I get a little nervous when I hear the preacher say “Surrender your life to Jesus.” I don’t remember Jesus using those words. I thought He talked about giving us “life to the full.” What’s this surrender thing about?
When I think about surrendering, I see a scene at the end of a war movie. The fight has gone on and on and finally, one side is surrounded. Absolutely no way out. So, they hoist a white flag and come out with their hands over their heads, yielding themselves to the more powerful. Now it’s up to the victors to decide what happens. The will of the losers has been yielded to the will of the victors.
I can relate to those losers. Why? Because I was one when I surrendered. After flailing around for years, trying to matter through career success and all the trappings that come with it, I found myself in my backyard. Alone. Broken. Out of options. I turned my eyes to the sky and I surrendered. I said, “Lord, I give up. I have totally screwed up my life. I know you’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. I accept your forgiveness. I’m yours. Whatever happens from here on out, it’s up to you. I trust you. I know you love me. It’s you and me Lord . . . you and me!”
That was the end of the life that I knew . . . the one where I was in charge. The one where I didn’t think or care about anyone else. But it was the beginning of a new life. One that matters. A life of peace, love and meaning. And it began with surrender.
So, what does it really mean to surrender? To trust God with everything? My friend Larry Green has taught me a lot about surrender. He shared the Total Surrender Contract with me a few years back and it’s become a part of my mentoring group process. I hand it to my guys during our Commencement Retreat and challenge them to sign it only when they’re absolutely ready to abide by its terms.
My challenge for you is the same. Download the document here. Print it. Read it. Read it again. Pray. Pray more. Ask God to give you the courage to sign it and honor its terms for the rest of your life. Then, when you’re ready, sign it and put it somewhere you’ll always remember . . . maybe somewhere you’ll see it every day.
Total Surrender Contract
I give myself to You without reservation, and surrender to You my will, my mind, my emotions, my body, my plans, my hopes and my dreams. I give You my home, my marriage, my spouse, my children, my geographical location, my recreation, my entertainment, my career. I commit into Your hands my successes, my failures, my habits, my finances, my problems, my time, my integrity, my character, my attitude, my business conduct and relationships, my Christian walk and my response to authority.
I am relinquishing the following rights to You . . .
My right to . . .
- my possessions
- my reputation
- acceptance from others
- be successful
- have pleasant circumstances
- presume upon what your will may be for me
- beauty or strength
- have friendships
- be heard
- take up offense
- avoid reaping from what I have sown
- handle or control my addictions
- be right
- see results
- be loved by others
- change others
- life itself
I give You permission to do anything You wish with me, to me, in me or through me. I claimed the above once as mine. Now I acknowledge that they all belong to You and are under Your control. You can do with them as You please. I willingly make this commitment in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I recognize that this is an agreement with You that can never be broken. Now that I have surrendered ownership of my life to You, I understand that You will never give ownership back to me. I accept that I am “not my own . . . that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit . . . and that I have been bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Amen.