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What wholehearted surrender looks like + how to get started



When I talk to my friends about their walk with God, the same struggle seems to consistently come up. I know this struggle has been evident in my life too, and maybe you can relate.


We often struggle being 100%, all in, wholly living for the Lord in every area of our lives.


Going to church, doing the things? Not a problem. Consistently seeking the heart of Jesus? Um...maybe let's work on that. Putting our hands in the air during worship? We got it down. Praising God through our actions at home and school? Well, there's room for improvement. Saying we love Jesus? Uh huh, easy peasy. Loving others the way Jesus loves us? Not so easy peasy.


It's the heart work that we struggle with. The things that take sacrifice, that take effort, that push us outside of our comfort zone and make us uncomfortable are the things that are most difficult for us. Our world pushes for comfort, simplicity, and a "me first" mentality. But that's not what Jesus has called us to. He's called us deeper, to a life of sacrifice, and when we try to avoid that? We feel the consequences in our relationship with Him and the people around us.


The more I reflect and pray over this idea of wholehearted surrender, giving all I am to Jesus, I realize that there have been more than one instances where I struggled to submit to the Lord because I was gripping so tightly to an area of my life. It could have been a relationship, a dream, an activity, a past hurt. The longer I tried to hold on, the longer I tried to make it work and change God's plan to match mine, the less peace I had and the farther I felt from Him. But the moment I surrendered, the moment I let it all go and chose to follow Jesus, my peace and joy returned. It didn't make the surrender much easier, but it made it worth it.


In your life, right now, what are you struggling to surrender to the Lord? In what area of your life are you struggling to live for the Lord?


What are you holding on to that's ultimately holding you back?


I wish I could tell you that surrender looks like saying one heartfelt prayer and moving on with your life. I wish that I could tell you that all you have to do is get baptized or start a Bible study. But surrender is more than that.


Surrender takes heart change. Surrender means trusting the Lord with all that you are, with every fiber of your being, and having faith that He has a good plan for you. Surrender requires you to lay down all your plans, all your dreams and be willing to follow the Lord instead of your heart. Surrender is wrestling with your sins and desires until Jesus becomes the Lord of your life. Surrender is never one and done, but a journey of releasing and trusting and clinging to the Lord because He's all you can truly rely on.


I can't give you a step by step guide on how to really surrender all you are to the Father. It's not a thing, unfortunately, because I know so many of us are so lost when it comes to laying our lives down at the feet of Jesus. Here's what I can tell you:


Just start talking to Jesus.


Tell Him about what's going on in your life, what you're struggling with, what you're excited about. Start opening up to Him and letting Him into the parts of your life that you've kept hidden for so long. Start learning to trust Him.


As you continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus, as you continue to develop trust and intimacy, you will continue to open up and learn to surrender to Jesus. It won't always be easy, but it's a learning process, a journey, and the surrender will only happen when you trust Him. And most importantly - Jesus will guide you the whole way, teaching you, encouraging you, and challenging you as you learn to release whatever it is you're holding onto and hand it over to Him.


And as you learn to surrender, you will experience the most freeing joy and peace ever. Christ will begin to heal you and you will see how He is so active in your life. Your heart posture changes for good, and you will start to notice the difference in your life. You will start realizing that despite how difficult and heartbreaking it was to surrender to Jesus, it was worth it.

 

Sweet friend, surrender is hard. It's never one and done, and there's not a checklist you can cross off so you know you're finished. It's hard heart work, and often requires us to return to the feet of Jesus over and over and over again as we continually release our lives and whatever we're clinging to. Surrender is hard, but it's so freeing and so worth it. We can only live our best lives, joyful and fully committed to Jesus, when He has control over everything. We can only live our best lives when we lay down all the burdens we're carrying and let Him take over.


How have you experienced God's peace and grace once you surrendered to Him? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!


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