How to Totally Surrender Your Life to God

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TOTALLY SURRENDER TO GOD?

We Christians sing ‘I Surrender’ all the time but I believe that not many people even know what it really means. In this post, I speak about what it means to fully surrender to God as well as give you 5 things you need to let go and let God handle to truly surrender to Him.

The word surrender means to ‘stop resisting and submit to an authority or an opponent or powerful influence’ or to ‘yield ownership, concede or relinquish control’.

I have sung the songs about surrender many times, and I know that in my heart at the time, I meant it. But when it came down to getting back to everyday life, I found that there were many parts of my life that I had not surrendered. 

I would give my situation to God and then minutes later, take it back again.

This would happen again and again throughout my first marriage where the relationship had grown very volatile. But as you can read in my About page, God answered my prayers when I finally let go and let God handle it! He had been waiting all along for me to surrender!

Hi, I’m Karen,

Designer and avid coffee lover! I love to help creative women build their unique brand, and am passionate about seeing them fulfill their big online goals and dreams. 

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Absolute surrender is not about me getting closer to God, but allowing God to get closer to me. 

Josh Blevins

Being totally surrendered  means not holding back any part of your life from God. You need to set aside your own will and plans to pursue God’s plan for your life. It is a lifestyle of surrendering continually to the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit in total obedience every minute of every day.

If you truly trust God, you will not need to know all the facts about your future as you know that God has your best interests at heart. It is living with a perpetual peace in your heart, no matter what circumstances around you are saying. And of course, this trust comes from an intimate relationship with the Lord over a long period of time.

Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.

Eckhart Tolle

Most of us follow God but are not prepared to surrender at any cost. Because of our past experiences we tend not to trust God with certain areas of our life. 

5 Things to Let Go and Surrender to God

LET’S LOOK AT THE 5 MOST COMMON AREAS WHERE WE TEND TO RESIST SURRENDERING

  1. Your Will– Or in other words, your control over the choices you make. This may be hard for you if you do not want to do the thing that God is asking of you, at least not straight away. You must remember that delayed obedience is still disobedience. You know you have truly surrendered when you obey quickly without reservation.

Imagine if Jesus had done whatever He felt like and did not listen to His Father’s will. Jesus is our perfect example of a surrendered life! When you think about how obedient Jesus was, you cannot help but be grateful and want to obey immediately.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 

Luke 22:42 NIV

I find that when I choose to go my own way and do what I feel like doing, it is the time when I make the worst choices of my life. God will not force you to obey, but waits patiently until you finally see the error of your ways. This usually means we end up going around the same mountain many times before we finally pass the test and choose to submit to surrender to His will.

  1. Your Time– How much of your time do you give to God? I have read that if we were to tithe our time, we would spend at least two and a half hours daily with the Lord. I know that there are many different ideas about how much time we should have alone with God.

Some Christians say that they just speak to God throughout the day and that is enough, where others insist that you must make time for God and treat it like an important appointment. I tend to agree with the latter. Don’t be religious about it but be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when He is calling you to be with Him.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. 

James 4:8a NKJV

  1. Your Money– This one is a big one! The two biggest tests to see where the treasure of your heart lies, is how you spend your time and your money. Do you put God first with your money? Or do you pay your bills, buy what you want and then give God the leftovers? I did that for a long time. I was in that place that described here in Haggai 1:6 NIV.

“You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

Tithing is the only thing that God asks us to test Him in. He is longing to bless you, but He needs to know that He is your source and not your finances, or your job, or lottery tickets! When you bring your tithe to the Lord, He will bless whatever you have left so that the windows of heaven pour out blessings on you so big you can’t contain them!

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other;

or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 Matt 6:24 KJV

  1. Your Relationships – Surrendering your relationships to God is probably the hardest one emotionally. I know it was for me, especially when it comes to my unsaved children. If this is you, then you probably pray for them, but also feel that you need to convince them to come to Christ.

You need to know that God knows their every thought and intention and is so much more capable of drawing them and changing their heart than we are. He loves them even more than you do and promises that He will never let them go.

Our role is to love them and to pray and intercede for them or any relationship that is troubling you. When you let go of your children and give them to God, He can finally work on your behalf to bring them into the kingdom.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

Phil 4:6 NIV

  1. Your Rights – The sort of rights I am referring to is your right to be offended or your right to always be right. Sometimes it is better to say sorry even when you know you are right. Holding offence in your heart will fester and lead to bitterness. You must let go and forgive any offences as Christ forgave us of all our offences.

You may even feel entitled to get back at the person and take revenge in some way, but this only leads to more and more bitterness and hate. 

Remember what the Lord said in Deut 32:35 NKJV.

“Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them”.

 

I held offence and unforgiveness in my heart for many years that only brought torment and heartache to myself and others. When I finally let go of all my hate and bitterness, I finally had peace and joy in my life. It was not instant, but a process of continually and purposefully refusing to hold on to any resentment in my heart.

I learned to surrender those feelings, that would rise up in me, to the Lord until they gradually subsided and I was free of all the bitterness and unforgiveness. The Lord brought healing to my soul and restored my joy!

 

Here is a passage from Pastor Rick Warren that describes consequences of not surrendering to God…

If not God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego. You were designed to worship God and if you fail to worship Him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose, what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequence of that choice.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Gal 2:20 NIV

Final Thoughts...

I hope this has helped you to choose to surrender all those hidden places in your heart that you have been keeping from God. Whatever areas of your life you surrender to God, He will bless and prosper you in. 

Choose to let go and let God be Lord of every area of your life, and you will wonder why you didn’t trust Him long ago!

The 3 topics discussed in this article were:

  1. How to Totally Surrender Your Life to God
  2. What It Means to Totally Surrender to God

5 Things to Let Go and Surrender to God

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