This is part of the series”What is the Gospel?”
Several months ago I had a thought about how God desires for us to relate to Him when we are confronted with the Gospel. The line of thought that I followed revolved around two words—Submission and Surrender. While I believe that both are aspects of the Christian journey, the more I thought about it the more I leaned toward submission as the appropriate response to God. God desires for His children to grow in faith and relationship with Him. This process is called Sanctification (which I understand to mean “becoming like Jesus”). Why is sanctification important? It is important because it serves as an indicator of the progress we have made in our walk with God. Are we striving for God’s will? Do we see the world through His eyes?
Submission and Surrender are a part of this unfolding drama in that it reveals to God the inclination of our Heart. What is the difference you may be asking? I would have to say that it is choice. When I submit I am voluntarily ceasing from pursuing my own program. I have decided to defer, to consent to the will of God. Surrender is different in that it implies the end of a valiant, yet fruitless attempt to win against the opponent. Surrender is the need to back down under compulsion. Many may hear the gospel and it goads them into rejecting its message. For this person the option chosen is that of surrender. They have to be made to give in. The Gospel will feel like a battle to be won, and yet they will never overcome. The bible says that every knee will bow. Then there are those that hear the gospel and rejoice because it is Good News to their heart. Submit yourself unto the Lord and allow God to order your steps.