“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
When we say, “I will surrender tomorrow,” what we really mean is that we will do and be and strive tomorrow. We want to leave the sin that ensnares us, but, today, we simply don’t have the energy. Today, there is another thing to do. The deep well we need to build up inside us to bring us to the point when we “can” surrender is only half-way full. But tomorrow—somehow—it will be full, and we will start at the beginning, running on full with nothing to distract us.
The problem with our idea of surrender is that doing more and fighting harder isn’t surrender at all. And surrender does not come when the well is full, when the high is reached, and when the preparations have been made. Few surrender when they are truly ready for battle. Often, when we say ‘surrender,’ what we really mean is, “Tomorrow, maybe the will of my flesh can tolerate the loss, and the going without, and the battle to fight, and I’ll have enough to tide me over. Tomorrow, I’ll win the battle to want to do better because the conditions will be right.”
But unconditional surrender is what the Lord asks of us because it is the only thing that brings us to Him. It is not a doing. It is an undoing. It is a letting go. We can surrender when we first put to death the hope of refueling our supplies for the battle, and instead wave the white flag right where we are—only by praying. When we do, He comes to our rescue right where we are. And we become surrendered to the glorious champion of all eternity, to the One who has already won the battle for us.
The reason we prefer to plan rather than to pray is because praying means coming to the end of ourselves. Praying is the first sign of our true surrender, and prayer today is the sure path to joy and freedom for our tomorrow.