Surrender is the plan Jesus laid out for following him.
Much of my walk with the Lord has been a struggle. At age seven I asked Christ to come into my life and be my Savior. But how could I be certain my eternity was secure?
Over the next twenty years, I fought doubt and prayed many times so I’d know I belonged to the Lord. Claiming Romans 10:13 finally settled the issue forever. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I’d called. I had to believe he’d kept his promise to accept me into his family.
But something was still missing. Where was all that joy and peace I’d heard so much about?
Along with studying the Bible, I read books by well-known Christian authors, seeking the answer. I kept coming across terms that I now know mean the same thing: absolute surrender, Christ-controlled personality, Spirit-controlled life, Lordship of Christ, abundant life.
Jesus said, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
But how does a believer access that life? In prayer, I said the words. “I want you to be Lord of my life.” But I didn’t know how to walk it out day by day.
The Lord led me to a book by Tim LaHaye, Understanding the Male Temperament, and I found the answer to my questions. Where’s all that joy and peace? How does a believer access that life?
He said most Christians never give God 100 per cent. Ninety-six or ninety-seven per cent is the best they can do.
I was a ninety-seven percenter. During my search I’d heard sermons on surrender and tried to surrender everything, but I withheld a few precious things. When it came to my husband and two children, I attached strings. I’d pray, “Lord, I give them to you, but you must not let anything happen to them.”
You know what surrender means—giving up. In war (and old cowboy movies), the enemy lifts his hands to give up, to surrender. In the Christian life, we lift our hands saying, “Lord, I give up. Here’s my life. Whatever you do is okay.”You know what surrender means—giving up. In war (and old cowboy movies), the enemy lifts his hands to give up, to surrender. In the Christian life, we lift our hands saying, Lord, I give up. Here’s my life. Whatever you do is okay. Click To Tweet
I couldn’t make that surrender because taking my precious ones was not okay.
Dr. LaHaye explained the only way to have joy and peace was to give God everything. The Lord opened my eyes to see withholding my precious ones didn’t guarantee I could keep them. He’s sovereign. He does as he pleases. If he chose to take my sweet family, he could do it—without my permission.
He gave me peace that if I surrendered them, whatever happened, I could trust him for grace.
The altar is the only safe place for precious things.
On a spring morning sunlight flooded the living room where I met with God and with a flow of tears handed over my life, no strings attached—my husband, my kids, my past, present, and future, my career, all my hopes and dreams. Immediately I had joy and peace!
Although I’d still struggle learning how to abide in Christ and walk by faith, his power in me through the Holy Spirit began an amazing work of transformation, producing a cluster of fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
That’s the abundant life Jesus promised, and we access it through surrender—the sixth key to dispensing the sweet fragrance of Christ.
The Christian life is a process of being conformed to the image of Jesus. He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Much fruit! Much Galatians 5:22-23!The Christian life is a process of being conformed to the image of Jesus. He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John… Click To Tweet
Surrender is the best decision I ever made. Here’s a simple prayer that will help you access that life of abundance.
Lord, I surrender my life completely to you—husband, children, marriage, career, home, possessions, finances, talent, time, treasures, ambitions, past, present, future. I want to follow you wholeheartedly. Take the throne of my life, and reign in my heart as Lord of all. Fill me with your Spirit so my life overflows with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Use me for your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Next week we’ll review highlights of this six-part series. Maybe it’s answered some of your questions. I’d love to know if you prayed to surrender. Please leave a comment—and share this post with friends who need encouragement.
© Dianne Barker 2018 (reprinted)