Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (GWT)
Surrendering your life means:
- Following God's lead without knowing where he's sending you;
- Waiting for God's timing without knowing when it will come;
- Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;
- Trusting God's purpose without understanding the circumstances.
You know you're surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don't have to always be in charge. Instead of trying harder, you trust more.
You also know you're surrendered when you don't react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.
Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You are not self-serving, you don't edge others out, and you don't demand your rights.
The most difficult thing for many people to surrender is their money. Many have thought, "I want to live for God but I also want to earn enough money to live comfortably and retire someday."
Retirement is not the goal of a surrender life, because it competes with God for the primary attention of our lives. Jesus said, "You cannot serve both God and money," (Matthew 6:24 NIV) and "Wherever your treasure is, your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21 NIV).
The supreme example of self-surrender is Jesus. The night before his crucifixion Jesus surrendered himself to God's plan. He prayed, "Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine" (Mark 14:36 NLT).
Jesus surrendered himself to God's will. He prayed, "God, if it is in your best interest to remove this suffering, please do so. But if it fulfills your purpose, that's what I want, too."
Genuine surrender says, "Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another's life, please don't take it away!"
This level of maturity doesn't come easy. In Jesus' case, he agonized so much over God's plan that he sweated drops of blood. Surrender is hard work. In our case, it requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature.