We need to get that image out of our heads when we learn in context about the “surrender” God is inviting us to. He certainly doesn’t see you and me as losers. I’m sure, when studying other scriptural messages, this image of waving the white flag may have its place, but not when it comes to the healing journey you and I are on. That type of surrender – I’m a loser – runs the risk of deepening the shame and may reinforce the times in our past that we were dominated, blamed, controlled, manipulated, abused, overlooked, and so on. To that person, losing isn’t cathartic; it’s tragic.
A more appropriate perspective on surrender can best be illustrated by an example in my own life. When Jesus would use a fictional story that occurred in the physical realm, but taught an important truth in the spiritual realm, the Bible would call this a parable. When I use modern-day metaphors in a similar way, my students and counseling clients have been known to refer to these as “davisms.”
Ann and I have moved a few times over the course of our marriage, but only once to a different state. When we relocated from Kentucky to Texas, we were required to go to the DMV (which in Texas they call the Texas Department of Public Safety) to get a Texas driver’s license. Even though we were totally eligible for a Texas license, and we had brought all of the appropriate papers with us (social security card, birth certificate, proof of residence, etc.), they would not give us our new Texas license until each of us SURRENDERED our Kentucky driver’s license.
Why did I need to surrender my Kentucky license? They probably just destroyed it anyway. Or sent it back to Kentucky for them to destroy. The reason we were required to surrender our license was not because Texas was trying to prove we had lost some sort of battle. It was because we could not be a resident of two states at the same time. Get that? We had to choose whether we were residents of Texas or residents of Kentucky. It was our decision. But we couldn’t choose both.
Where Is Your Residency?
It is God’s desire for every one of His children to give up their residency in this world – fallen, unfulfilling, and in decline – and live their life as though they are a resident of His kingdom. But each of us must surrender our proof of residency first, just like Ann and I had to do when we moved to Texas.
“So, what is the proof of residency in this world we live in that we need to surrender?” We are to give God our shame, our pride, our fears, our flesh, our godless beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and actions, our efforts to be “good” – basically anything that does not glorify or reflect Him. God accepts nothing else we offer. To be a resident of His kingdom, we must give up all that has defined us on this earth. Let’s look at what the Bible tells us about this.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires.” (1 John 2:15-17)
“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:16)
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world (earth) lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates (rejects) you.” (John 15:19)
If you’re reading this with a desire to surrender your residency – and all of the baggage that comes with it – yet have little idea how to go about doing it, please contact us today to schedule a appointment with one of our nationally credentialed Christian Counselors. We offer convenient in-person Christian counseling sessions in our Louisville, Kentucky office, as well as online Christin counseling via FaceTime or Zoom.
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