If you’re struggling to surrender your life to God but you do want a relationship with Him, here are some things to consider.
In Matthew 10:39, Jesus said, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”
We can trust God’s goodness and wisdom, that He knows what is best for us, and surrendering to Him will lead to more lasting satisfaction than anything we think we need. Our will and God’s will can be in perfect agreement if we choose to trust Him.
Surrendering doesn’t necessarily mean there will be more suffering in life. Usually suffering happens anyway, whether we surrender or not, and surrender is more about following in obedience and giving up idols.
Focus on the truth that God is the one who created our ability to enjoy life, and He is the one who can give us living water so we will never thirst again (John 4:14).
Idols might feel satisfying temporarily, but they will not last forever, as Jeremiah 2:13 says, “For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
God is already in control and can take away things if He knows it is best; He can get our attention through circumstances in order to lead us to Him.
In the long run, choosing to not surrender will certainly lead to regret, since we will miss out on God’s blessing on our lives.
Samson’s wife (not Delilah) suffered when she gave into fear rather than making the right choice. The consequence was the very thing she was afraid of (Judges 15:6). By trying to save her life her own way, she lost it.
Jesus taught us to “count the cost” of following Him (Luke 14:25–33), yet there is a positive aspect. It does not mean to count the cost and decide that following Jesus isn’t worth it, but instead realize it is worth it.
If you are saved and have turned from your decision to follow Jesus, you will miss lose eternal rewards (1 Corinthians 3:15) and have consequences in this life (1 Corinthians 5:5; 11:30–32; Hebrews 12:5–11).
However, if you have never surrendered or submitted to Jesus for Him to be in control of your life, then you need to make sure of your salvation by calling on Jesus to be your Lord (Romans 10:9–13), for Him to be on the throne of your heart.
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
It might feel impossible to give up what you feel you can’t live without, but God can change your heart if you are simply willing. He can take out the heart of stone and give you a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and give you the Holy Spirit to give you the right desires (Galatians 5:22–23). You will be a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In Matthew 19:16–26, a man was told to give up his riches in order to follow Jesus. Jesus acknowledged that “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” The man could have submitted to Jesus, admitting that he didn’t feel able to give up his idols while asking for a change of heart, but he turned away. God is able to change us; we simply have to be willing to be changed.
Even though your heart might not be ready to give up its idols, you can make a decision with your will. Take your feelings to God in prayer and tell Him that you don’t feel like giving up your own way, but that you know He is always right and it will be worth it.
Praying with surrender can feel scary, because it might feel like you are asking for suffering, but you can ask to avoid any unnecessary suffering; tell Him that you know He cares for you, and that He knows best. Ask Him to change your heart, and He will.
Focus on the truth that you will truly find your life by giving it up (Matthew 10:39), and trust God to give you joy, peace, and satisfaction.