In this article, we explore a Bible study and look into what it means to surrender to God. So, grab your Bible, and let’s dig in…
After writing an article on the popular phrase “Let Go and Let God.” Which I encourage you to check out. I thought it would be good to go a little deeper and talk about surrendering to God.
We don’t hear a lot on the topic of surrender and that is probably because it’s not something fun. Surrendering to God isn’t easy. It takes trust, courage, sacrifice, and denying yourself to give it all to Jesus. It’s dying to ourselves!
The thing that is not talked about is how vital it is for Christians to yield and submit themselves to God. Surrounding must become part of who we are and our walk with the Lord. Without it who are we really serving? Is God truly the Lord of our life? Or have we made a person, place, or thing our idol?
These are hard questions for us to reflect on. And learning to surrender is going to make you face them. But the reward outweighs all of it!
Here is a table for you to use to hop around if you would like. But I would encourage you to go through the whole post.
Ok, ready to dive in and learn about surrendering to God?
Check Out – Focus On Jesus: 4 Practical Things You Can Do
Surrender in the Bible
When we dig into the KJV, we actually don’t find the word surrender at all. Not going to lie I was pretty surprised by that.
You see the word mentioned 6 times in the NKJV translation and 11 times in the NIV. But the word is not used in the context between God and us. It’s used when referring to armies or warfare. Well, that’s still not helpful…
According to Merriam’s Dictionary, this is what surrender means:
sur·ren·der | \ sə-ˈren-dər \ surrendered; surrendering\ sə- ˈren- d(ə- )riŋ \ Definition of surrender
1a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort b: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another
2a: to give (oneself) up into the power of another, especially as a prisoner b: to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence)
Now, God isn’t a bully or demanding us to surrender. We have a free will and choice if want to surrender to Him. And we surrender because we love and desire Him.
But the concept of relinquishing and submitting ourselves to God is Biblical. And it’s on going through our life.
We surrender our lives to Christ when we become born again and accept Him as Lord and Savior. But throughout our walk, circumstances and situations arise where we have to choose to lay those things down before God.
This is why Jesus said we must take up our cross daily.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. – Luke 9:23
This is surrender!
So, now that we see that word surrender in the Bible isn’t used like we think but the concept of surrendering is.
Surrender to God
In this section, we will answer some common questions like what does it mean to surrender to God, what we can surrender, and how to surrender.
If you would like to read Bible verses on the topic of surrender, you can do so here:
What does it mean to surrender to God?
Let’s look at two areas; trust and honor and see how these relate to surrendering to God.
I remember praying about surrendering, and the began to speak to me about how it’s related to trusting Him.
See, when we focus on our problems (worries, situations, circumstances). We are telling God, “I need to take care of this. I am the one in control. I’m the one who needs to fix this.” You are basically relying on your earthly strength.
The true reality is that God is the one who is in control and who needs to be in control (us giving Him control in our lives). He is our helper and friend, but if we don’t turn towards Him and surrender ourselves to Him, we will not experience His wonder-working power in our life.
You will experience stress, worry, frustration, anger, confusion, and pain. And what a pity. Jesus went through the most horrific sacrifice so we can experience all of God’s freedom and peace.
So, what does honor have to do with surrender? A lot.
When we surrender all to God, we aren’t just saying we trust you, Lord. But we are also declaring God’s lordship over our lives.
We are saying God, I honor you for who you are in my life and am willing to give you this person/place/thing/situation.
These things (people, places, situations, dreams, desires) can become idols in our life, but surrendering to God dethrones the idols of our heart. And brings Glory and Honor to the true King of Kings.
What to Surrender?
Many Christians think that surrendering to the Lord consists of only large matters. These large matters do matter, but even the tiny things that happen throughout your day can mess with you People can upset you, or something goes wrong. And those are the opportunities for us to go before God and surrender our emotions, ideals, and more.
Another good way to gauge is if the thought of giving something up hurts too much. It’s usually those things that have power and control over you.
Some other common areas are:
If It’s a sin issue, you need to repent and bring it to the Lord.
How to Surrender to God
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2
Surrendering to God can look different for everyone. But for me, these are some key things that we need to do and understand for us to experience the freedom that comes with surrender.
Be Real With Yourself and God
A lot of people sugarcoat or hide things from themselves and God. They don’t share their true feelings.
God is not scared of you being truthful with Him. He already knows what you are feeling and thinking.
I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. – Jeremiah 17:10
This is a pattern we see within psalms. The psalmist will pour out his heart before the Lord. They get real! They complain and share their hurts and their anger. But have you noticed once they are getting all of that stuff out, their focus changes from “Self” to the Lord, and the psalm ends in praise and worship before God?
We can learn from these examples in Psalms. It’s ok to be real, raw, and open with God. He wants us to pour our hearts out to Him. But the key is not to stay in that place but get to a place where our eyes get off of ourselves and unto the Lord. This is what makes praise and worship so powerful.
Take Up Your Cross
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. – Matthew 16:24-25
Denying ourselves is part of the process of surrendering. As Christians, we can’t always have our cake and eat it too. It just doesn’t work that way.
This is hard to grasp in our modern culture, where we believe we should have every single desire. But we need to realize that there will be things the Lord asks us to lay down before Him.
I love what E.M Bounds says…
Doesn’t sound fun, right? But it’s the very thing we need. If we want to grow closer to the Lord and see our life transformed by Him. Then we need to learn to die to self and surrender to God.
I mention this in Let Go and Let God: The power of giving it to God. Prayer is an integral part of the process of surrendering to God.
Prayer is one of the ways we draw closer to the Lord, and we get into His presence. It’s in that place we get the strength to let go.
It’s also the time we make requests. If we are struggling with yielding to the Lord, ask the Lord to help you. Pray for strength, courage, grace, wisdom, or whatever you feel you personally need.
God will help you! We just need to ask.
Depending on your struggles, it’s a good idea to find someone to be accountable to. Find a trusted brother or sister in Christ who you can talk to and ask them to keep you accountable.
According to Entreprenuer.com…
“The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they build in ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.”
Remember, you don’t have to fight your battles on your own. Talk to someone, pray together, and let God work in your life! I know having accountability has helped me tremendously in all areas of my life.
You might have heard we are the microwave generation. Meaning we like things to be done or ready FAST. Look at McDonald…they can have a burger done for you in 112 seconds (source)!
With this kind of mentality, we can get frustrated when we surrender something to the Lord, yet we continue to struggle with it, or we don’t see change happen fast enough.
We want immediate freedom. And sometimes that happens! It’s glorious, but sometimes we have to fight and win the battle over our flesh and the enemy.
If this is you…keep the faith. Keep pressing on. Surround yourself with strong Christians who you can talk and pray with. And most importantly, draw closer to God.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7-10
A Prayer of Surrender to God
I am a big believer that prayer should come from the heart. So, I encourage you to use the prayer below as a springboard for you to get real and personal with the Lord. You can do this easily by adding things to the prayer that you are going through.
Prayer for Surrendering all to God
Heavenly Father, I come before you today in great need of your strength and grace. I want to be able to surrender everything to you. My desire Lord is to give you my life and serve you.
It says in your Word we need to take up our cross daily. Give me the strength and wisdom to do so that I wouldn’t hold onto anything so tightly that I lose sight of You. That I would walk with a surrendered heart towards You daily.
In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.
Prayer for Surrender to God for Specific Things
In the blanks place that you are wanting to surrender.
Heavenly Father, I come before you today to express my need to let go of ____________. Lord, I surrender this _____________ in my life and I ask you to help me not to be _________________ about it. I give you full control and trust that You will take care of this.
And Lord, give me strength to lay this at your feet and not pick it back up again. I ask that you would give me freedom over this area of my life. That I would learn to trust you more and honor you in this process. You are Lord of Lords and I thank you that you are the Lord over _____________. I humbly submit to You and thank You for your faithfulness to see me through.
In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.
More on Surrender and Letting Go
If this is a topic you want to dig deeper in, I encourage you to check other posts I have on the same topic. My prayer is that these posts will help you deepen your walk with God and learn to surrender all to Him!
I do want to end with this beautiful worship song, I Surrender All sung by Israel Houghton.
Well, there you have it! It’s amazing what happens to our relationship God when we give Him everything. And I do hope this article on how to surrender to God has helped you and that it draws you closer to Him!
If you would like, you can leave me a comment. It would be awesome to hear from you and what God is doing in your life.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…