I was five....or was I 11?.... 16?.... 20?
You see, surrender is a funny thing. Our first “yes” to God, our surrender to Him at the point of salvation, is a one-time decision. However, after that decision, we must keep choosing Him: to love Him, obey Him, and grow in our knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:18). This secondary decision is, quite often, a choice we have to make each day.
As a daughter of devoted Christians, I chose to follow Jesus Christ at the age of five. At that point in my life, I said “yes” to God and “no” to the sin that separated me from Him. In fact, at age 22, I still vividly remember the moment as the Holy Spirit quietly worked in my heart to convict me of sin and draw me to the Savior.
I surrendered then. I’ve never looked back. I know I am His.
Crawling Off the Altar
However, as evangelist D.L. Moody famously noted, “The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.” Eventually, I found myself in such situations more often that I cared to admit. As I grew older, life became less simple. Jesus wasn’t just around to help me tell the truth or “be kind” to my family members. Jesus was asking different things of me - hard things. Things that I didn’t want to do. Things I didn’t think I could do.
Pray for this person.
Spend time with Me this morning - even though you’re tired and want to sleep another hour.
Sit down and listen to what this person is saying.
Tell that woman about Me.
Don’t watch that movie - it’s not going to draw you closer to Me.
And so the nudges would come - gently, quietly, persistently. With each nudge, I had a choice. I could board my own personal ship to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3) and say, “Peace out, God. What You’re asking of me is above my pay grade.” Or I could say “Yes, Lord,” and wave my flag of surrender.
These choices - large and small, costly and cheap - come my way every day. Every day, I have the opportunity to decide who I will serve - God, or my own desires. Thus, when asked to write about a moment in my life when I said “I am Yours” to the Lord in a spirit of total surrender, I came up short. You see, I don’t have one unforgettable moment where light came bursting in and I never struggled with surrender again. Instead, I have a thousand little moments, a thousand little battles waged every single day where I must choose surrender again - and again - and again.
The Daily Decision
In Romans 12:1, Paul writes a passage we quote often:
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him” (NLT).
In a radio series on surrender, host and author Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth comments on this passage, saying,
“When the apostle Paul talks about offering up, or presenting, our bodies, he’s speaking of a complete, total sacrifice, offering of ourselves up to God. But when he talks about being a ‘living sacrifice,’ he’s picturing living out that devotion, that consecration, one day at a time” (“Fully Surrendered”).
Did you catch it? Surrender - saying “yes” to God and “no” to sin and self - is a daily decision.
I’d hate to assume all our readers are spiritually on the same page, so let me first ask: have you made that first decision to surrender your life to God and accept Jesus as your Savior? If not, don’t wait. Today can be the day you say “yes” to Him.
However, to those of you who have taken that first step, I ask: what would a daily, conscious decision to surrender to the Lord look like in your life? What changes would you need to make? What attitude adjustments would you need to undergo? Say “yes” to His leading today - and then keep saying “yes.” Choose to become a living sacrifice, setting aside your plans, ideals, and intentions for His will and His way.
“This is truly the way to worship Him” (Romans 12:1).
Recommended Worship Song: Touch the Sky by Hillsong UNITED