My goal is to experience the maximum life. There’s one requirement: surrender.

Growing up, I never heard teaching on surrender. I knew what the word meant in warfare: to give up.

At age seven I invited Jesus into my heart to be my Savior, but I struggled with doubt for years until settling my eternity with Romans 10:13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I did what he asked; I had to believe he did what he promised.

Something was still missing. Where was all that joy and peace I thought came automatically with the Christian-life package?

I began searching with all my heart, and the Lord kept his Word. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Several terms had eluded my understanding. Abundant life. Spirit-filled life. Lordship of Christ. Surrender. My search led me to a conclusion. These terms all mean the same thing—giving up control of my life and acknowledging Christ as Lord.

That’s what Paul was talking about. “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

Author Elizabeth Rice Handford said, “What is a sacrifice? An animal put on the altar, slain, the blood drained out, without will or desire, to be consumed by the fires of the altar. What is a living sacrifice? A life put on the altar, with no more will or desire than a dead animal, to be consumed in the service of God, a heart attitude of absolute, unqualified surrender—to desire nothing the Lord does not desire, to feel no lack, defend no rights, expect no rewards except the joy of serving the One who gave His life for you.”

Pastor Charles Stanley defined surrender this way. “Surrender is the definite deliberate voluntary transfer of the undivided possession, control and use of my total being—spirit, soul, and body—to Jesus Christ, to whom I rightfully belong by creation and redemption.”

Hannah Whitall Smith, who wrote The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, said, “Whatever there is of you, let Him have it.”

The problem with staying surrendered: living sacrifices keep sliding off the altar. Keys to staying surrendered:

  • Obedience to God’s will
  • Application of God’s Word to our daily walk

“And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Our two options:

  • To be conformed to the world     
  • To be conformed to Christ

How we can know which option is working for us:

  • Am I impacting my world for Christ or being impacted?
  • In what ways am I being conformed to the world?
  • How does my testimony stand today?
  • Are there friends I could not witness to because my walk is not consistent?
  • What is one significant change I can trust God to make in my life in order to have a consistent walk?

Considering what Christ did for us—giving his life to cleanse us from sin so we could have a personal relationship with him and spend eternity with him—don’t you think surrender is reasonable?

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Surrender….gateway to the maximum life and key to joy and peace. When we give up, putting everything on the altar, we discover the altar is the only safe place for precious things.

Tell me what you’ve learned about surrender. And please share this article with your friend list!

© Dianne Barker 2019

Please follow and like us: