We’re Christians, so we should understand surrender. Right? Both hands up (the international sign) – You’re God, and I’m not.
Our first act of surrender was when we first accepted Jesus’ payment on the cross for our sins and His victorious resurrection – embracing Him as Savior. And it continues day after day as we strive to surrender our will to His – confessing sin as His Spirit convicts us and choosing His way over ours – making Him Lord. So surrender plays a very important part in our daily Christian walk.
And it does in our worship life as well. In fact, the Bible says that only the heart that’s surrendered to God can stand before His throne to worship Him.
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face – even Jacob” (Psalm 24: 3-6).
Because worship is never just words. It’s never just singing “I surrender all.”
Words are merely that – words – until poured out from a heart bowed before God. And the “bowing” part is what makes it worship. Bowing is the heart’s response of submission and surrender to the God it’s exalting. It’s lifting God to His rightful place, and then embracing our place at His feet.
Worship first involves surrendering our time. It involves surrendering our attention. And then it involves surrendering all that we are to all of the God who reveals Himself to us in that place at the foot of His throne.
So in other words:
It’s not enough to declare that God is holy. I must surrender all of myself to His holiness.
It’s not enough to say that God is my Lord. I must surrender all of myself to His lordship.
It’s not enough to claim that God is my Rock. I must surrender all of myself to stand on and trust in my Rock.
It’s not enough to sing the songs of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. I must surrender all of myself to the One who gave His absolute all for me.
And it’s in that place that gas in thrown on worship’s fire – that place of seeing, exalting, embracing, and surrendering to all of God. It’s inviting His Spirit to light the dark places in my soul that don’t line up with who He is and saying “Make me like You!”
As David worshiped – declaring the glory of God and the perfection of His law in Psalm 19 – he responded to God with a personal appeal: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (verse 14).
May our worship find in us hearts that long to deeply respond to God’s Spirit there – surrendering to whatever He reveals of Himself. May we bow our all to His all.
It’s the very sweetest of surrenders. The one that leads to freedom.
And the truest place of worship.
Enjoy this Hillsong Worship song, I Surrender.
How do you view surrender as a part of your worship?