How to surrender to God was a bit of a mystery to me before I was truly saved, and after I was born again, it took a while for it to sink in just what surrendering to Him really meant. I had been a bit stubborn and self-willed and independent prior to being born again, and the Lord in His mercy was patient with me as He began to teach me and guide me in spiritual matters.
The word "surrender" is similar to the word "submit", but to me surrender has more of a total and unconditional meaning than the word submit. Both are like military terms, where one surrenders to the conqueror and lets the conqueror take total control. In the New Testament, the word submit is from the Greek word "hypotasso", which means to obey, be subject to, be obedient to. Isn't that a wonderful explanation of how we should feel towards Jesus ?! It means to yield oneself to His power and authority, give oneself up, and yield to His guidance and direction.
"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" - Hebrews 12:9
To obey God is the way of life we should choose. To disobey God is rebellion. When you totally surrender to God, He will bless you. As Dr. Charles Stanley says in the following sermon, you need to surrender all control of your life to God - body, soul and spirit - and let God have His will in your life.
In the above sermon, Dr. Stanley gives 6 excellent ways to fully surrender to the Lord. If you are truly saved and born again, you will love Jesus so much that you will want to surrender to Him and let Him be in control. You must be humble ! 1 Peter 5:5 tells us, "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." So part of surrendering to God/Jesus is to be humble. One cannot be proud and at the same time submit to God; it just will not happen. Remember, being humble and submissive is a choice we make. If we make that choice, the Holy Spirit will help to "conform us to the image of His Son" - Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29).
As you surrender to the Lord, you should have a hunger for the Holy Word - the Bible. The careful study of God's Word will help you to grow spiritually and will renew your mind (Romans 12:2). You will grow to know the Lord more intimately, which in turn will mature you and help you to ever more willingly surrender to Him and His will. It is a process.
Because God is a loving Father and He knows what is best for us, He requires us to submit to Him in all things. By humbly surrendering to Him daily, He will give us blessings and peace that is so far beyond and superior to anything this old fallen world has to offer.
Many of you may be familiar with that old hymn "I Surrender All." For those who are familiar and those who are not, here it is in a beautiful video.
One huge hindrance to surrendering to Jesus, which is closely linked with pride, is self-will and stubbornness; wanting your own way all the time. Besides displeasing the Lord, that attitude can get you into a lot of trouble with people and cause you to fall into serious circumstances. Proverbs 14:12 tells us: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." It is far wiser to always seek God's guidance and then submit to His will. In other words, deny yourself.
At Mark 8:34b Jesus said, "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
Think of all that Jesus suffered for our sake ! He was mocked, tortured, and nailed to the cross to die a horrendous death so that we may have eternal life if we believe in Him. God the Father even forsook Jesus for a time when Jesus was made sin for us as He died. How could we finite creatures dare to not obey and surrender to Him after all He has done for us !! We need to show our gratitude for His great love by our obedience and our submission to His will. Too many people today are very self-absorbed and not spiritually minded. Christians should not fall into that trap; and if you are a true believer and are often in prayer, asking for guidance, it will not be likely that you are self-absorbed but instead totally committed to the Lord.
Another thing that will help you to surrender to Jesus is to remember that, not only is He our Savior, but he is very definitely our Lord and Master. We should show honor, respect, and reverence for the Lord and Master by obeying Him and putting His will first in our lives.
Jesus Christ will return soon to take His true followers to heaven in the Rapture. We need to be living a life that He will approve: a godly, totally surrendered life, and therefore be ready when He returns.
"And behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." - Jesus at Revelation 22:12