Surrender. A nice Christian ideal that is so hard to live out every day. It’s one thing to say, “Lord, I surrender my life to You,” but it’s another thing to truly live with open hands. To give your life away, to be still and abide in God requires surrender. To give your life to God fully demands you live with open hands around your time, talents, and treasures. Today we will see how to begin to fully surrender all to Him.Ask the Lord to help you give your life to God, to fully surrender to Him, again today. He will answer that prayer! Click To Tweet
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:1-11 NASB)
How Do I Give My Life To God?
Jesus, our passage today, is explaining that He abides in the Father’s love and shows it with obedience. The kind of obedience Jesus showed in His life is radical. Jesus literally gave every part of His life to God. He kept nothing back, never acted independently, and always followed God’s will. This is a call to surrender our lives fully to God as Jesus did, abide with Him, and walk in His love.
The topic we are dissecting today – how to give your life to God – requires two parts.
- Initial salvation
- Daily surrender
It’s crazy because honestly, the first piece feels like the whole story, but it really isn’t. However, we must start at the beginning for this topic to really work in our series.
Salvation is Simple
When I was 6-years-old I met the kindest people. They loved me and accepted me and told me they could do that because Jesus loved them. Turns out, Jesus loves everybody.
“For God so loved the world (that includes you) that He gave His One and Only Son, that whosoever (also you) believes in Him would not perish (spend eternity separated from Him in a real place called Hell) but have eternal life (with Him for all eternity with no pain or tears).” (John 3:16 (a paraphrased version combining decades of memorized versions – sorry))
All I knew at six was that nobody loved me (I was a mistake whose very existence doomed my parents to misery). But then Jesus loved me. These people who loved Jesus also seemed to love me. I wanted that.
Salvation is Necessary
As I learned more I found out that I had been comparing myself to the wrong people. You see I compared myself to my oldest brother (a real black sheep ;)) and thought I was doing okay. I was a good girl… that’s what matters right?
Then I learned that God compares me to Himself. God is perfect, holy, righteous, other…
Compared to God, I am not a good person. Are you? I sin. Daily… sometimes hourly… I lie, I gossip, I lust, I am a glutton, there was a time I stole a doughnut from the grocery store… sin.
That sin, even just one of the tiniest sins, was enough to keep me separated from God for eternity (Isaiah 59:2)
Hell is a real place. It’s funny to me that we don’t talk about that in life often. Heaven comes up often, but when you mention hell people call you weird.
Who wants to spend eternity in Hell, surrounded by fire, unquenchable thirst and so many other horrible things? NOT ME.
To not spend eternity in hell requires salvation.
Salvation is Humbling
Now, remember, this is how my 6-year-old mind understood what I was learning. It is simple, probably oversimplified, but there is much truth in what I learned.
Salvation is a way to heaven. That was part of what I wanted. But more than heaven, I wanted to know Jesus more. If He really loved me, I wanted to know Him and love Him back. My heart still aches with that desire.
But salvation is humbling, even for a 6-year-old girl.
In its simplest form salvation is 3 things.
- Admit you are a sinner
- You could never be good enough to earn salvation on your own.
- Believe in Jesus
- He is God’s Son who was born of a virgin
- Jesus lived a sinless life
- He died a sinner’s death in your place
- Then He was buried 3 days and raised to life on the 3rd day
- He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father praying for you and waiting for the word to come back and bring us all to live with Him for eternity
- Confess that Jesus is the Lord of your life.
- Surrender to obeying Him, His will, His way, and in His time.
There is not one perfect how to give your life to God prayer. God wants you as you are, raw and real, not polished and perfect.
Talk to Him and tell Him you know you are a sinner. Talk through the points of Jesus’ life with God. Then give Him control, and surrender to His Lordship in your life. He is waiting.
Salvation is Just the Beginning of Surrender
To give your life to God as Jesus tells us in John 15, you begin with salvation. Once you accept God’s gift of salvation, you are baptized (telling the world of your choice). That is the first of many steps in surrendering your life to God.
Surrender like Jesus lived, however, is a daily choice to confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And make no mistake, it is a daily choice to bow to His will instead of your own will.
The Struggle to Surrender Daily
How is it a struggle to surrender your life, to give your life to God daily? Let me give you an example from my life. This is how I pray. The italics are what my thoughts are after and the struggle is real to try to live in obedience like Jesus’ example.
It Starts Like This
“Lord, I surrender. You gave your life away and so will I. Yes, Lord, All my life is Yours.”
Well, I overslept this morning so these two minutes are yours while I read my verse of the day. After I unwind with some me-time I will try to squeeze in a Bible Study as well.
Related Post: How To Be A Strong Prayer Warrior and Why
Things Go Astray Quickly
“Forgive me, Jesus, yesterday was so busy I missed our time together. I really mean to give You more of my time Lord but today is Yours, everything I have, use my life anyway You choose.”
Except I’m really an introvert so I can’t volunteer where I have to talk to people.
Well, I could rock babies next Sunday but did you hear how Sister Mary talked to me last week? They must not need workers that bad if they act like that.
My neighbors? Yes, I know she just had a baby, but I don’t really know her well enough to bring her food. What do they like to eat anyway? I’ll help next time… Can’t I just give them a gift card?
I Fail God Literally Daily
“Forgive me, Lord, I know I missed so many opportunities to serve You yesterday. But today is Yours. Here is my life, use it anyway You choose. Everything I have is Yours.”
But we are really tight this month and I need to wait to tithe until next week so we can pay the credit card bill.
Um, I have a funny feeling about that homeless man, I won’t support his habit.
And the preacher has a nicer house than I do, does the church really need that extra gift that You are prompting me to give?
Related Post: I Failed God and God Failed Me – Learning to Be Still
What Does it Mean to Fully Surrender Your Life to God?
In the life of Jesus, we see surrender and it looks natural. God sent Him into the wilderness after He was baptized. It felt like the easiest thing ever for Jesus to fast for 40-days and then battle Satan. But on this side, I struggle with the simplest things GOd asks that go against my own logic or desires. How about you?
There could be many questions that fall under this one. We will look at each question together.
- What does it mean to give your life to God?
- What does giving your life to God mean?
- How do you give your life to God daily?
- What does it mean to serve God with your life?
- What does the Bible say about giving God your life?
- When does surrender stick for good?
- What happens when you give your life to God?
- What happens when you give your life to Jesus?
What Does It Mean To Give Your Life to God?
As I said earlier, the topic of surrender has to be taken in two phases. First, you give your heart and soul to God and accept His salvation. Next, you give whole God your life. This seems to happen piece by slow piece over time as He teaches us and molds us more into His image.
Learning to be still (as we are), leads to practicing how to abide in Christ, which leads to a life fully surrendered to God. When we abide with Him (remain with Him, invite Him into our daily lives) we are more able to obey His commands and abide in His love.
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:1-11 NASB)
Define Surrender to God
What does giving your life to God mean? Surrender.
A good definition of surrender is this:
- To yield to the power, control, or possession of another
- To agree to forgo to another
- The choice to give oneself up to the power of another, or to the influence of another
This daily surrender, daily obedience is hard.
- It is hard to yield to God’s control when I have ideas of my own that seem more logical.
- There is a real battle about forgoing pleasures and time for the things of God.
- Giving myself up to His power, living a life of humility, well that’s a daily struggle as well!
Surrender is a type of giving. Giving up control of yourself, your future, your stuff.
Related Post: What Biblical Submission in Marriage Is NOT
The Most Common Response to Surrender
People get angry when you talk about surrender and obedience. They get even angrier when you talk about giving up or away anything in any way.
Anger is a confusing response to giving your life to God in my opinion. Followers of God are called to live with open hands – to give – as Jesus lived.
Jesus lived fully surrendered to God, giving everything He was and had in obedience to whatever God the Father asked of Him. If we are living this life like Jesus, we will be givers.
What does The Bible Say About Giving God Your Life?
To be still and abide in Christ freely with your time, talents, and treasures you need to understand three things from the Bible.
- Everything you have came from God.
- God calls you to use your life to further His Kingdom.
- You can never outgive God.
Think for a moment of the life of Jesus. We know more about His 3 hears of ministry than any other time in Jesus’ life.
- During that time we see Him live without a home, without stuff at all really.
- He and the disciples lived on what was given to them, with little money.
- Yet, God provided for them.
- Every skill they had, God used to help further the Kingdom of God.
- They learned new skills daily in the ministry God called them – they were not fully equipped when called.
- God often provided, not just for them, but for others around them.
- They could trust God as they walked in His love through obedience!
To better understand giving up your life for God (surrender in its simplest terms) we look to Scripture. These are my favorite give your life to God Bible verses
1. Everything You Have Came from God.
This one point answers the question: How do you give your life to God daily?
Everything I am or own came from God (Psalm 24:1).
Who else is a closet control freak? I want to cling to control of my life, my choices, and my stuff. When I control everything or withhold areas of my life from God, life gets crazier. It never works out the way I hope because my life is His and He is a jealous God.
Giving your money to support the local church, mission board or ministry is a basic discipline or principle of Christianity.
Giving has been a part of the believers’ lives as far back as Cane and Able. We quibble over 10% when that was just the basic place to start giving (Proverbs 3:9). And it was to be given with a joyful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7)!
We are talking Christianity 101. Everything is His, so why not give it back to Him when He asks?
2. Your Life Is To Furthur His Kingdom
Everything I have it’s God’s, came from God first. He entrusted me with time, talents, and treasures. Selfishly, I use those things for my own agenda and glory all too often. God’s plan for everything He gave me, however, is not for my own comfort but to further the Kingdom of God.
This requires a perspective shift.
What does it mean to serve God with your life? It is about furthering His Kindom instead of your own.
God has given each believer gifts and talents, life experiences, and training as He sees best. Giving your talents to help others is the very reason you were given gifts and talents to begin with (2 Corinthians 9:8-11)!
What’s more, when we refuse to serve God with what He gave us, we hurt the body of Christ and stop growing in our faith walk (Proverbs 3:27). All around it is counterproductive.
3. You Can Never Outgive God
This is the fear I face, tell me if you can relate.
- I don’t trust people easily and never want to be taken advantage of or used.
- When do you know it’s safe to really pour it all out?
- Also, I am often afraid I will fail, horribly, and live in humiliation.
- So I don’t always step out in faith when I clearly hear God’s voice.
- And there is a part of me that is selfish, and self-centered.
- Don’t everything God says is rarely easy or comfortable and so we wrestle often.
Here’s the thing, giving your life away to God is a super-natural extension of your love as your relationship with God grows. Super-natural, meaning it is impossible without His help. Thankfully, He gives us the Holy Spirit for just that help (John 14:15-31).
The benefits of full surrender are worth the hard work! Time poured out to God energizes you, grows you, and sends you out more full than when you came in!
How To Give Your Life To God Daily
There are four steps that help me stay on track with surrender. Just to clarify, I mess it up all the time. All the time! But it is better now and these four things are why. Walking in obedience, surrendering my whole life to God regardless of how hard it is, is easier with these four steps.
- Make the choice
- Make a plan
- Don’t stay down
- Plan space to be still and hear from Him.
Related Post: 38 Bible Verses to Encourage One Another Daily
Make the Choice
When does surrender stick for good? It is literally a choice you have to make every single day of your life after salvation.
Each day you are presented with thousands of choices. Will you make those choices based on your desires (or your will) or will you seek God’s will?
The Bible tells us to pray about everything. We joke sometimes saying God doesn’t care what I have for breakfast, but in doing so we miss the point. God has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) that lines up with His will for the Kingdom. You might be surprised what He would choose if you began to pray more about each choice.
Will you say a prayer to give your life to God each day and repeat it over each choice?
Make a Plan
But how does that work in a busy world? For sure this is an honest question.
The bottom line is, that what you plan for happens. If you do not plan for God in your day you won’t find time for Him. However, if you plan your day around your time with God instead of trying to squeeze that time into your other busy activities you will see there really is time!
Will you give Him time in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Open the Bible, and let Him speak to you. Then set aside time to talk to Him through prayer.
Don’t Stay Down
You will mess up. You will fall down, forget your time with God, forget to ask what His will is. We all mess up.
“For a righteous person falls seven times and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16 NASB)
The point is not to never fall, but to get back up. Don’t stay down long. The enemy wins when we wallow. Accept God’s forgiveness and get back on track with HIm as soon as possible.
Most days you may offer many prayers to give your life to God, to surrender control to Him again. Don’t be afraid to humble yourself in prayer to get back up and on track.
Plan Space to Be Still and Hear From Him
Lastly, you can’t give all of your life to God if you don’t plan time and create space to hear His voice. God longs to speak to you. This 40-day fast is a great way to give Him space, but what about after? Fasting once a year is not enough. Make time each day to sit and listen for Him. Get away alone for a walk from time to time to just hear what He would say to you.
Be still and know Him more.
What Happens When You Give Your Life to God?
I wish I could say giving your life to God makes life easy. It does not. In fact, often life gets harder. You see, there is a real enemy of our faith. He hates to see you grow or further God’s Kingdom. So, he attacks a lot and makes life hard.
So yea, the life of a believer serving God, fully surrendered, will be tough in seasons. Is it worth it though? Yes! 100% worth it!
What Happens When You Give Your Life to Jesus?
Giving your life to God ensures salvation, an eternity in heaven. It is amazing to imagine… but giving your life to God, through Jesus also brings about an abundant life on earth.
So many people are waiting for heaven, but God gives us victory and blessing while we walk on earth. Live from that place of victory!
Yes, life may be hard, but there are so many benefits of giving your life to God!
Benefits of Giving Your Life To God
What are the benefits of abiding in the Lord through Giving and Surrender? Over and over in Scripture, we see blessings when you give your life away to God. Let’s see give your life to God verse by verse below:
“A man’s gift makes room for him.” (Proverbs 18:16 NASB)
“The generous man will be prosperous” (Proverbs 11:25 NASB)
“Give and it will be given to you.”(Luke 6:38 NASB)
“Give in secret and God will bless you.” (Matthew 6:2 NASB)
“Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8 NASB)
Let Go And Let God Prayer Bundle
|If you have the budget for a bit more in a prayer journal I highly recommend the Let God and Let God Prayer Bundle! Here at Hope Joy in Christ, we believe in the power of adding scripture to prayer for powerful spiritual warfare!
This prayer journal is more of a bundle because there is a beautiful journal but there is also a great set of resources to help you:
I enjoy this bundle and know you will too!
A Challenge To Surrender Fully To God Daily
When we learn how to abide in God’s Word we cultivate a heart of generosity. It just happens. It begins with giving of our time and abiding in the vine, the Word of God!
Every time I think I come close to surrendering my whole life to God He shows me areas that I have held back. Today is no different. How about you?
I ask myself, “Who is Jesus in your life really that you can’t give Him everything yet?”
My flesh answers with excuses. I am guilty of not abiding in Christ. Guilty of living with closed-fisted hands around the things I see as mine. Guilty of not being obedient to God as He calls me to give my life away.
Can you relate?
And even as I write this He is challenging me. What will you surrender to God today as you seek to abide in Christ? Will you give me your time, talents, and treasures
These are the things He is pressing into my spirit personally. I offer them to you to prompt your heart to seek Him more.
Will You Give Me Your Time?
- Stop right now and read a Bible verse.
- Then sit with God a while and let that verse sink in deeply enough to change you.
- The widow across the street just wants to talk to someone.
- Stop today before you pull the can back up the driveway.
- That child you are ignoring just wants to play a game with you.
- Give her your time and attention.
Will You Give God Your Talents?
- The kids at co-op could learn a lot about business from you.
- When was the last time you rocked babies at church?
- Spend time with your neighbor to teach her how to budget.
The church is like a body according to 1 Corinthians 12:12. If my part is a thumb or a toe and I am not serving it makes the body handicapped.
You have talents that could help others in your neighborhood, church, or ministry. Will you find the part of the body of Christ that is waiting for you to serve?
Related Post: 41 Powerful Bible Verses About Unity in the Body
Will You Give God Your Treasures?
There are things you refuse to share, lend, or give away when there are needs. Things that you may have set up as idols… ouch.
- That money you tucked back for a rainy day, some of that is for the missionary you know.
- The book you know could help a friend, give it to her today.
- What about the tool your neighbor could really use to start her garden? That could open the door to a conversation about Jesus.
You know what you treasure… so does God.
Will you surrender to Him today?
A Pray Giving Your Life To God in Surrender
I am weak and frail and I fail you more days than not. Forgive me for holding so tight-fisted to this life. Forgive me for refusing to give You my time, talents, or treasures.
Soften my heart. Give me a boldness to say yes and open my hands to give back to You what you freely gave to me.
Teach me to obey God the way You obeyed God. Make me more into Your image today, please.
Will You Give Your Life To God Today – Again?
Jesus lived a life of complete surrender to God. He spent time with God to listen to His voice and He prayed throughout the day to stay connected to Him. We see that His life was 100% obedient to the commandments of God and He walked in God’s love. We are called to live like that…
Maybe you are new to the whole idea of Christianity. Will you trust Him today with your life? The first step is to just talk to Him about it and then talk to another Christian for some next steps.
Maybe you are saved, but wonder if you are doing this right. There is no shame in starting fresh with the Lord. He is waiting for you to draw nearer to Him.
Maybe you have been walking with Jesus for a while but feel stuck? (You can’t see me over here, but my hand is raised too.). No matter how often I give my life to God, I wrestle with self and comfort and confusion. A time of fasting (like we are doing now) is always good to get back on track with Him.
Ask the Lord to help you give your life to God, to fully surrender to Him, again today. He will answer that prayer!
If you enjoyed this, you will love these articles:
- 7 Benefits of Submission in Marriage
- How TO Fast and Pray in a Way that Pleases God
- The Best PRayer Resources To Help You Connect With God