What it Means to Surrender Your Life and Will to the Lord
What Does it Mean to Surrender to Him?
To totally surrender to the Lord means to surrender your entire self, including your thoughts, desires, and actions, to God by recognizing and acknowledging His sovereignty and trusting in His plan for your life. It involves letting go of control and submitting to God’s will, as well as striving to daily live in obedience to His teachings and commands. And make no mistake, it is a very hard thing to do and can only be done by faith.
After all, it takes faith to truly surrender to God and accept that He knows what’s best for you and has your best interests at heart. Therefore, surrendering means you must let go of all doubts, anxieties, and fears in order to trust Him fully. And that, for many, is a difficult thing to do. It requires you to put aside your ego and pride (which is difficult), and to trust in God that you cannot see or fully understand (which is even more difficult).
That is why total surrender is an act of faith. It requires humility and understanding that God is sovereign— He creates, sustains, and ultimately controls all things, even you. This means that no matter how bad things seem, you know God will not abandon you during your trials (Heb. 13:5), and He will always be with you, no matter what (Matt. 28:20). All you have to do is cry out for His help and strength, and He will give you the courage, hope, and grace you need, even in your darkest hour (Heb. 4:16).
In Scripture, Jesus often speaks about the need for complete surrender to His will. When He says “Abide in me,” (John 15:4), Jesus is showing how you need to stay close to Him, connected to Him, by trusting His plan for your life as if you had no control over any of it whatsoever. You are called not only to accept, but also embrace and delight in Him as your Lord and Savior; otherwise, nothing else matters, not even your own desires or ambitions.
Totally surrendering means tuning out the world’s voice (and your voice) and instead choosing to listen intently only to what God whispers within you— then choosing, often minute by minute, to live in obedience according to His commands. His voice may call you toward what seems like darkness or difficulties, but it will eventually lead you towards everlasting light. The journey itself might feel difficult at times, but when you rely on Him completely, knowing everything will turn out for your good in the end no matter how hard it gets along the way (Rom. 8:28)— that is true faith, inspired by the courage of Christ Himself, which proves invaluable when facing hardships like He did.
To surrender your life and will is to turn away from the world and its temptations, and instead focus on living a life full of faith in Jesus Christ. It involves trusting that God has a plan for you that may not be immediately clear, but is ultimately for your best.
When you are willing to fully surrender your life and will to Him, you must come before God with an open heart and mind. You must acknowledge that He knows more than you do; that His wisdom is greater than yours; and that His commands are above all else. This requires humility and a deep understanding of how much God loves you, even when His commands seem difficult or counter-intuitive. You must also take time to quiet yourself before Him so that you can recognize the Holy Spirit’s promptings within you, which will guide you toward living out His will in the most meaningful way imaginable (Eph. 3:20-21).
How Can I Surrender My Life to Him?
Surrendering your life to Jesus means making Him the priority in all areas of your life. This may seem daunting, but there are many practical ways you can cultivate this priority in your day-to-day routine.
First, establish a regular prayer and devotional time that is specifically set aside for speaking with God, studying His Word, and reflecting on His promises. As you commit to spending intentional time in the presence of the Lord each day, you will grow more aware of how He wants you to live out your faith in every area of your life. And you will learn to hear His voice.
Second, seek counsel from others who are further along the journey of surrender than you are. When you’re struggling with something and feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, it’s helpful to talk to someone who has already gone through what you’re experiencing. Consider connecting with mentors for advice or join a Bible study group. This will provide an additional source of strength as you learn from those who have been down similar roads before you. After all, there are no bragging rights for making the same mistake someone else did. So learn from the victories and mistakes of others.
Third, put into practice what Jesus has taught you— even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable to do so. While it may be convenient to ignore some inconvenient truths laid out in Scripture, true surrender requires you to take up your cross daily and live according to His commands (Luke 9:23). You must also be willing to practice love towards others even when they hurt you— as Jesus did when He was crucified for you on the cross— and serve selflessly with no expectation of reward or recognition here on earth (Matt. 5:44).
Fourth, you need to evaluate the content of your entertainment. We all have down time where we relax and watch TV or scroll through our phones, but it’s important to make sure you’re not allowing the media to shape your mind in ways contrary to God’s will. Instead, use that time to read books or listen to messages that challenge your faith and spur you on in living a life wholly surrendered to Jesus (Heb. 10:24).
Fifth, choose people who are also pursuing surrendering their lives to Jesus as companions and mentors. Having a supportive group of like-minded individuals around you can help you stay focused on what truly matters— living a life devoted entirely to your Lord (Rom. 12:1-2).
Sixth, engage in consistent ministry and spiritual activities, such as serving those who are less fortunate than you and getting involved in local church initiatives. As you put others first, just as Jesus did, you get a glimpse of how He wants you to live out your faith each day. And this shows you that when you put Him first, He will take care of everything else (Matt. 6:33).
Seventh, be honest with God and practice personal confession. You can’t expect to be surrendered to Jesus when you’re not willing to take responsibility for your shortcomings. When you confess your sins and admit the times you have fallen short, it allows you to forgive yourself and receive forgiveness and healing from God (1 John 1:9).
Finally, give thanks in all things. When you make Jesus your priority, it becomes easier to recognize the blessings He has given you even in difficult times. This awareness helps you stay grounded in gratitude, which leads you closer in relationship with Him every day (Col. 4:2).
A life committed wholly to Jesus requires commitment because true discipleship follows none other than Him completely. Ultimately, when you choose to surrender to God by turning away from distractions and submitting your entire life into Christ’s care, you are naturally reminded daily that Jesus is worth more than anything else you could ever desire or achieve. And as long as you keep Him at the center of all things, nothing will stand in your way when striving for complete surrender.
So why don’t you surrender your life to Him now?