I Surrender All, but Do I Really?
“All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give.” Most of us are familiar with the words of this famous hymn. We have sung them for years and felt their impression on our hearts. However, I must confess words like these have also left me with an uncomfortable feeling because they bring forth a picture in my mind of submission.
So the question begs to be asked, what place does submission hold in worship? In worship we acknowledge the authority and the “otherness” of our God. We see him as the eternal Creator and sustainer of all things. We marvel in the knowledge that he is our Redeemer and our Savior. Yet, it is quite another thing to respond in a way that shows “All to Him I freely give.” Submission is the key to our response.
God is absolutely clear in His requirements for worship; we see this from Genesis to Revelation. He knows that in our worship we reveal the condition of our hearts. It is in our hearts where compromise with the world can start and it is in our hearts where true submission to our God begins. So when we look at worship we can see it is truly a condition of the heart.
When we “surrender all” and submit to God and the leading of His Holy Spirit we move into his presence. We are able to let go of all that holds us back, the cares and worries of life, the difficulties of the week, our personal struggles and fears, and we move into his presence. We feel his hand and hear his voice.
In Psalm 51:12, David asks “Grant me a willing Spirit, to sustain me.” David’s request gives us a glance into his heart. Here we see his humility and his willingness to submit; to “surrender all” as he seeks his God.
So it may be this idea of submission and surrender is not as uncomfortable as it might appear. Maybe this is what God seeks in all of us: the ability to let go of ourselves and allow his Spirit to work. Maybe Isaiah was on to something when he recorded these words, “This is what the high and holy One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to receive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite.”