“The word commitment is in essence not a biblical concept. It is more or less since the 1960’s that Christian writers and preachers began to use the word. Today people are asked to make a commitment to follow Christ, to commit to go to the mission field, to give financially, to pray for a certain issue.
The word commit means: promised devotion, to pledge devotion or dedication to somebody or something; to be committed to, to entrust something or somebody to somebody else for protection.
The loophole with commitment though, is that we can still decide what and how much we want to commit. The decision still lies with us. We are still in control. It is more of a humanistic concept than a Christian concept.
Scripture speaks of surrender, not commitment. The definition of surrender is: to give up possession of something: to relinquish possession or control of something, unconditional submission, abandonment of legal rights, an act of willing submission to authority, capitulation, renunciation, to hand over, to give up a fight, an act of declaring defeat at the hands of an opponent.
Let us surrender to God. Let us give up our rights. When we surrender to God, it is not for us to decide what we want to do with our lives, possessions and future. It is only in surrender that God can do with us what He wants to do. Surrender is unconditional commitment. It goes against the grain of the era of humanism. It is in total surrender that we can really pray: “Your will be done.” It is through total surrender that we get out of the way so that God can work in and through us or even set us aside to work through someone else to do what needs to be done.
Surrender is an absolute act of faith, saying: “Lord I trust you.” Praying from a position of surrender, not commitment, allows God to work far above and beyond what we can think or imagine. One of the biggest differences between commitment and surrender is the fact that in commitment things depend on me. In surrender I give all to God. I will fail, but He will never fail. Commitment without surrender is often trying to do what only God can do through me when I surrender to Him.
Commitment comes after surrender. After our unconditional commitment (surrender), we follow through on our commitment, whatever the cost. Sooner or later the Christian life comes to a place where there is a price to be paid. It is here where commitment carries us through, irrespective of our circumstances, lack of faith and strength or unwillingness. We can commit ourselves for instance to do a certain piece of work. As soon as other pressures commitment, irrespective of the circumstances. (http://www.jwipn.com/pdf/Commitment_vs_Surrender.pdf)”
What a difference it would make in our spiritual growth if we saw maturing as surrendering more of ourselves to God rather than trying harder to be like him. Is there an area of your life that causes you pain or where there is repeated failure? To what degree have you surrendered that area to God? How submitted are you to God’s will in that area of your life?
Imagine the impact on the divorce rate if spouses saw marriage as surrendering to each other rather than committing their devotion based on their own will and ability to follow through. Of course I do not advocate surrendering to domestic abuse, an adulterous spouse or an addict. But it seems like more often than not people stay in these circumstances while the high divorce rate is driven by other issues. A simple thing such as pride can take down a marriage. Unforgiveness can obliterate a family. Boredom is now a valid excuse to break the marriage covenant.
Commitment is sustained by my will, my emotions and my efforts. Surrender releases my will, emotions and efforts to God, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Following Christ requires us to go beyond commitment to Jesus. It means to surrender all to him.
Lord Jesus I thank you that you surrendered your very life to redeem us, and conquered death to resurrect us to new life. I pray that each woman in this Bible study will surrender every area of our lives completely to you. Reveal to each of us the areas we are not walking in agreement with you, and give us repentant hearts. Let your spirit consume us like fire so we will live lives worthy of your calling. In your mighty name, Amen.