Surrender. In literal terms, surrender means to give up something to another person. It also means to relinquish something granted to you — your possessions, power, goals, even your life.
Christians hear much about the surrendered life, but what does it really mean? The surrendered life is the act of giving back to Jesus the life he granted you. It’s totally resigning your life over to his hands to do with you as he pleases.
Jesus himself lived a surrendered life: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Christ never did anything on his own; he made no move and spoke no word without being instructed by the Father. “I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:28-29).
Jesus’ full surrender to the Father is an example of how we all should live. You may say, “Jesus was God in flesh; his life was surrendered before he even came to earth.” But the surrendered life is not imposed on anyone, including Jesus.
No one is forced to yield his life to God. The truth is, we can have as much of Christ as we want. The apostle Paul knew this and he chose to follow Jesus’ example of a fully surrendered life. Formerly a self-righteous Jesus-hater and persecutor of Christians, he said he literally hated Christ’s followers. He was well educated, a man of great self-will and ambition, headed for success. Yet the Lord took this self-made, self-determined, self-directed man and made him a glowing example of the surrendered life. Paul became one of the most God-dependent, God-filled, God-led people in all of history.
Paul declared his life a pattern for all who desire to live fully surrendered to Christ: “For this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:16).