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Bas Rijksen

Are you tired of feeling like you’re never good enough for God? Imagine this: What does a wrestler do when he’s in a painful, inescapable position? He surrenders, right? And what does an army do when surrounded and outnumbered? They surrender too. But when God tells you He’s madly in love with you, does it make sense to say, “I surrender”?

Doesn’t make sense right? Is surrender really what God desires from us, or is there something deeper He’s calling us into?

Profound Truth #1: You Already Belong to God

Think about it. Has anyone ever responded with “I surrender” when you told them you love them? If someone did that to me, I’d think they believed I wanted to control them. Surrender, in this sense, communicates fear. Wrestlers surrender to escape pain, armies surrender to avoid slaughter, and, sadly, many Christians think they need to surrender to avoid God’s punishment or to repeatedly give their heart and lives to Him. But that’s not God at all. He’s not after your obedience out of fear. He’s after a loving response to His initiating love that resides in your heart.

Now, let’s look at what Scripture says. In 1 Corinthians 3:23, it says, “And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” And in 1 Corinthians 6:20, it tells us, “You were bought with a price.” These verses reveal a profound truth: You already belong to God. You are His treasured possession, not in the sense of something He uses and discards, but like a beloved spouse in a loving marriage. It’s a mutual belonging, a deep, intimate connection.

When you believed in Jesus, you recognized your true belonging to Him. That moment was not about surrender in the traditional sense of yielding something; rather, it was an awakening to the profound truth that you have always been His. You didn’t need to signal surrender or give yourself or your life to God because He needed something from you. 

Instead, you simply became aware of His eternal embrace, which had been there all along, cradling you in tenderness. There was no need to wave a white flag; the real journey was in recognizing the embrace that had always wrapped you in its infinite tenderness.

God is not a cosmic control freak. He created us with free will so we could choose to love Him back. Real love isn’t coerced. It’s chosen freely. That’s why God desires us to move beyond being obedient slaves to being friends who know His heart. Jesus said it best in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Here’s the kicker: God is not asking you to constantly strive for His approval. You already have it. Romans 12:2 encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means understanding that God’s ways are not just good—they are joyous and fulfilling. When God guides you, it’s not a burdensome duty. It’s the most joyous path you can take because you know it’s filled with His love and goodness.

So, the next time you think you need to “surrender to God,” remember this: You are already His. Surrender, in the traditional sense, implies fear and defeat. But your relationship with God is built on love and trust. You don’t need to keep giving yourself to Him over and over. 

Think of it like the air you breathe—ever present, completely surrounding you, and filling you from within. Recognize that you belong to Him, that you are one with Him, and let that truth sink in.

God isn’t after a reluctant surrender. He’s inviting you into a joyful partnership, a friendship where His desires become yours. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” This signifies that your desires naturally align with His, and as you navigate your daily life, you’ll discover profound joy in harmonizing with His gracious heart.

Remember, it’s not about surrendering out of fear. It’s about embracing your identity as God’s beloved and living in the freedom and joy that comes from that relationship. When you understand this, you’ll see that the concept of “surrender” has been misunderstood. Instead, trust in the love and grace that already surrounds you—and indeed, that dwells within you. You’re already home. You already belong.

Profound Truth #2: Love Over Obedience

Now, let’s dive into something that might flip your understanding upside down. Picture this: what’s the core desire of God? Is it our obedience? Or is it something deeper? Spoiler alert—it’s something deeper.

Jesus made this clear in John 15:15. He told His disciples, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends.” Friends, not slaves! This is a game-changer. God’s primary desire is for us to understand His profound love for us, not just our robotic obedience.

Think about it: has anyone ever responded to an “I love you” with “I surrender”? It sounds ridiculous, right? Yet, many believers operate under this misguided notion. Surrender in this context reeks of fear and control—kinda like how a wrestler surrenders to escape pain or an army surrenders to avoid being slaughtered. But God doesn’t deal in fear. He deals in love. 

Moreover, despite the countless worship songs that focus on surrender, surrender, surrender, this notion often overlooks the truth that God is not seeking our surrender as a form of capitulation. It’s not about stepping into something new or giving something of ourselves to God; it’s about recognizing and awakening to the divine love that has always encompassed us and indeed, resides within us. 

This is the true nature of our “surrender” to God—not out of obligation or defeat, but from a place of deep, joyful recognition of His omnipresent love.

God’s love, as expressed in 1 John 4:18, eliminates the need for fear and punishment. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” God isn’t a cosmic control freak, waiting to pounce on our disobedience. He’s a loving Father who created us with free will because true love cannot exist without the freedom to choose.

Imagine a relationship where your partner loves you deeply and unconditionally. They don’t want to control your every move—they want you to know and feel their love so deeply that your actions naturally reflect that love. That’s the kind of relationship God wants with us. His love isn’t about demanding obedience; it’s about inviting us into a transformative relationship.

When you grasp the depths of God’s love, everything changes. Obedience isn’t a burdensome duty; it becomes a joyful, effortless response. Romans 12:2 encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, which means seeing God’s will as good, pleasing, and perfect. It’s not about obeying out of obligation but responding out of love.

Let’s bring it home with a powerful punchline: “God’s not asking for your surrender; He’s offering His friendship.” Chew on that for a moment. God doesn’t want you to fearfully wave a white flag; He wants you to embrace the love He’s been lavishing on you all along./

And here’s where the magic happens: once you truly understand and experience God’s love, obedience follows naturally and effortlessly. It’s not about striving to do more or be more. It’s about letting His love fill you up from the inside out and overflow into your actions. 

Philippians 2:13 reminds us, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” God places His desires within us, aligning our hearts with His.

So, let’s ditch the fear-based surrender and step into the joyous, love-filled relationship God offers. When you realize you are already deeply loved by God, obedience isn’t something you force. It’s something that flows naturally from knowing you are His beloved.

In the end, it’s not about surrendering in fear; it’s about living in the freedom and joy of God’s love. 

Profound Truth #3: Trust Over Surrender

Now, let’s take this journey one step further. Imagine shifting from the idea of surrender to something far more powerful: restful trust. Surrender, as we’ve seen, often implies fear and control. But what if our relationship with God was less about surrendering out of fear and more about trusting out of love?

Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Think about that! God is at work within you, shaping your desires, aligning your heart with His. It’s not about you striving to surrender every piece of your life. It’s about trusting that God’s already working in you, as you.

When you think of surrender, it might bring to mind a soldier waving a white flag or a wrestler giving up to avoid pain. But God’s way is different. He’s not looking for defeated soldiers or scared wrestlers. He’s looking for friends who enjoy His presence. Friends who know that He’s got their best interest at heart.

Romans 12:2 gives us a beautiful picture of what this looks like: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It’s about transformation, not by your efforts, but by having your mind renewed to understand God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. It’s like switching from a black-and-white TV to high-definition color—everything becomes clearer, more vibrant, more joyous.

Picture this: God’s commands are not burdensome; they’re promises of a joyous and fulfilling life already secured for us by Christ. In Christ, we are seen as perfectly obedient, as He is, because He has fulfilled every requirement on our behalf. Following God’s guidance is not about striving to obey; it’s about joyfully living out the reality that His perfect ways have already been credited to us. We follow not out of obligation, but out of a deep assurance that we are already living in the fullness of His grace.

Here’s the clincher: God won’t make you do things you don’t want to do. Instead, He works in your heart and mind, aligning your desires with His, because in union with Him, His desires are our desires. Philippians 2:13 reassures us that it is God who energizes us to will and to act according to His good purpose. Imagine it as God planting a seed of desire in your heart, which He then nurtures until it blossoms into action—effortlessly and beautifully.

So, let’s wrap this up with a punchline that will stick with you: “Stop striving to surrender and start trusting God’s work within you.” When you truly get this, it’s liberating. You’re no longer caught in the cycle of trying to give yourself to God over and over. Instead, you’re resting in the fact that you are already His, and He is working for you.

In your daily life, this means you don’t have to fret over whether you’re surrendered enough. Trust that God’s got you. Trust that His love is guiding you. When you relax in who you really are in Christ, obedience isn’t something you muster up; it’s something that flows naturally from a place of peace and joy.

So, the next time you hear the word “surrender,” remember: it’s not about waving a white flag. It’s about embracing the loving work God is doing in you. It’s about living in the freedom and joy that come from knowing you are His beloved, and He is at work within you, as you.

Rest in God’s love and let His work in you flourish. Ready to live in the divine flow with grace, ease, and joy? Learn how to stop striving and start resting by joining us at Grace Gaze Academy. While the access is free, we invite you to make a donation to help support our mission of spreading God’s love. 

Experience a profound sense of joy and peace, and enjoy a life free from the pressure of striving. Enroll now at Grace Gaze Academy and watch your life transform with the truths of God’s love and grace.

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