Theology Thursday: Modeling Surrender in Our Current Culture
Surrender: The Question
What does it mean to model surrender in our current culture? Does this concept imply that we are to give in to all the whims that the world has to offer? The answer to this question is a resounding “no.”
Surrender: In What Context?
Our source of surrender is aimed toward the Lord. James 4:7 tells us, “Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Everything we do is for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). He is the motivating and driving force behind life. Does this passage tell us to submit to the devil? No, it says to resist him, in the power of Christ, and that he will flee.
Our world makes a regular habit of telling us what we should think and how we should react in various situations. The problem is, the world hates the things of God (John 15:18-25), and it is not uncommon for external forces and pressures to demand that we call good things bad and vice versa. This practice is clearly condemned in Isaiah 5:20, which reads, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.”
Therefore, we never cower before the enemies of God, allowing them to influence our words, thoughts and actions in a way that is contrary to the Word of God. We are held accountable to the Lord, and not to mankind (Acts 4:19-20). However, as we submit wholly to the Lord, we will have an incredible impact on the world around us.
Surrendering Without Conformity
Now, with an understanding that we do not conform to the world’s standards over God’s (Romans 12:1-2), how can we model surrender? This is a great question, and one that Christians wrestle with as they struggle to live within the paradox between our world and the Kingdom of God. If the world is corrupted by sin, how can we surrender without compromising what we know to be good and true.
First, we model surrender by living lives of humility. Zephaniah 2:3 tells us, “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have practiced His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will remain hidden on the day of the Lord’s anger.” In this one verse, we see humility encouraged twice. When we approach the world, we come in humility rather than a state of pride, indignation or haughtiness. Remember, many of God’s enemies have never heard nor comprehended the Gospel.
Secondly, we approach the people of the world in love. We can disagree with their positions or viewpoints, but we minister to them in hopes of their enlightenment and salvation. Jesus loved us while we were still His enemies (Romans 5:10), so we are called to do the same.
Lastly, we surrender to ourselves by being truth-proclaimers. Do not withhold the things that are good and true because of comfort or fear. Rather, we are called to be reconcilers, pointing people to Jesus at all costs (2 Corinthians 5:18).
Read more Theology Thursday blogs and learn about theology and ministry degree programs offered by GCU's College of Theology today.
Approved by Brian Koning with College of Theology on 8/19.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.
More About GCU