Through the years I have had many people ask me what it means to surrender one’s life to God and then when I explain it, they want me to tell them or teach them how to do it. I used to be quick to give them solutions and answers as if somehow I could give them a formula to do it and that it was just as simple as that. Now, when I am asked, I smile to myself for it brings to my mind how I used to believe and how much the Lord has shown me since then. I can smile because I know that in spite of all of my character flaws that He is continually working out in me and in spite of my continual propensity to sin, He knows me, loves me, and that when I repent of my sin and then turn from it He forgives me and removes it from me and from His remembrance as far as the East is from the West. It wasn’t always easy to believe in that kind of love and to trust that I could accept that kind of love but I have learned to accept His Unconditional love, His continual Forgiveness for my sins and His incredible gift of Grace when I fail to be all that I would like to be for Him and even for myself.
I am thankful that He has His ways of removing pride, self-righteousness and spiritual arrogance. My heart is saddened when I think of the lack of compassion I admit I have had for others as they struggled with letting go of their own strength and understanding and surrendering their lives to God. It can be easy for each of us to forget how difficult it was to change a behavior when we first began to struggle with the Lord about His desire and prompting for us to begin the process of letting go of it. It took me years of tears and prayers and situations and circumstances that I could not fix or control or change in the strength of myself to bring me to my knees seeking God’s power and God’s strength and it is from my knees of humility and brokenness that I began to yield my mind and heart and soul to the process of trusting enough to Let Go and surrender my life to the one that Created me.
Surrendering one’s life to God is like peeling back the layers of an onion, it can bring tears to your eyes, sometimes so much so that you want to get away from it because of the burn. It is a process. No one can speed up the process or do it for you, only God Himself through His Holy Spirit can bring a person to the place of choosing to surrender their life to Him. It is God that gives both the desire and the heart to begin and to persevere.
Surrender is choosing to allow God to become the Lover of your Heart and Mind and Soul and trusting Him enough to give all the details of your life to Him to take care of. I don’t have a theological or religious degree of any kind to say such powerful words to you and there may be many that disagree with me and have their own beliefs but what I do know firsthand is that the Love of God changed my life and the Power of His Holy Spirit changed and transformed and molded my heart. I want all of God’s Precious Children to know that love and feel that love and witness His Power!!
Personally, I went through some very difficult trials which led me to Christ and then as a brand new believer my life began to totally and completely stop working for me. I was forced to learn to let go and surrender. I knew that if I didn’t I would suffocate in the mess I had made for myself. It was if someone decided to push the stop button on the elevator on the floor I was on and then it was as if the button wasn’t just stopped it was broken beyond repair. I could no longer get away or go anywhere, I was stuck, none of the tools that I had used all my life would work anymore. I couldn’t fix the elevator button, I could’t move, I was powerless. Nothing worked, nothing! I had to sit down in the elevator of life so to speak and look within. It was quite humbling for this control freak to admit but I really could no longer make anything in my life work in the strength of myself. Nothing….Zip….The only Hope I had left was to believe that this God I had given my life to could save me and change me and love me enough to work on my behalf and eventually fix the elevator and get me to the next floor.
God was so faithful in ministering to me through His Precious Children. I had no idea of the journey that I began to embark upon when I accepted Jesus Christ and made Him Lord of my life in 1998 at the age of 38. It was painful, oh so painful as God began to peel back the layers that were oh so very thick in me. The layers of my heart had grown cold and hardened from the emotional pain that had been and was a part of my life for most of my life and many many times I did not understand what was happening to me, all I did every day was cry…..talk about feeling inadequate….I remember thinking many many times, what did I sign up for, I don’t think I like this club….This is horrible…..but I decided to become a student in this school of His and I learned to let go and to surrender and to be still with Him..God became My Daddy, My Father, My Husband, My Best Friend, and the very Purpose of my existence. He began to heal my heart and fill it with love and joy and peace. Those first few years as a Christian were difficult but the tiny mustard seed of Faith began to bud and I began to have Hope and then I got to witness some miraculous fruits from my vulnerability, my humility, my discipline to persevere and my obedience to take instruction from My Lord. Like I said, what an incredible journey….
Well, today I can see quite clearly and admit to myself and to you that my mistake was in thinking that once you learned to let go and surrender you would always remember to. I guess in retrospect I figured that since I had learned how to live a surrendered life I would always do it. I remember thinking to myself when I heard songs of the Precious Children of God backsliding and going off on rabbit trails of the pursuits of their flesh, why would anyone want to do that, God is awesome… I knew what worked for me to keep me in that state of mind and because of the lifestyle that I had then I continued to do those things and to trust God to be my everything.
I now realize that it is easier, notice I did NOT say easy, to surrender to God when you are in situations where you have no choice because the pain and suffering are so great and the consequences so serious that you have no choice but to Let Go and Let God. I have come to learn that day to day life without the oppression of a serious trial or catastrophic storm gives a person more freedom to choose, and with choice comes temptation. Now I understand the rabbit trails and the passion and hearts behind the songs. I believe one of our greatest temptations is the temptation to take back the reins from God and try and become the masters of our talents and our gifts and our time and our lives, rather than live our lives submitted and surrendered to the One who created us. I have fallen prey to this temptation myslef time and time again and because of it I have come to understand and appreciate Grace as the incredible gift that it is to us because of Jesus Christ.
Life has shown me that I don’t have it all figured out, I stumble and trip and get back up again and go on in my walk of Faith just like everyone else and surrender and dying to self is a choice I must make every hour of every day. I know what it is like to live a surrendered life for Jesus Christ and I know what it is like to live my life for myself and take care of things in my own ways and in my own strength. I don’t know about you but I seem to be especially tempted when I am under the stress of deadlines and expectations and in unmet needs or anytime where it appears to me as tho God just might not take care of things for me. Can anyone relate? Or is it just me? What I do know is that there truly is no greater peace than the peace of living a life surrendered to Jesus Christ. That is the life that I choose and desire and tho I may trip and stumble from time to time I will get back up, repent and surrender again and again and again.
While I can explain what surrender means it isn’t as easy to explain to someone how to do it or what will work for them given their personality and beliefs. To surrender to God means to “Let Go.” It means to stop striving to achieve and do and accomplish and create and multiply and coordinate and uncover and rediscover and take care of and fix and control and manipulate and dissect and think everything through in the strength of yourself, your understanding and your own abilities. It means to stop trying to do everything, figure out everything, change everything, worry about everything, and take care of everything. It truly is like taking a very heavy backpack off your back after a very long hike up a mountain and setting it down away from yourself and saying to that which you cannot see, Here, take this, I am through trying to carry it, it is slowly destroying me.
I can remember being told this sort of thing when I became a believer. I can remember how frustrating it was as a workaholic over-achiever woman who thrived on being in control to even contemplate, let alone understand or begin to learn to do….
You have got to be kidding, I can remember thinking to myself. If I don’t take care of things who is going to? I have had the same response from many men and women I have tried to explain this concept to. For me it was like being told that I was supposed to dive into a well that I could not see into and being told that I was to believe that there was this Power Force called God that would catch me and take me in His arms and hold me and take care of me and not let me fall into the depth of the well and suffocate and drown. I actually saw this very vivid picture in my mind and told the Pastor who was counseling me that I couldn’t do it, it was too hard. To which he quickly replied, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for you?, Do you believe that God is who the Bible says He is?” I still have the sticky note that I wrote my reply on in my Bible that I have carried with me for twelve years. I wrote: God is greater than my Fears! The Power is His Love. Lord, deliver me of the fear that is inside of me so that I might do your will. It is by the Spirit of God that I can do the things I need to do, then my soul has to follow along……
The very thought of trusting anything or anyone to take are of me scared me beyond what I can describe. You see, I had been given up by my mother and become a ward of the State along with my brother and sister when I was four years old. The three of us were in the system for two years and were in three foster homes before we were adopted. I learned at a very young age to take care of myself and my little sister and I became emotionally self sufficient and put up walls to keep people at a safe distance. Trust was not something that came easy for me….
I am so grateful for the ways that God intervened in my life to teach me to trust Him, and to surrender my life to Him. I am so grateful that He so faithfully showed me His power and that through that Power I learned to Trust Him and then to Surrender to Him every detail of my life. I know He desires to do that in the heart and mind and soul of each of His children and He longs for them to choose Him, to surrender to Him and to trust Him.
My heart’s desire is to help others find peace in their own lives through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and trusting and surrendering the details of their lives to Him. Out of my heart that is surrendered to My Creator, My King, I offer up this prayer on behalf of you reading this post…..
Lord God, mighty maker of Heaven and Earth, I come to You on behalf of the children of Yours who will be reading this and I intercede as their sister in Christ, as your daughter and as one who has seen the fruit of surrendering her life to you. I pray that Your Holy Spirit would ignite a fire of passion inside of your Precious Children and that they would choose to give every part of their life to you.
I pray for an increase in their ability to trust You, I pray for an increase in the anointing over their lives through Your Holy Spirit. I pray for abundant love to flow out from the heavens and touch them through those that you hand pick to bring into their lives. I pray for Your Heavenly Angels and Your Earthly Angels to protect and guard their comings and goings and their homes and I pray You would block the paths of those who might try and harm them or distract them.
I pray for Your Spirit to minister to each of Your Precious Children through Your Holy Word and through their time Worshiping You in praise and thanksgiving. I pray for Your words to whisper to their hearts of Your love for them and that they would each hear and receive Your heart of love for them. I pray for protection for each of them Lord from the evil one who longs to distract and destroy and lead astray Your Precious Children. Place invisible shields around each of your children through the Power of You Holy Spirit. Reveal and illuminate Your Power to those you choose to that they might see those walls and fences and barricades that you set up on their behalf that their faith might be increased and become stones of remembrance forever reminding them of your Power and faithfulness.
I pray for Your will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven and I pray for victory in the lives of Your children and I pray for mercy and grace for each of them as they learn how to let go and surrender and yield every area of their lives to You. I pray for divine intervention in Your good and perfect ways. I pray that You would show them Your Power in ways that they cannot miss and that you would open their eyes to see you in everything and I pray that You would according to your word work all things together for good for those that You love so very very much and that love You. amen
Precious child of God who is Loved so very very much…..Imagine God, Your Creator, Your Father, Your Provider holding you in His arms and hugging you and then whispering to you….
Come Precious Child, Come to Me….I know you are hungry and I know your needs, surrender yourself to me……Be still my Precious Child and let Me minister My love to thee…..
How does one let go? How does one surrender? May the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you and direct you to that which works best for you….
As for me, I listened to this song and many others like it every day over and over again to begin to feel the love of God begin to permeate through me and that is how the letting go process began for me. My heart to control and take care of everything was very strong and it took months for me to begin to even think about letting go. I cried for hours on end day after day as He began to soften my heart and open it….I had to work hard at first to keep my mind from running away and thinking about other things.
As the tears come and as the pain emerges, I encourage you to stick with it. Every time your mind begins to wander and think about your problems or your frustrations, say to yourself NO and concentrate on being quiet again and listen to the words to the song. Focus on them….
When your worries try and demand to be the center of attention again, shake your head and say no to them. It will be frustrating at first but I believe in you, you can do it, just keep trying over and over again.
Think with your heart and mind and soul about God. God is love, pure unconditional love. Without God the grass does not grow, the wind does not blow and the seasons do not change. Without God there is total darkness and no light. Without God there is no life. Think of Jesus dying on the cross and that He did that for YOU….Do you know anyone who has enough love in their heart to do that for you? Try to grasp the depth of love that gives up and sacrifices and takes punishment for the sins of all of man. As that reality begins to pierce your heart and sink in, may the music and the Holy Spirit minister to you…..As the Love of God pierces your heart and your soul, may you find your lips crying out to God of your desperate need for His love to be real to you….You are His Precious child, He loves you so very very much. He wants you to feel HIS LOVE for you…. Let Him whisper in your ear of His love, Let Him hold you in His arms. You are special to Him, He formed you in your mother’s womb, you are unique. There is no other like you. He placed the seed of His love and His plans deep within your heart and He longs for you to know who you are in Him….To see you the way He sees you….You are His Daughter, You are His son….HE LOVES YOU….
Oh My Precious Children, He whispers through my pen……Do not fear the places where I am taking you nor the paths on which I ask you to walk. Do not fear the tests I put in front of you and require you to take. Do not fear the situations, circumstances, nor the hearts and souls of the people you meet along the way for they all have a purpose in My perfect plans for you. You are safe when you surrender your life to me. Follow where I lead you, take each step in Faith…….Trust Me….I LOVE YOU….
God is a gentleman, He needs your permission to invade your heart and mind and soul and search it with His Holy Spirit to show you where you need to let go. He will not barge in..perhaps you might want to ask Him to search your heart and show you where you need to let Him be in control. He will show you, He loves you and He is gentle and kind in His surgery of the human heart. He is the Great Physician. He longs for you to enter into the process of surrendering to Him…..He wants to heal your heart and fill it with His love …..Have you asked Him to?
As I allowed these words to touch and whisper to my own heart as I wrote them, I began to feel the Holy Spirit rising up in me…. I let my pen be the voice of the Holy Spirit and through it God whispered …..40 days of prayer….blog for 40 days, a prayer each day….I wrestled with the time commitment to do that and then I felt my heart begin to ache and then His Holy Spirit began to rise up in me….OK, I said to Him, I surrender….I will do it..I give myself to you….take my heart of prayer and use it to intercede on behalf of myself and each of Your Precious Children, those you choose…..
YOU ARE INVITED……
To join me on a 40 day Journey in Holy Spirit led prayer to surrender ourselves and our lives to God that he might show His power and His love for His Precious children. That He might heal our hearts, adjust our attitudes, remove any and all lies of the enemy, make straight our paths by shining His light to show us the way, edify, encourage, empower, equip and prepare our hearts through His Holy Spirit to line up with His good and perfect will for our lives that we might be intentional and purposeful in living out our lives for Him.
Each day starting tomorrow I will post a prayer on this Blog. I will surrender my time and my heart and my pen and intercede for 40 days.
I would love for you to join us on this journey and to journal or jot down some thoughts and notes and discoveries about the journey as we go….please make comments on the blog as the Lord leads you….you never know how your words may be used by God to encourage others…..
May God move mountains in our lives. May God break strongholds in our lives. May God flood our hearts and minds and souls with His love that we might be transformed forever more through the POWER of His Holy Spirit and through the obedience of our willingness to discipline our minds our hearts and our souls to take time for him. May each of us grow closer to Him on this journey of prayer for 40 days…..amen