“The man or woman who is wholly or joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong choice – any choice will be the right one.” – A. W. Tozer
In American culture, surrender is rarely seen as a positive idea. It is commonly seen as giving up or losing. But to a Christian surrender is an act of faith: it is the first act for those coming to salvation, and a continual habit of those walking with Christ. To spiritually surrender means to let go of control and trust God with our present and future. Galatians 2:20 says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The returning prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 is a picture of what it means to surrender to God. The son gives up on his way of life and runs back to the father hoping to be a servant. His surrender is met with rewards beyond his expectations. He is received with open arms, lavish love, and a new life as a restored son.
Jesus lived a life of continual surrender to the Father. ”So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” (John 5:19). And as He said to the Father when the time came to surrender His life, “I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42).
Walking with Jesus means continual surrender, trusting that the God who made you has a plan for you and loves you. When you surrender to Christ, you aren’t surrendering your God-given identity and uniqueness. We surrender not for fear or threat, but in hope that the One to whom we surrender has a better life for us. And that hope doesn’t disappoint.
In surrender, God may—or may not—give us what we want. But when we surrender, He always wants to give us Himself. When we surrender, we always receive what is best: the Lord Jesus.
Surrender isn’t about giving up; it’s about giving in to the One who knows what is best for us, to the One who knows us most and has a perfect plan. Surrender is the only real way to experience His peace. It’s the only way to true joy.
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30).
- What is an area of your life that you know you need to surrender to God?
- What might you be giving up if you do surrender that area to God?
- Do you believe that surrendering to God could actually benefit you? How?