On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate troops to the Union’s Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, thereby ending the four-year-long American Civil War. But did that really end the war? It would be some 16 months later that President Andrew Johnson declared a formal end to the conflict in August 1866.

General Lee only surrendered his North Virginia army to Grant. Over the next several months, one by one, each Confederate General surrendered his army to a Union General. The last hold out was the CSS Shenandoah, a former British trade ship, which continued to terrorize Union commercial ships in the Atlantic Ocean until its surrender in late 1865. The flag that waved from that ship was the last sovereign Confederate flag to be officially furled. The South not only suffered military defeat as a result of the conflict, but experienced delayed restoration as a result of numerous pockets of resistance that lasted for many years afterwards.

We as Christians fail to experience total restoration, peace, and the blessings of God as a result of the many pockets of resistance we have in our lives. We sing “I Surrender All,” but have we? To “surrender all” is to give up our will, our thoughts, our ideas, our plans, and our deeds to the will and teachings of a sovereign God. We must yield ownership and relinquish control over what we consider ours. One of the best examples of surrender in the Bible is that of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who said: “…Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word…” Luke‬ ‭1:38‬)

Mary surrendered all; her body, her mind, her will, and her future. She knew it would be difficult and she didn’t understand everything, but still submitted to the will of God for her life. You are going to surrender to something today. Will it be to your plans or His? Will you surrender to sin, Satan, and self, or to the Savior? Can you truly sing “I Surrender All,” or are there pockets of resistance you are holding on to?

“All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now,
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all”

-Judson W. Van DeVenter

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬)

“The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
– William Booth