Rag Doll with a White Flag

     Picture a man on a battle field. He has been fighting a war with another country for years, and he finally finds out that his side can't win. There's two options he sees at this point: die fighting against someone he can't beat, or surrender and continue his life under the leadership of another. If the leader on the other side is corrupt, he would rather die, but if the leader is a trustworthy and just, he will surrender.
     There is a war going on over people's hearts today. Many people would rather die fighting against God for the sake of being in control of their own lives, but what many have yet to find out is that surrendering to God's leadership is the best option we have. After all, He created us and knows our purpose on the earth. Many of these purposes are based on our characteristics, gifts, talents, and traits He has given us. This realization should lead us into surrendering these things back to God. 
     Yet, is it possible to surrender the wrong way? With lyrics in some songs such as, “Rid me of myself, I belong to You”, and, "Lord I lay me down", there is a slippery slope in responding to these types of lyrics incorrectly. The reason is that our process of surrendering our selves to God can turn into a process by which we deny the talents, emotions, and traits that God has uniquely given us. We can "over-surrender" by not doing anything, denying who we are, and turning into a rag doll before God. 
     Picture this happening on the battlefield: You raise a white flag and say, "I surrender! Take me away," and the leader says, "Ok, follow me". "Not like that", you say, "pick me up and carry me". This is what happens when we passively surrender to God.
      People can raise the white flag of slavery rather than entering into a friendship with Jesus. They can passively say in worship, "Alright God, just take me and do what You need to do", very genuinely, yet this renders us as useless as rag dolls when we refuse to step out after surrendering.
     However, in active surrender, we raise the white flag and say, "Jesus, here I am, sin and all, acknowledging that I'm made in your image. Use me however you see fit." This type of surrender sets us in a state of readiness instead of in complete denial of self, passive rag doll syndrome.
     I remember denying certain emotions like sadness as an early believer since it was ‘not very Christian’, but this was to deny valuable emotions that the Lord had given me as a human being. Instead of denying my sadness, I needed to find an appropriate way to use it in light of the truths of God's Word. I looked at the truth that Jesus Himself lamented at the unbelief of His own people; surely I could find things to genuinely lament about as well (Matthew 23:13-38). 
     Should we slap on the label of surrender on our emotional reactions and chuck them in the trash, or should we let God use them appropriately as He did through Christ? If Jesus accomplished the Father's will perfectly using emotion, that means there is a time to use emotion as Spirit-filled believers.

Romans 12:1-2, REB, says, "Therefore, my friends, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Conform no longer to the pattern of this present world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and to know what is good, acceptable, and perfect."
     We see that right after the act of surrender, Paul notes some things that we should do in demonstration of our active surrender: Avoid conforming to the pattern of the world for the sake of renewing our minds. All for the purpose that we may know God's will. 
     Yet we often overlook verse 1 which says to offer our very selves to Him. We aren't offering God a blank slate, we are offering Him our whole being! The way He created us should be offered back to Him because He has given us every good quality we have!
     In our soul/spirit, we have the uniqueness of our entire being that God has given us. Sure, we have been tainted by sin, but that doesn’t make us entirely useless, we just need to surrender what we’ve been given by God back to Him saying, "Lord, cleanse my imperfection and use me, leading me to step into Your will".
     As we continue to learn what it means to make Jesus Lord of our lives, let us remember that he wants to work through souls that surrender their emotions, imaginations, thoughts, and ideas to Him. This is active surrender that engages the whole being rather than becoming a rag doll in the hands of God.