“First they gave their own selves to the Lord.” 2 Cor. 8: 5.
In the word of His promise, through the gracious working of His Spirit, the Lord gives Himself to us; through faith we receive Him, and we know that He is ours. This faith, as the outgoing of the soul to Jesus to meet Him, is at the same time a surrender to Him. We can never receive the Savior and His grace without at the same time surrendering ourselves to Him, to be sealed and filled with salvation. And as faith knows that the Lord is ours, because His word tells us that He gives Himself to us, so it also knows that He receives us as His own, because His word assures us of that.
Faith has thus two sides: the believing reception of the Lord Jesus with all that He gives, and the believing surrender of the soul with all that it has to the Lord. The one cannot be without the other. I take Jesus as my King to rule over me, as a Savior to free me from sin; He cannot perform His work in me, if I do not surrender myself to Him. Confidence in Jesus is thus at the same time a committal of one’s self to Him.
Anxious soul, see here again the simplicity of faith. If you wish to know what you have to do, the answer is, Give yourself to the Lord Jesus.
Give yourself to the Lord Jesus, just as you are. You have to give yourself to Him, not as an offering that is worthy of Him, as one who is already His friend and on whom He can look down with complacency. No: you have to surrender yourself to Him as one that is dead, whom He has to make alive, as an enemy whom He must reconcile and forgive, as a sinner whom He must save. The multitude of your sins, the corruption which you feel struggling within you, the very insincerity of your coming to Him, are thus no reason why you should not venture to give yourself to Him. No: just the reverse: these are the proofs that you stand in need of a Savior; they are at the same time the tokens given by the word of God of those in whose behalf Jesus came. O sinner, just as you are, surrender yourself to Jesus.
Surrender yourself also to Him wholly and undividedly. Keep nothing back of what is yours. Think not that He is to do one part of the work and you the rest. No: submit entirely to His estimate of you. Although you do not yet feel the power to make a separation from all sins, although you still feel that the heart is attached to one thing and another, and will cleave to them, make confession of all this before Him; for it is also through the confession of sins that we surrender ourselves to Him. Understand that the more you surrender yourself entirely to Him, the more completely is He able to accomplish His work for you. Think of His complete surrender for you and to you; think of the claim of His love upon you and the complete salvation with which He will fill you, and let your surrender to Him be complete and undivided.
And, above all, surrender yourself to Him in faith. You have perchance given yourself to Him ere this, but it brought you no peace, for you did not know if the surrender was accepted by Him. You would have a token from heaven, a divine inspiration in your heart to tell you that He had accepted you. And this was wrong. He has said: “Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out.” God has said: “Return ye, and I will receive you.” When you surrender yourself to Jesus, you must believe that; in that word you must have sufficient. You are to take your stand upon it, because God speaks the truth. However wretched you are, however imperfect your surrender is, it must be a surrender of faith, of faith that He receives you, because He has said it. Although you find it difficult to believe that so firmly, although it seems to you very hazardous for so great a sinner, it is, nevertheless, your duty to believe that, when you surrender yourself to the Lord, He receives you. Do not set yourself above God. Do not say, I have done my part but I know not if God will do His. No: think of the word; say to the Lord that it is on His promise that you surrender yourself; day after day be occupied with the faithfulness of God’s promise and you shall gradually come to the blessed certainty: He receives me. Yes: you, shall even be able to say, He has received me.