From Surrender to Submission

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

When someone surrenders to God, they trust His love to give Him their heart. They are in a yielded position. Submission goes from the yielded position into obedient action. Submission puts action to faith.

Submission starts with surrender. If a person has been hurt in their past by someone that they trusted, it can be difficult to surrender. It can be hard to receive love. It can be nearly impossible to trust. God cares about hurting people. He wants to heal them, to make them whole in their heart, in their minds and in their emotions. God understands that damaged people may have difficulty receiving. Because of His love, God is patient. God will commit to the long-haul pursuit of loving a person who had developed a hard, protective shell. He will never force His way into a person’s heart, but He will persistently offer His love, knocking on the door of a heart. He asks to be let in, but it is up to the person whether they will trust Him enough to let Him inside.

Letting God in is a good first step for many people. It can take some time for them to get to that point. God is okay with that. Some will surrender parts of their heart, but God will lovingly go to the dark places of the heart where we don’t want anyone to go. Surrender isn’t true surrender until it is 100 percent yielded. God wants the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes we want to fix our bad and our ugly before letting God in, but we can’t fix ourselves. God asks to have the parts of our lives that we are ashamed of. It requires extreme trust to let Jesus be the Lord of our damaged heart, especially the parts we would rather forget are there.

Once we surrender, then God asks for submission. Submission is putting action to our surrender as an expression of love for God as our authority. It is one thing to trust someone with words and with feeling. It is another thing to trust someone enough to act on it. When God asks us to submit, or to obey, He is asking us to act on our love for Him. Until we can act in submission, our surrender is not complete. James 2:17 says that faith without works is dead or inactive. Our faith is powerless until we reach the point of acting in obedience. When we do, nothing is impossible!

Application: The submission of faith why Jesus said to Peter, “Come” and to the lame “Pick up your bed” and to the lepers “Go show yourself to the priest” and to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch.” He wants us to trust Him enough to do something about it. Then we will have the kind of faith where all things are possible. Trust and obey.

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