Surrender is not a favorite topic. No one likes to give in to someone or something else. But, in the 30 day journey under the title, You Have to Move from Where You Are, we found inspiring evidences that surrender brings liberation. We often think of surrender in terms of war, when the enemy takes your freedom and gives you captivity.
However, in the spiritual sense, surrender is the journey from captivity to liberation. This type of surrender is something worth talking about and definitely a fortune worth finding.
I found a moving model of both types of surrender in the book of Jeremiah. The prophet informed the people about the impending invasion and captivity by Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian king (war). God told Jeremiah to warn the people; If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down (Jeremiah 38:17). It’s seems ironic that while Jeremiah is telling them that war is looming over their heads, he is also pleading with them to surrender (spiritual).
As ironic as it is, it is the message that God gives our current world. War may be looming in your jobs, in your homes, in your marriage or in your life in general, but have you surrendered to God? Of course, surrender doesn’t mean to lower your self-esteem or devalue your self-worth. Any action that requires you to devalue yourself, is not surrender in God’s eyes.
- Surrender is yielding in obedience to the laws of God, His principles, precepts, and commands.
- Surrender is motivated by love and respect for God first.
- Surrender is a titanic act of faith not an act of folly.
- Surrender is a colossal symbol of strength not of weakness.
Let’s examine the life of two kings in Jeremiah’s story. There is King Zedekiah of Jerusalem and King Jehoiachin of Judah. Jeremiah warned both of them to surrender when the Babylonians show up.
Zedekiah didn’t surrender. He ran away. The Babylonians chased, caught and captured him. They killed his son’s before his eyes, then put out his eyes, before they threw him in prison for the rest of his life, where he died.
However, King Jehoiachin surrendered. They took him into exile. He was in prison for about 37 years, but his liberation came. Being in prison for 37 years is captivity but it was the path to his liberation. The moment of surrender will not bring instant liberation, but it begins the journey to liberation. In chapter 52, God uses King Jehoiachin’s life to show us the fortunes God has for us when we surrender.
- Restoration: God will left up your head (vs. 31). “…[the] king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison
- Exaltation: God will place you in an honorable position (vs. 32). “…He spoke kindly to him [Jehoiachin] and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon
- Transformation: God will transform your heart and life (change of garments) (vs. 33) “…So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.
- Sustenance: God will provide for your daily needs (vs. 34). “…Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death.
Jehoiachin’s life is a profound testimony of surrender. Remember surrender doesn’t mean immediate transformation. Surrender is the first step to end the war, but that’s really when the battle begins to stay surrendered. The difficult journey begins, but liberation is sure to come.
I could never stay in my corner of the world and tell you where in your life you are to surrender and or how you are to surrender, but God knows. You may already feel it deep down in your bones. You may already know what is appropriate to do and what God is calling you to do. In my corner, I can only pray that you do. Surrender; take the journey (no matter how long or how difficult) and wait for liberation. With liberation comes fortunes you can never imagine. I’m sure Jehoiachin didn’t know either, but God does.
A caterpillar will never become a butterfly until it surrenders, become captive, and wait for the day of liberation. As tough and scary as it is, don’t be afraid, remember King Jehoiachin and surrender.
Jeremiah 4: 4, “O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord…”