet the idea of repentance in the Bible.
Sometimes, though, there are things we don’t want to give up. There are little things we like to do, although we know we shouldn’t. We must give these up, too. Then, there are things we know we should do, that we won’t. We need to give up our resistance to the Master and surrender that mindset, shouldn’t we?
“All to Jesus, I surrender. All to him I freely give.” That’s what God wants of us.