Christian life is described as a life that is fully surrendered to God. God is the sovereign ruler and controller of one’s life. A believer’s life on this earth is a short lived one. The Psalmist says our days are numbered and it will be soon gone (Psalm 90). Therefore, in this short span of life, every believer is expected to live a life that is fully dedicated and surrendered to God. However, this is possible only when a believer places himself into the hands of God and allows Him to take control of his life. When this happens, a believer’s life can be defined as a life that is surrendered to God. Only by having such a relationship with God, a child of God can have a closer walk with God. Here we will consider six steps of a surrendered life of a child of God.
1. Dying to Sin
The very first step toward a surrendered life is to die to sin. A person cannot surrender his life unless he die to his sin first. A person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole heart to God. Being born again by the Spirit of God means a person must first be willing to let go his self before he can obtain the righteousness of God. The first thing that he has to surrender is all of his affections, which he had for self. He has to forsake his old way and give himself wholly to God. Then the Lord will cover him with His righteousness. The prophet says, I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness . . . . (Isaiah 61:10). When a person die to sin it is an act of nailing his old sinful nature to the cross, as Apostle Paul says, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). And when this happens he no longer remains as the same old person, rather a new man, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). This dying to sin is not once, but an everyday act.
2. Establishing a Divine Relationship
As a child of God, having a personal relationship with God is very essential, and this will allow him to be close to Him. However, this requires wholeheartedness from his part. When we wholly devote ourselves to God, we are actually acknowledging Christ’s Lordship over our lives. Not only this, but our everyday life will be directed and guided by God’s Holy Word. The Bible says, The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way (Psalm 37:23). So, God’s Word becomes the standard for us. And when we yield ourselves to God’s Word, it becomes our guide. Therefore, being directed by God’s Holy Word, we will not stumble, no matter how rough the path may be, but we will remain steadfast in the Lord because we have a relationship with our heavenly Father.
Self-sacrifice also means self-denial. Without denying self we cannot surrender ourselves wholly to God. When we deny ourselves we surrender to the Lord, and when this takes place, we can no longer do as we please, rather we must do that which pleases God. Apostle Paul says in Romans 6:17-18, But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. From this dying to self comes life and the opportunity to live a Spirit-filled life. This means when the self is dead in us, it brings forth fruit. Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). So, it all begins with denying the self, without which it is impossible to surrender ourselves as Christ Himself said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23). Moreover, when the self is sacrificed we are no more tempted by the treasures and pleasures of the world, but we are bound to the grace and glory of the Savior.
4. Submitting to the Divine Will
Before becoming Christians we walked and lived by sight. But when we become children of God we walk and live by faith. The Bible says, For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Submitting to the will of God is a life lived by faith. It allows God to take control of our lives. It means our desires and plans come directly under His holy will. As God has His own plans and purposes for His children’s lives, so He guides them in their daily walk and enables them to have a closer walk with Him. This gives strength and assurance to God’s children to live a life that is well pleasing to Him.
5. Consecrating to God
Next important step in a surrendered life is consecration. A child of God can never surrender his life wholly to God unless he lives a consecrated life. Consecration means a life that is dedicated to God for His glory. The Bible says that we are a called out people, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9). God wants to use us as His vessels. The Bible says, If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work (2 Timothy 2:21). Furthermore, God can only use those vessels that are fully surrendered to God to do His holy will.
6. Serving God
Finally, once our lives are surrendered to God, we no longer live for ourselves, but we live for Him. The Apostle Paul says, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). Since Christ has bought us with His precious blood, we belong to Him. As God’s chosen vessels we allow God to use us according to His own will and purpose for His higher glory. A fully surrendered life is the one that yields to the will of God, without any question, just placing in God’s hand, as God said to Jeremiah concerning Israel, Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand (Jeremiah 18:6). The clay has no right on its own; all that the clay can do is to submit itself to the potter and allow him to do as he pleases to do with it. So, it is with us as we commit ourselves into the hands of God, we are actually offering our unquestionable service to Him. Precisely, this is what describes a Christian’s life—an unconditional service to the One who has redeemed him.
Surrendering our lives wholly to God is not an easy task, considering the trials and struggles a child of God has to face in his life. But let us not loose heart, because these are times when God accomplishes His great work in us. Through various trials, He molds us into the likeness of Christ. No matter what are the situations, God requires us to surrender our lives completely to Him. It begins with dying to sin, establishing a relationship with Him, submitting our lives to the will of God, consecrating our lives to Him, and finally serving Him for His glory. May the Lord help us!