Everyone knows it’s an option you’re given by your capturer. “Surrender or die” is what you frequently hear. However, there are plenty of times when surrender is your only option. I’ve seen movies where the soldiers are surrounded on all sides by lines of enemies. It would be unbelievably foolish to try to escape. Your life is more valuable than escape, is it not? Yes, it is.
Look at this Bible story: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a man named Lazarus, covered in sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.” This story has a lot of explanations, some of which I may explore in the future, but now I want to show you the first sentence: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.” He was rich! He dressed awesome and had everything he wanted! He had no reason to submit to anyone, let alone surrender to them.
But, he did have reason to.
You see, if you look at the story, the man had everything going for him. Why should he be worried about “later”? Obviously, Lazarus had something to look forward to. He looked forward to when Jesus would say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. However, The rich man had no care of what was coming. He thought his money would take care of any issues he ran across. But whatever you gain here, it’s worthless in heaven!
I want to switch tones on this post, though. That verse wasn’t my original goal. Please listen to the music video below before continuing.
The words have a deeper meaning than most of TobyMac’s songs. He says in the first stanza that “there’s never any real potential” and that “it always ends the same”. Everything we gain here on earth has no real potential. The only thing we do with the things on earth is get more things here so that we can get more.
“Holding out with all that’s in me, is it worth all this pretending? A story with an ugly ending; it’s never worth the pain”. This is something that I struggle with a lot. I want to be “better” than God made me. I want to fit in, and concerning fitting in, I fall short of the mark. So, I try to make up for it. I’m good at making friends (so I’m told), but I put on a mask that’s not me. That’s not who God made me to be. I’m supposed to be Ryan, not that other kid over there.
“‘Cause I’m letting go, of everything I am, and holding on, to everything You are. I’m letting go of everything I once was; I’m all in…” This is the way that TobyMac is expressing his surrender. He’s giving up on everything he ever got, ever achieved, ever wanted, and instead engulfing himself in Christ, who is everything we need. “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ (Phil. 3:7).”
“Can we just wait out the weather? I could stay right here forever!” Here, he’s explaining the desire to stay in the world, to not surrender his ground to Christ. He just wants to wait it out (which you can’t). You’re a lot more comfortable in the world, doing what you want, rather than obeying Christ. You have to give up what you treasured for Christ. Everything for Him!
“Got to get myself together…” He’s acknowledging that he can’t wait it out and just stay in the world; he’s got to change; to do something.
How often do you promise yourself (and God): “Ok, it’s time I changed. I no longer will do _________”? Probably many a time. For the same thing. This is what TobyMac is saying now: “This time, I’m so for real; it’s time I sealed the deal. Shut down my lame appeals…” We often make excuses with God and ourselves, trying to convince God that it’s not so bad! God created us; He knows us; how can we deceive Him?
This song was inspiring to me in the fact that you not only cannot deceive God, you can’t hide from Him as Adam and Eve discovered, but you have to face Him like a man, take the blame for what you did. You also not only have to make Jesus your Savior, as many people think, but you have to make Him Lord of your life. You have to give Him the final decision.
However long and boring this post might have been, I hope it did some good to someone out there. Thanks for your support.