I was driving around town and the car in front of me stopped for no reason. As I slammed on the brakes to come to a stop, it hit me that if I didn’t surrender my will to keep moving forward, we would have crashed.
Life gets like that. We have what we want to do, keep driving along at a steady pace, then God calls us to stop and make a change. Do we then surrender to His will or keep moving forward with our will and crash into the obstacles ahead?
You see, while on this earth, we are given free will to live as we choose. I’m not talking about where we live, whether slave or free or impoverished or wealthy, but instead, to choose to live for God or not. God doesn’t force people to follow Him, but instead, He offers an outstretched hand of invitation into His Kingdom.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’”
(See how this invitation is for anyone who has struggles in life and who are worn down)
God wants to have a relationship with us; a healthy relationship is a union of two people who want to be there, both contributing to that relationship. I’m sure the dictionary explains it slightly different, but this is what healthy relationships require.
So, if God forces us into following Him, what kind of relationship would that be for those who don’t want to be there? For both God and the individual, it would be unpleasant to say the least.
But God is patient. He will wait our entire lifetimes while He reaches out to us. He doesn’t give up on us. In most instances, we will get to a low point in our lives where we finally understand that God is the only light in our dark world; that God is the only one left who still believes in us to become something and someone.
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God is the God above all else
God is the only true God. God is also the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to go on a personal journey to learn the roles of each, as well as the authority of each. In this article, I will simply bring light to who each is and their general roles in the Kingdom.
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of Heaven and earth, and all that lies between and under. He created mankind and animals and He inspired us to build with our hands all that we have today.
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
There are many people who think this world just came to be; that it’s all by chance. What if God and all His mighty power took the day off; I mean, gone to the beach, left His cell phone at home, and can’t be reached? What would happen if the sun started to fall or if gravity didn’t obey its law or if the oceans didn’t respect their boundaries?
Fortunately for us, God doesn’t take a day off. God is everywhere and He is always paying attention and in control. Sometimes it doesn’t look like He’s in control, especially when we consider various countries and territories that are suffering due to poor Governing authorities and extreme poverty.
But He see’s these things and He hears the cries of His children. God has a day of wrath stored up for those who do Him and His children wrong. We are told to not worry about the things or the trials of this world (John 16:33), but to keep our focus on Him and live unto Him.
God the Son
Jesus is the Son, sent to earth in human form to become the atonement for our sins. He came to bring life to us through His death on the cross. He accomplished this when He was raised from the dead three days after being crucified, and in doing so, He overcame the power of sin and death. We who accept and believe Jesus get to share in His power, the Inheritance, and eternal Salvation.
“who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”
Jesus is our hope for Salvation from eternal death. Eternal death is life with Satan in Hell. This will happen at the time of Judgment, of which we will talk about momentarily. We are called to accept and believe in Jesus, and we are also told in John 14:6 that Jesus is that absolute only way to get to the Father; that is, to have a relationship with Him and to be blessed by Him and to experience His Kingdom.
As we read through the New Testament, we can see the character of Jesus. Many people think that Jesus was just soft and full of Love. That He just sat around with doves circling His head and children at His feet. He was tender and loving, but also, He was firm. He didn’t tolerate disrespect towards the Father. He was straight forward in speech. And, He was very concerned about the condition of our hearts. Jesus came to save us, not merely to console us.
God the Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit is as much of a person as God and Jesus are. They are one and created alike. The Holy Spirit’s role in the Trinity is to be our Helper and our identification as believers. He is sent to those who accept the Son, to help them learn, to help them walk in righteousness, to comfort, and He is also our intercessor between us and the Father.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
When we accept Jesus, God gives us the Holy Spirit as a helper for us to live according to His Plan for our life. We must respect the power of the Holy Spirit, and we must also call on the Holy Spirit for understanding of God’s Word in the bible and for discernment regarding false teachers and demonic forces against us.
Many people don’t give proper credit to the Holy Spirit, or His role in our life. He is a gift; He is our seal, He is Christ’s representation, and He is with us everywhere we go. He is God.
“They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
When we accept His Son, He sends the Holy Spirit to us as His Seal. He, who is God, protects those who have been marked by Him – those who have the Holy Spirit in them. This will be very necessary for us on the Day of Judgment.
Again, we are told we receive the Spirit by accepting Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Savior;
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
Jesus will come back one day
I have mentioned a coming Day of Judgment. This is when Christ returns to call us to His Kingdom. This is the ultimate separation of the wheat and the chaff. All that is not good, the chaff, which is those opposed to and not living unto God, will be burned in the lake of fire we are told in Revelation 21:8.
“because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
This is serious stuff. Sadly, many won’t be bothered by these types of warnings. I lived foolishly for more than thirty of my forty years. Fortunately for me, I finally decided to get serious and turn my life to Christ. I accepted Jesus twenty years ago but kept living as I wanted for many years to follow. Now, I follow Jesus closely and take these warnings seriously.
If we think that we can claim to accept Jesus and then go on living as before, we will likely be shocked when this Day of Judgment comes about. To accept Jesus and to live for God requires full surrender and obedience of His commands to us. Revelation 3:16 tells us that if we are lukewarm, that He will spit us out. God won’t tolerate people who have one foot in the world and one foot in His Kingdom.
When is this time of Judgment? The bible tells us that no man knows the hour of Christ’s return, except God the Father, Himself (Matthew 24:36). Since we don’t know, the only way we can be sure of our Salvation is to be saved now and live unto God. In doing this, we are prepared in the best way.
Full surrender means accepting Jesus
If we are to be right with God, we must accept His Son. God’s Will for all is that we come to know Jesus and believe. John 1:12 tells us that anyone and everyone is allowed to call on Jesus to be saved and earlier in this article I showed that Jesus is the only way to the Father, as seen in John 14:6.
When we think of the term, surrender, it means to give up. Jesus is asking us to accept His invitation and to give up control of our life to Him. Jesus is asking us to trust him fully, in full surrender, to lead us and help us. When we do fully surrender to Jesus, we can walk in His power and blessing.
If a person is under attack of the enemy, that is Satan, without the authority of Christ, that person is powerless against such attacks. However, when we fully surrender to Jesus and receive Him into our lives, the power that is in Him comes into us. Then, we can command the enemy to leave us in Jesus’ name, and that spirit must leave.
I will briefly talk about the blessings of living a surrendered life in a moment, but first, I just want to talk about following Jesus a bit more.
“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
God loves us and He showed His love for us when He sent Jesus to die for us. There is no greater love than this. Can you imagine how angry it must make God when someone doesn’t want anything to do with His Son? Can you imagine how much more it must anger God when the person who doesn’t accept His Son still tries to boldly call on the name of God in prayer?
As we will see in the few steps for surrender that I will list below, turning to Christ and accepting Him will be the first step.
Following Jesus results in a blessed life
We talked about walking in Jesus’ power a few moments ago, and this is a huge blessing; next, I want to talk about more of the blessings we receive.
Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek God first and His righteousness and that He will give us the desires of our hearts. Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts, and Jeremiah 17:7 tells us that blessed are those who trust in the Lord, and have made the Lord their hope and confidence (fully surrendered and trusting God).
I know that when we talk about blessings, most of us automatically think of stuff like lots of money, beautiful homes and properties, vacations, great food, and vast possessions.
When we come to an understanding about the blessings that the Lord wants us to have, they are more of the eternal sort; the type that will help us arrive safely at the Kingdom and in good shape.
This isn’t something that should make us complain or cause us to walk away sad. Go ahead and read through the Old Testament and see how God blessed His people who obeyed. It was with all these spiritual blessings, but also, a land flowing with milk and honey.
God isn’t promising fortune and fame to anyone who calls on His name and surrenders, but He is promising to give them a life of abundance. Think of the Apostle Paul; he suffered all sorts of hardships in the name of following Christ but counted it as joy to do the work of the Lord, even when beaten and imprisoned.
Paul understood the benefits of serving God wholeheartedly, and the biggest benefits are the ones we can’t see now, but instead, the ones we will see in the Kingdom of Heaven. The things of the world will all rust and rot and become utterly useless, but the gifts and blessings of God will last eternally. That is why we are urged by God to chase Him and His righteousness, and not the things of this world.
3 Steps to surrender to God
As promised, here are three steps we can take to be in full surrender to God and to experience the life He wants us to have:
1. Accept Jesus
Accepting Jesus means to understand that He was sent to earth in human form to live among the people of the time, to experience life as they did, to teach them, and then to die for them and all future generations, which includes us, of course. It means to understand that God raised Jesus from the dead three days later and seated Him beside God in the Heavenly Realm.
Accepting Jesus means to believe this in our hearts and to confess it to others, too. When we do this, the Holy Spirit comes into us and starts working with us to help us grow and learn.
So, how does one invite Jesus into their life?
If you want Jesus to be part of your life, and you have never asked Him before, say this little prayer to God right now, wherever you are, and Jesus will meet you there:
Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of the True Living God and that you came to earth to take my sins upon yourself, to die a sinner’s death on my behalf so that I could live, and that you were raised up on the third day when you overcame the power of death. Please forgive me of my sins and please come into my life and save me and give me eternal life. Please guide me and teach me and help me, Amen.
That’s it. If you prayed this to God, you are saved. Welcome to the Kingdom!
New believers are encouraged to seek out other believers who are rooted in the true teachings of the Word of God. Finding a church who is sharing the true Good News is a very important step. Letting them know that you just received Christ and are in need of some direction will help ensure a good foundation for your journey. Baptism is also a next step.
Don’t try to go it alone. Satan is like a lion; lions lie in wait for the weak and vulnerable and then they attack. Being immersed in mature believers will help new believers build strength through knowledge and encouragement.
2. Confess sins and repent from them
Once we accept Jesus into our lives and get saved, we are only getting started. Following Jesus means living a clean and right life. We all have sins in our life. Even mature believers are susceptible to sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that we all have sinned.
Asking forgiveness of sins to Jesus requires us to come to Him humbly, and in full surrender. Not only do we ask Him to forgive us for all our wrongs, but also that we repent from the sin itself. Repentance means to change our ways and to turn from something.
When we truly repent from something, we make a choice to not do that thing anymore. The children of God who have the Holy Spirit in them won’t enjoy sinning anymore. Instead, they will seek out things of the Kingdom of God, and they will delight in the things the Lord delights in. What they once desired in their hearts will soon change to the things the Lord desires for us to have.
Turning away from sinful living might require a real change in circumstances. When I turned to the Lord and finally gave up alcoholism, I also had to find new friends, as my current friends weren’t ready to make a change for the Lord. Had I continued to hang out with them, I would’ve soon fallen right back into that lifestyle.
As we go about our Christian walk, we will still sin. Pride and idolatry and sexual sins are very common. Thanks to media, we are constantly bombarded with all sorts of images of scantily clad people and luxurious items that cost a fortune and cause people to lust after.
If we aren’t careful, we risk giving into certain temptations, which means we sin. Temptation alone isn’t sin. Sin is the action we do when we entertain the temptation. God, the Holy Spirit, will give us warnings when something isn’t right, and He will give us an exit. But it is up to us to walk through that exit.
When we don’t and we give way to sin, then we must again confess these sins to Christ and make a choice for repentance.
3. Seek God daily
Followers of Christ are wise to spend daily time with the Lord. We do this by praying to God as often as possible; we bring everything to God for direction and instruction. We spend time with Him when we read the bible, which is the Word of God and was inspired by God. Also, we spend time with the Lord when we listen to music that glorifies Him and when we worship Him.
As we seek God daily, and as we strive to avoid the sinful lifestyle, God teaches us and helps us grow. This is the surrendered life. Although God empowers us to do these things and live this way, it is still difficult as we must still live in this world, among non-believers who think this is all foolish.
This can be taxing on us and in time, if we don’t surrender to Jesus each morning upon waking, we risk growing weak and falling away. When we are weak in spirit, Satan comes knocking and keeps knocking until we give way to his temptations and move back into sin.
Time spent with God, especially when we feel weak and frustrated, is how we get refreshed and renewed. I encourage all believers to examine their current conditions and seek God for refreshment and encouragement today.
We are called as believers to be a light in this dark world. How can we do this is we are too worn out and bordering on powerless? We can’t, at least, not very effectively.
New believers and mature believers; are you fully surrendered?
Being fully surrendered to God means to be sold out for Him. It means that upon waking until we head back to bed, our way of living is only to please God. When we walk this way, God gives us peace and joy in our lives. He takes the chaos out of our lives and replaces it with calmness.
I used to fear giving control to Jesus because I thought that it meant that I would just be constantly persecuted for my belief and that I would have to give up on all my hopes and dreams. I can honestly say that as I strive to remain surrendered to Christ, I find contentment and happiness I’ve never experienced before; I find purpose for my life now; I am experiencing a greater wisdom and clarity than ever before.
I hope you consider all that has been written in this article as you examine your own lives.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.