When a person surrenders to God, they are making him Lord of their life. They stop chasing their own will and pursue his. They let go of their beliefs and adopt what God says is true. They are exchanging their lifestyle for the one that is pleasing to him. But how does a person surrender to God?
Surrendering to God starts with confessing that a person’s old ways of living, thinking, and behaving were wrong, and deciding to follow Jesus Christ completely. It includes abandoning sin and submitting to God’s Word, which will result in more love, peace, and joy than a person ever thought was possible.
What about surrendering to God is difficult? Does God help people who surrender to him? What are some Bible verses about surrendering to God? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Also see Is There Anything Too Hard For God? to learn more.
Is it hard to surrender to God?
God invites people to follow him no matter what mistakes they have made, regrets that they have, or how messed up their life is. A pastor once said, God accepts people as they are, but refuses to leave them that way because he loves them too much. God hasn’t hidden himself. He has revealed himself through his son, Jesus Christ, and invites all people to surrender to him (Matt. 11:28-29; John 3:16).
What about surrendering to God is difficult? Sometimes what people find challenging about surrendering to God isn’t necessarily him, but what they are abandoning in order to submit to him. To surrender to God, some people need to leave an unholy relationship. Others may need to change their job or where they live. Another group of people may need professional help to overcome an addiction.
Brokenness is the shattering of my self-will – the absolute surrender of my will to the will of God. It is saying “Yes, Lord!” – no resistance, no chafing, no stubbornness – simply submitting myself to His direction and will in my life. ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Brokenness, The Heart God Revives, p. 53
Does God help people who surrender to him? Yes. This may not mean that life will automatically get easier, but God does promise to be with his followers as they fight to leave their old ways behind. There are three primary ways God helps people to successfully surrender to him:
- God gives people a community: Church is very important for people who surrender themselves to God. At a strong Bible-teaching church, people will meet others who have been following Christ for a long time and can mentor them on their journey. Church is also filled with people who have also surrendered to God, but have certain areas of life in which they are struggling with sin.
- God gives people his Word: God inspired the writings of the Bible through the Holy Spirit so that followers of Christ would know the truth about him, themselves, and understand how to live a life that pleases God. While church isn’t everyday, Bible reading can be. The stories and instructions give people wisdom, strength, motivation, encouragement, and conviction for surrendering to God.
- God gives people his Spirit: When a person surrenders to God and makes a decision to turn from sin and follow Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to dwell inside them. The Spirit, often through church and the Word, comforts, protects, and guides people. He empowers them to overcome sin, pursue righteous living, and apply the victory that Christ won on the cross to their lives.
Author Andrew Murray has written, “Obedience is the fruit of the new birth. When a person has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, then God expects something of that person who is now His son. He expects us to be surrendered. He expects us to abide in His love. He expects us to constantly abide in His love. As we do, God changes us.”
Also see Does God Forgive Murderers? to learn more.
10 powerful Bible verses about surrendering to God
Reading and memorizing Bible verses like those listed below will help a person store God’s instructions in their heart and mind. Memorizing verses leads a person to repeat the Word over and over again and think about what it teaches.
- James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
- Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”
- Luke 9:23-24, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
- Jeremiah 10:23, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.”
- Galatians 2:20, “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.”
- Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'”
“My most earnest of all pleas to singles is abandonment of the self, surrender to Christ of all unfulfilled longings, an unequivocal willingness to receive whatever God assigns, and a determination to practice the sacrificial principle of Isaiah 58:10-11. Life becomes not only far simpler, but surprisingly joyful and free.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot, missionary
Also see Did God Create Dinosaurs? to learn more.
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