I just had a beautiful thought while talking with my 5-year-old son. We were discussing Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and he very astutely instructed me that through this sacrifice Jesus gave up His body and blood. It then occurred to me that even though Jesus surrendered these things to the Father, He received them back, however, everything was infinitely better when He did receive them back.
This makes me think of how we can imitate Jesus by surrendering ourselves. Surrendering to God is a sacrifice in which you give up your life to Jesus, and everything in it, so you can be free to accept the better life God wants for you. We let go of our own desires and expectations so that we may receive the better desires and expectations of God, which can be the same most of the time.
What Surrendering to God Has Done For Me
At 20 years old I was stuck in the vicious world of addiction, clinging to drugs and alcohol because I thought I could not possibly be happy without them. The last thing I wanted to do was let them go, so I stewed in a boiling pot of misery, confused why I couldn’t get out. I did not realize the things I loved the most were keeping me stuck in my misery.
However, Jesus knew. He knew all my issues and yet He still loved me. He loved me so much that He gently guided me to let go of my life so He could take it and make marvelous things happen. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still me, so obviously there are imperfections, but what the Lord has done for me blows my mind.
I liken it to the miracle Jesus performed at the wedding feast in Cana found in John 2. In this story, Jesus takes normal water and supernaturally turns it into wine. The best part was it was not just wine, but it was noticeably better wine than had been served earlier. Jesus takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.
This is what He did with me. I gave Jesus my life and He took my poor choices, my addictions, and my bad relationships and turned these things into peace, joy, beautiful relationships, a bright future, and most importantly, a deep meaningful relationship with Him. Even when I am going through difficult moments I see how much better my life is and how good the Lord is.
I have surrendered my life to God. It is His and I am merely a steward of all the things he has given me in my life. My family, my friends, my work, even my finances truly belong to Him and I am at work to develop these things along with myself. This also means that I am open to whichever way God decides to guide me, even if it is painful, because I know that He brings good out of all things.
Surrendering to God Is Not Always Easy
The fear that Jesus will bring us through pain and suffering is a huge deterrent to giving our lives to Him for many. I am by no means special or know more than others. However, God has guided me through difficult situations enough to where I would be dumb not to see that He is worthy of my trust.
It’s at the point now where to surrender myself to Him is the only logical thing to do. If you are nervous about giving yourself to the Lord, know that you are not alone, and the Lord never takes what He will not return a thousand-fold.
Look at what He did with Jesus, who is now the King of the Universe after giving His life. We also believe all others who have given their lives for Christ did not die in vain, and are now sitting at God’s table perfectly fulfilled and pleased in heaven. There is no doubt this is what happened to Stephen in Acts 7:55 when right before he was killed, he “looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”
Some of us will be asked to surrender our lives to God in this way, but the reality is many more of us will be called to surrender to God and remain on Earth. However, God still rewards this gift. While we ought to give of ourselves out of pure love of God, it is still perfectly fine to do so hoping to earn the crown of glory that comes with being God’s child.
How then shall we make this honorable sacrifice? How often should we do it? And how do we know if we are doing it correctly?
How to Surrender to God
The steps are not simple, though become simpler as time goes on. At first it might even be the last thing you want to do.
1. To surrender your life to God, you must make yourself desire it. I know from experience that giving up the things you cling to that are keeping you from putting God first is difficult. To overcome this, you must understand that everything you have now is nothing compared to what you receive in a life given over to God.
2. Simply tell God with your heart that you surrender yourself and your life to Him. To help with this, I have written a little prayer that you can use that not only gives God permission to run your life, but shapes your awareness of how to live a life surrendered Jesus. You can find that prayer here.
Obviously, we want to then live out what we just told God, but desiring and speaking out that desire has a powerful effect. Desire it and pray it and you have effectively surrendered. You might not be perfect at it at first, but keep going. God always comes through!
How Often Should You Surrender Your Life to God?
This is not a one-time thing. Saying a prayer of surrender is a good start, but it needs to be repeated. Even if you simply say “Jesus I surrender everything to you” at least once a day, you will begin to see your desires being shaped for the better.
Is it okay to simply live out the surrender to God without the prayer? Absolutely! Actions speak louder than words in this case. However, saying the prayer forces you to remember it and have an internal effect on you.
To Be Continued…
Next week I will do a part two on how you know you are correctly surrendering yourself to Jesus. I will leave you with this beautiful thought: God is powerful and will move in your life, but only if you let Him. You need to give Him permission to do so, which is another reason why we say the prayer. It might not be immediate, but God will bring about amazing things for you just as He has done for me.