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by Scott Wylie

The biblical characteristic of surrender is a transformative act of yielding oneself fully to the will and authority of God. It involves relinquishing our own desires, plans, and control in order to embrace God's perfect purposes for our lives. Surrender is not a sign of weakness but a courageous act of trust and obedience. Throughout the Bible, we find examples of individuals who surrendered their lives to God and experienced His faithfulness and blessings.

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Infographic on the Biblical characteristic of Hope

What is Surrender?

One of the most powerful verses on surrender is found in Romans 12:1, where the apostle Paul writes, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1, ESV). This verse calls us to offer our entire being as a living sacrifice to God, acknowledging His mercies and surrendering ourselves wholly to His purposes.

Jesus Himself exemplified surrender when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion, saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:42, ESV). In this moment, Jesus demonstrated the ultimate act of surrender, submitting Himself to the Father's will and plan for His life.

Cultivate Surrender

So, how can we develop an attitude of surrender to God in our own lives? Here are a few tips:

  1. Recognize God's sovereignty:
    Understand that God is the Creator and Lord of all things. Surrender begins with acknowledging His authority and yielding to His plans and purposes. Psalm 95:6-7 says, "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."
  2. Seek God's will through prayer:
    Regularly spend time in prayer, seeking God's guidance and surrendering your desires and plans to His perfect will. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:10, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
  3. Trust in God's wisdom and goodness:
    Develop trust in God's character and His plans for your life. Surrender requires faith in His wisdom, knowing that His ways are higher than our own. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, "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."
  4. Let go of control:
    Release your desire for control and allow God to be the driver of your life. Surrender involves humbly accepting that God's ways and timing are perfect. Proverbs 16:9 assures us, "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."
  5. Embrace obedience:
    Surrender requires obedience to God's commands. Develop a heart that delights in obeying God's Word and following His leading. Jesus says in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
  6. Emphasize humility:
    Cultivate humility in your relationship with God and others. Recognize your dependence on God and surrender your pride and self-sufficiency. James 4:10 advises, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you."
  7. Surrender your burdens and worries:
    Release your worries, fears, and anxieties to God. Surrendering involves trusting Him with your concerns and resting in His peace. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
  8. Seek godly counsel:
    Surround yourself with wise and mature believers who can provide guidance and support as you navigate the journey of surrender. Proverbs 11:14 states, "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety."
  9. Cultivate a thankful heart:
    Develop an attitude of gratitude, recognizing God's faithfulness and provision in your life. Surrender involves surrendering not only your plans but also your praise and thanksgiving to Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 encourages us, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
  10. Surrender daily:
    Surrender is not a one-time event but a continuous process. Make surrender a daily practice, committing each day and each moment to God's leading and authority. Galatians 2:20 declares, "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."

Developing an attitude of surrender to God is a transformative journey of trust, obedience, and humility. By recognizing God's sovereignty, seeking His will through prayer, trusting in His wisdom and goodness, letting go of control, embracing obedience, emphasizing humility, surrendering burdens and worries, seeking godly counsel, cultivating a thankful heart, and surrendering daily, we can experience the freedom and blessings that come from surrendering our lives to God. May we follow the example of Jesus, who surrendered Himself completely, and find joy and fulfillment in surrendering to God's perfect plan for our lives.

Prayer and Reading Guide for Developing Surrender

Here are ten things people could pray for to develop Surrender.

  1. Pray for a heart of surrender:
    "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." - Psalm 51:10
  2. Pray for trust in God's plan:
    "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5
  3. Pray for obedience to God's will:
    "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground." - Psalm 143:10
  4. Pray for humility:
    "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you." - 1 Peter 5:6
  5. Pray for surrendering control:
    "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." - Psalm 37:5
  6. Pray for surrendering worries and anxieties:
    "Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7
  7. Pray for surrendering personal desires:
    "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4
  8. Pray for surrendering the need for recognition:
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:33
  9. Pray for surrendering past hurts and forgiveness:
    "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." - Mark 11:25
  10. Pray for surrendering daily to God's leading:
    "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." - Galatians 2:20

By praying for a heart of surrender, trust in God's plan, obedience to God's will, humility, surrendering control, surrendering worries and anxieties, surrendering personal desires, surrendering the need for recognition, surrendering past hurts and forgiveness, and surrendering daily to God's leading, we can actively seek and develop an attitude of surrender toward God. May we learn to yield our lives to His purposes, trusting in His goodness, and experiencing the freedom and blessings that come from surrendering to His loving and sovereign will.


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