Surrender hardly seems powerful. The concept is counter-intuitive. Surely, we have to be in charge—in control and on top of things! This is power. But, is it really? And, how enduring is such power? We can all think of those who once were on top of things only to have things crumble and fall apart because of unforeseen circumstances or moral weaknesses. Many have worn Proverb 16:18 as their epitaph. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” One does not have to be among the politically elite or the rich and famous to wear this label. It is as common as our failure to surrender—our failure to acknowledge the Creator and yield to His will. Someone has said, “You are only as strong as your willingness to surrender.”

From a biblical perspective, power is given to those who surrender. This is a common theme in so many of our favorite Bible stories. From the crossing of the Red Sea under the leadership of Moses to David’s victory over Goliath. Ultimately, faith is trusting God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. When Paul could hardly see past his infirmity of the flesh, he prayed to the Lord three times and heard the Lord answer him, saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). His conclusion regarding all sorts of difficulties he suffered for Christ’s sake was this: “when I am weak, then I am strong” (vs. 10). Peter strikes upon a similar conclusion, saying, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7).

In the final analysis, we are but flesh. We must come to know that “the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves…” (Ps. 100:3). Any power we possess comes from the acknowledgement of this fact and our corresponding surrender to Him. “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10).

— Glen Elliott —