I Surrender All to You, Except the Inner Man.
A little further down this page is a podcast for this word, “inner man.” I created it and uploaded it to my YouTube channel. Feel free to click through and subscribe to my channel. The link opens in a new tab.
There are a couple things I want to discuss in this post. After a moment, we will take a look and define inner man.
But first, I want to talk about surrender.
Who will and why should they?
Some refuse that a struggle even exists and wouldn’t dream of surrendering to anything. These hard ones can’t believe there is anything worth surrendering to. They ask the question, “Why can’t I just do what I want?” And they declare, “No one will stop me.”
Others, like myself, are a little less aggressive with our protests. Surrender, for the passive-aggressive, takes a long time and has a process of its own. We tend to reserve the right to rebel when we choose. This ultimately causes our start and stop journey on the way to success as victims of our own psychologies.
Those caught in a life of addiction deal with many psychological hangups. Drug addicts are just people so they can fall anywhere in the range or at either end of the spectrum. Belief in God should eventually reveal the necessity of surrender to His ultimate purpose. Sometimes it takes a whole lot of tragedy to humble a person to the point of surrender. Treatment for drug addiction that fails to include this conversation treats symptoms of the diseases of the heart and not the heart itself.
Granted, this post’s title suggests a struggle to surrender that some may not even know exists. But it’s like saying “I give you my all, but I’m holding onto the reins of my life just in case.”
What a sham, right? Duplicity multiplied by hypocrisy, who in the world devotes themselves but holds on to their own will? There may be a little of this in everyone.
I Surrender All to You!
“I surrender all to you.” This statement feels like something a person might say only through Godly devotion.
“I surrender all to you” isn’t something people would say to each other. Even the greatest lovers don’t share this kind of devotion. In fact, the thought of saying “I surrender all to you” to another human being borders on cultural absurdity. So, for argument’s sake, we can assume that this post will discuss our conversation toward God and our tendency to surrender the heart and then renegotiate, taking it back.
I’m bold enough to say this dilemma of the heart plagues the modern church more than any external pressure possibly could.
True surrender to God, heals the church and how the world perceives the church.
And true surrender to God heals the diseases of the heart called alcoholism and drug addiction. I heap together Addicts and Christians because at the heart of each lies the reason for inefficacy.
Many drug addiction treatment centers play around with the idea of strengthening the inner man. Instead, drug addiction treatment centers should be helping those with drug addiction understand the real “inner man gold.”
Christians also have been hearing this message of becoming can be found by digging up our pretense for personal strength, admitting our tendency toward foolish weakness, and then surrendering our obvious limitations in exchange for God’s unlimited provision and might.
Discuss and Define Inner Man
“Leb” is the Hebrew word to define inner man. (with a circumflex over the “e” as pictured here).
Hebrew letters prove themselves foreign to many people, but their beauty remains undeniable. These are the original Hebrew letters for “leb” which can be defined as the “inner man.”
- Other definitions for this word include:
- “the heart,”
- “the will,”
- and even “the intellect.”
Another important meaning for “leb” describes “the center of anything.” Consequently, at the center of the human being, we find the heart, the inner man, an entity unto itself that remains difficult to understand and seemingly impossible to control.
I’m not talking about the heart that pumps blood to keep us alive. Although, that heart is very much at the center of the human experience as well. Incidentally, the scientists at Heartmath.org make an interesting claim that makes sense to me. They state, “The heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart!” This topic is a blog post all by itself, but I just wanted to make mention of this tidbit because of the implications. We emote. We have feelings. If the heart sends more signals than it receives, the heart must run the show quite often. So, maybe we aren’t as intellectual as we think we are.
The Blue Letter Bible explains more about “leb” if you are interested.
My Declaration Concerning “Leb”:
“The inner man, man’s heart, the center of the human being, must yield to God’s Will, or the human race forfeits true purpose in Creation in exchange for defiant pleasure seeking or the installation of himself as god.”
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Most difficulty we experience originates with the defiance of our own hearts. We deceive ourselves or forget outcomes from the past from actions we have taken. Sometimes we think we want something and find out that we were wrong to want it in the first place. Many times we do the same thing over and over again expecting different results – Einstein’s classic definition of insanity.
We also struggle with the defiance of other’s hearts through abuse at someone else’s hands. The tragic result of human nature is that some people abuse their fellowman in search of personal pleasure.
Remember, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. But regardless of what others do or have done, every person remains responsible for her or his own heart. We cannot say “It is what it is” about our own character.
Change only comes with something different.
Many of the “Words” within this series may come from the Psalms where we find a man and king, David, a “man after God’s own heart.”
Since we seek to change perception about life in general, we most certainly will deal with heart issues.
God declared King a man after His own heart, and David’s writings reveal so much about the heart, that place inside that shapes and controls a person’s life.
But in order to see life differently, we have to look somewhere we haven’t looked yet. We can live our entire life and fail to see into the center of who we are as individuals. We live in ignorance to what lies deep within us. Let’s see if what David wrote can reveal and enlighten.
David wrote and sang in Psalm 119:112, “I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes alway even unto the end.
These are not words of instruction. They are words coming from a “made-up-mind.” He certified his pledge unto the end. We think that the end for us is death, but what he wrote here may mean something even more compelling.
Let’s break it down.
- Using mainly Strong’s Concordance, we take a look at what these words mean.
- I have inclined
- my heart
- to perform thy statutes
- even unto the end.
There are several possible meanings “in English” for the Hebrew word translated here as inclined. Those options are “stretch, bend, extend, and wrest.” There are others listed, but they all carry the same sense of physical manipulation from one state to another.
If something is stretched, it loses its previous shape in exchange for its new shape. The same goes for the rest of these words. They imply a change.
So, to “incline” the heart means the heart gets changed in some way. Contemplating these four verbs; stretch, bend, extend or wrest, the result of the action is mastery of the heart. The heart is bent into submission.
My favorite definition for “heart” in Strong’s Concordance is “to cause to yield.” This definition, cause to yield, carries the same indication that the heart must be changed from one state to another, from a place of authority to a place of submission.
The “center of anything” or “inner man” is the object of the verb “incline” that requires this change from one state to another. Your heart must go through a process of shaping and making, but your inner man has its own idea of how things should be done. The heart’s design for your life is controlled and reinforced through your emotions and senses.
When the heart decides to rule, you definitely feel a certain way about what’s happening at the time. It could be temptation. It could be relapse. Perhaps, you haven’t engaged in a certain activity for a while. You know where it takes you, but you are really feeling something that you haven’t ever been able to deny. It could be anger or rage even. The temptation is great, and the pull from your heart is unquenchable and familiar. And then, your “automatic” response controlled by your heart leads you into whatever it is that you choose to do next. Your heart runs who you are.
Something to think about: Do you recognize that you are stuck in this kind of thinking?
The writer of this verse forced his will, intellect and inner man to yield in order to do something in particular. King David vowed to “perform thy statutes.” Perform, a verb that means “to do” or “to make,” could also mean “to keep” or “to practice.”
David vowed to keep the statutes of God, right? David sang to God assuring that he had caused his inner man to yield to doing and practicing God’s statutes – the laws of God. We understand that a statute is a law. We can choose to follow laws, or we can choose to break laws.
Could David have been saying something else as well?
What is a statute in this context? The definition of the word itself is as varied as the others in this verse, but the two main meanings are “enactment” and “appointment.” While it is important to keep the law, God’s “appointments” are a different thing altogether. Statute covers the essence of both meanings. His enactments are the substance of how He would have us interact with each other and the world. But His appointments are what he says about you. God’s appointments are his thoughts toward us and what He declares about you and me.
David was simply saying that he caused his deceitful heart to yield in order to maintain who God declared him to be.
Not even coincidentally, the only way for us to walk in our God-given purpose is to do the very same thing. And the Word is full of insight into what God has decreed about you and me. He certainly has not decreed that we be slaves to a substance or held in bondage to our hearts.
This word, alway, tells us that God has made us eternal. What God says about you is not until you reach a certain age or until you mess up a whole bunch of times. The gifts that God gives, he won’t take back. “Alway” suggests that David looked into the the essence of his true nature. “Alway” means “eternity.” But we don’t just receive eternity, we also have the opportunity to swear fealty to the King of Kings and force our inner man to yield for the same eternal commitment.
Or we could just continue to seek pleasure and see ourselves as the god of our own life. How’s that going?
“Alway” also means “that which is hidden or concealed.” This is why I Samuel 16 says that God sees what is in the heart. David swore fealty to God and his eternal appointment. We don’t just live this life. There is more in the beyond. David caused his inner man to yield God’s eternal appointment and enactment. The enactment part just makes things the way that God says. This is how it is, and the only thing you can do to resist it is disbelieve or rebel. You can continue to please yourself and miss out on God’s eternal appointment. It’s a total different paradigm.
The word “end” here doesn’t mean the end of life. It means two things, not unlike the other words we have studied. “End” means either a “consequence” or a “reward.” Some would probably preach here that going with God gets a reward of heaven and going against God gets the consequence of Hell. I believe that David was saying that regardless of consequences or reward he had caused his inner man to yield to doing what God had enacted and appointed as an eternal being. David was able to understand that consequences of his decision to follow God only gave God the opportunity to deliver him, and that was his reward. There is no end for those who put their trust in the Lord. The consequence of a decision to trust God may mean that you have to say goodbye to people who won’t understand. Others might ridicule you or test your resolve.
Still others might present serious challenges to your faith. But the reward is that you get to understand, finally, who God made you to be. That understanding will convince you and set you free from the things that so easily seem to entangle your feet. Your deceitful heart won’t be able to trick you as easily.
You will have forced the inner man to yield to the King, and the King will reveal your life’s purpose. The only things you will have to forfeit are the whims and desires of our deceitful hearts that point us toward pleasure and self-governance. These two gifts of the heart never lead us to the promised land, do they?
This ends our discussion about the inner man. I hope you enjoyed the videos. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, would you? I hope so.
I’ll give you this bonus Word just because you made it this far. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of good and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Please be encouraged. There is a world of splendor to be found, and life doesn’t have to always get us down.
Let me ask a question. Do you sense there is a greater call on your life than to wallow in the outcomes of your service to desire or personal importance? Would you like to be able to say, “I surrender all to you” to God and leave it that way?
I would love to have your thoughts and feedback.
Leave me a comment below, if you like.
And have a blessed day!