our adversary would want to bring against us. And like peace, surrender is not a passive, defensive weapon but one of the most potent offensive weapons in a believer's arsenal. Consider the following thoughts.
We are obviously not talking about surrendering to the enemy, but rather to God. Jesus modeled this for us by living the perfectly surrendered life: "the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees his Father doing," and "I can do nothing on my own...I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me." (John 5:19, 30 NRSV). We see from these words and other descriptions of Jesus' life that He lived a life of "absolute surrender" (Andrew Murray's term) to His Father which meant surrender to His Father's will. And no one did more destruction to the enemy than Jesus (see Acts 10:38 and John 3:8, for example), so we can see that surrender is for sure a very powerful offensive weapon against the devil. But how does it work?
First, please note that we are talking about surrender to a Person, not to principles, a way of life, circumstances, etc. We are not talking here about begrudging resignation to "what is" nor capitulation to circumstances. Nor are we talking about servile submission to an uncaring Master. We are talking about trusting surrender and dependence-drenched collapse into arms of the One who knows everything and loves completely. I think the picture of my son Jon up in the air might be a good picture of this, or perhaps the trusting surrender of a wife to her gentle and caring husband as they enter into physical intimacy.
Second, the nature of this surrender is not quiet, forced submission to someone who has more power and needs to control things. No, the surrender we see Jesus model was bathed in communication, with both Father and Son listening to one another. Nowhere do we see this stated more clearly that in John 11:42 where Jesus says to His Father, "I knew that you always hear (listen to) me." What a remarkable glimpse this gives us of the mutual surrender that love and trust bring to a relationship! The Father "surrenders" to the Son's request, the Son surrenders to His Father's direction and depends totally upon His Father's power and authority! I think you can see how this fits for us as well.
Third, surrender is made in the context of the experienced love of God. In John 5:20, right after saying He can do nothing on His own, Jesus says, "Because (for) the Father loves the Son..." Wow! Jesus knew Father's love so well, and experienced His Father's love so completely and continuously that surrender was His automatic response. Think about this one and how it can unfold in your life, and you will be blown away by the implications, I think!
Fourth, surrender results in the exchange of our weakness and ignorance for the limitless power and knowledge of God. Through surrender we relinquish our feeble understanding and strength in the context of a loving, listening relationship, and this results in the flow of limitless power through our surrendered wills. This is, I think, why surrender is such a powerful weapon. Not only do we take refuge within God's embrace (castling within the Father's heart), we also exchange powerless weapons for those of limitless power.
Finally (for now), like peace, surrender is both a weapon and a means to the use of other weapons in our arsenal. It is only the surrendered heart that can remain at peace in the storm, the surrendered will that will burst forth with kindness, gratitude and generosity, etc. I could write more, but I think you get the picture.
I know I could write more about this. Indeed, Andrew Murray wrote an entire book about surrender, so I have for sure barely scratched the surface here. But my hope is that as you try this weapon out you will experience what millions of believers have experienced down through the ages: the love and power of God released through your increasingly trusting and surrendered life. Try it, you'll like it, and so will those around you.
Resting my way into surrender,
Tom, one of Abba's little children