What does it mean to surrender everything to God?
Sure, you hear pastors preach about it, we sing about it and even use it in conversations with other believers.
It’s so easy to talk about surrendering, but how do we actually put it into practice?
Upon doing some research for this post (which I came up with after a colleague asked me that very question, and I realized I needed a better understanding of this topic), I found a video of one Joyce Meyer’s messages on surrender.
She says you can either surrender to the devil or surrender to God. That’s the choice.
I think James 4:7 illustrates this point well.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
So when we’re surrendering to God, we are in essence, resisting the will of Satan.
But back to my original question of how to surrender.
Joyce Meyer describes surrendering as simply letting go. We stop fighting our circumstances, fighting ourselves and fighting all the things people to do us that we don’t like and fighting the place God has put us.
We stop trying to everything our own way, letting God handle things instead.
For one thing, it’s a lot less work, because God already has a plan, so why not just go ahead and let him do it? He’s going to accomplish His work either way.
Take it from me — it is an exhausting way to live.
But for so many years, that was exactly how I lived. There were things in my life that I had spent years praying for that still hadn’t happened — and I was pretty convinced God had accidentally left them off his to-do list.
So what did I do? Try to do them myself, of course! And as you may have guessed, that method failed.
I began this year with a 21-day fast that has in some ways changed the course of my spiritual walk. (If you’ve never fasted, I highly encourage it. I’ll be writing a post about it soon!) For me, that was the beginning of surrendering.
Much of my journey this year has been mentally giving up trying to make things happen my own way, and just simply thanking God to be alive each day; thanking him for my family, friends, job and everything He’s given me.
It’s resulted in an attitude change, which also feels a lot like surrendering.
I’ve been focusing on staying in the Word and praying intentionally throughout the day every day (this includes starting each day in prayer, telling the Lord that I surrender the day to Him and asking to let His will be done, even in the small day-to-day things). It makes a difference.
I’ve also worked on Bible verse memorization, although I’ve fallen off the wagon on this more recently. But it’s a great way to get God’s word in your mind and your heart.
Ultimately, this year has been a fresh commitment to strive to live a God-honoring life. It’s consisted of sincere prayers and real honesty with God — some days, that has meant confessing that I’m mad at him.
After all, if we can’t tell God how we really feel, what kind of relationship is that? He loves us through it all, and always directs us back on track.
For me, surrender was a change in attitude toward God and life. More than anything, God is teaching me to be more thankful for what I have. And in turn, I have learned to love Him even more and see the beauty in all situations.
I still don’t have it all figured out, but I can assure you of this: Despite what the world tells you, surrendering to God is the most freeing thing you’ll ever do.