The Full Surrender
After this 40 day journey with Jesus and your wife you are asking: Now that I am saved, what do I do next? What is the next step in my new walk with the Lord?
If there is one theme that you will see repeated over and over again in many of my writings is the extreme importance that each and every Christian turn their entire lives over to God the Father for Him to fully handle.
You have now just made Jesus your Savior. However, there is now one more big thing you must do. You must now make Jesus the Lord over your life. Jesus must now become both your Lord and Savior, not just your Savior.
You must now make the second biggest decision that you will ever make in this life. The first biggest decision is whether or not you will accept Jesus as your personal Savior through His death on the cross. Now that you have done that, you have truly become saved and born again.
As you will see in some very powerful Scripture verses I will list below, the Bible specifically tells us that if we choose to follow our own path in this life - then that path will eventually lead to death.
In other words, you will have forever wasted the one and only opportunity that you had to live this life for God to accomplish whatever He wanted you to accomplish in this life. And this will be an eternal regret that you will carry with you once it has been shown to you how much more you could have accomplished in this life had you chosen God's path for your life as versus choosing your own path and calling all of your own shots.
The Bible makes it very clear that good works will not get us into heaven. We can only be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. However, once we are saved, God the Father expects you to do something with what time you still have left down here on this earth. He now wants you to come and "work" for Him.
The Bible tells us that God and Jesus will be "rewarding" us for good works that we will do for Them while living down here on this earth. Again, these good works cannot get us saved, but they can get us the bigger and better rewards once we enter into heaven.
Some of the verses I will list below specifically tell us that God and Jesus will be rewarding us "according to our labors" for Them in this life. In other words, good works for God and Jesus will be highly rewarded once we cross over and enter into heaven.
However, there is one slight catch to all of this. If we choose to run our own lives instead of turning the reigns of our life over to God the Father, then we will not be embarking on the real path that God would like us to travel on - and any works that we end up doing while traveling on our own path will in no way be as highly rewarded as the works that are done operating in God's perfect will for our lives.
So what does your natural common sense and intelligence tell you would be the wisest decision as to who should be running your life? You - with your limited powers, limited intelligence and limited strength - or God the Father, who is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-perfect? Since God is all-powerful and all-knowing, this means He knows much better than you do what you should be doing with your life, what mountains you should be seeking to climb, and what goals and aspirations you should be striving after in this life.
Since God's knowledge is absolutely perfect on all matters - this means He knows you better than you could ever know yourself. He knows what your real strengths and weaknesses are better than you could ever know for yourself since your knowledge is limited and imperfect - including what you think you know about yourself.
As a result, when it is all finally said and done, you will have become a "failure in God," since you will have chosen to travel down your own path rather than the path God already had set out for you long before you were even born through your mother's womb!
Bottom line - you have to look at the real "big picture." The real big picture is not only what happens in this life, but also what happens in the next life. The next life in heaven is nothing but a continuation of this life that we are living down here on this earth. But there is one main difference. This life on earth is but for a very short period of time. The life we will be living up in heaven will be forever - with no more crossovers into any other realms.
We should thus be living this life for what will be recorded up in heaven - not for what will be recorded down here. Any trophies, medals, money or material possessions that we might able to acquire down here will not be crossing over with us when we enter into heaven. There are only three things that will be crossing over with us when we enter into heaven:
As you will see in the following Scripture verses, you have to become both saved and surrendered if you really want to enter into the real walk with the Lord. Christians are obviously saved, but many of them are not operating under this full surrender with the Lord. As a result, they have married the wrong people and are thus living in miserable marriages or have gone through multiple divorces. They have chased after the wrong jobs in their life, and thus have no real sense of fulfillment or accomplishment in their lives.
1. Choose This Day Who You Will Serve
These first set of verses will all hit the nail right on the head. The very first verse from Joshua is one of the most classic statements ever made on the full surrender that God is looking for from each one of us. Joshua is a perfect example of someone who lived his entire life right in the Lord. He fully followed God all the days of his life and was completely successful in accomplishing all of the missions that God had set him out on.
Joshua is a powerful role model for all Christians to follow by the way that he lived his life for God. His story is a perfect example for all Christians on how to properly follow God and the call that He can place on your life. As a final testament to this man's story, God saw fit to name one of the books of the Bible after him - "The Book of Joshua."
In this first verse, Joshua says to choose this day who you will serve. He says as far as he and his household are concerned, they will be serving the Lord. Joshua knew that he had to make a choice on how to live his life - either by serving himself and his own wants and desires - or to fully serve God the Father. As a result of making the correct decision as to who should be guiding his life, he became one of the most successful men in the Bible with everything that he accomplished for God.
He was the first one to lead the Israelites from the desert into the Promised Land to begin to conquer and gain possession of the specific lands that God wanted them to have. Joshua ended his life making the statement that God had not failed to give him every ounce of land that his foot had stepped on. God was able to do this for him because he was willing to fully follow God every step of the way.
The second verse then goes one step further to explain that each person has to make this choice for themselves as to who they are going to serve and follow in this life - themselves and their own agendas for their life, or God and His agenda for their life. This second verse specifically says that you cannot serve two masters - that you cannot try and serve both God and "mammon," which means wealth and riches.
Jesus Himself also makes some very radical and intense statements on this issue. He says that those who are not with Him are against Him, and that He has not come to bring peace, but division! He specifically states that He has come with a sword to set a man against his own father and a daughter against her own mother.
In other words, Jesus is drawing a powerful battle line in the sand. What He means by setting a son against his father or a daughter against her own mother is that each person must choose to serve and follow Him and Him alone - not yourself, not your parents, and not your friends. And if you choose to serve and follow anyone else in this life - then you are going directly against Him. God has to be #1 in your life. He will not accept a second or third position next to your parents or your close friends.
Here are 10 very powerful verses all showing us that we have to serve and follow God and Jesus in this life and not ourselves or anyone else.
When you enter into this full surrender with God the Father - you are putting everything in your life to a maximum death in reference to yourself since God will now be the One to control the direction your life will now be taking. You are putting to death all of your wants, all of your desires, and what you think you should be doing with your life since you have now turned the reigns of your life over to God the Father for Him to fully handle.
What did Jesus really do when He went to the cross that day to die for all of our sins? He fully surrendered His body, His soul, His spirit and His entire life over to God the Father in order to complete God's perfect will for His life down here on this earth. It was God's perfect will that He go to the cross to die for all of us - and Jesus was willing to fully surrender every part of His being and every part of His earthly to God the Father to complete that call.
This is why Jesus says in one of the above verses that unless you are willing to "forsake all" - you cannot truly become one of His disciples. Forsaking all means that you are willing to fully surrender every aspect of your life over to God the Father and go with His will and call for your life rather than your own.
Notice the specific wording in some of the above verses all showing that the only way to live this life is under a full surrender with God the Father:
There is no other way in this life to find true fulfillment, true happiness and a true sense of approval and accomplishment other than living and operating in the center of God's perfect will for your life. And the only way this can be done is by completely surrendering every aspect of your being and every aspect of your life over to God the Father.
2. Doing The Will of God
These next set of verses will perfectly connect to all of the ones listed above. Once you fully surrender every aspect of your life over God the Father for Him to fully handle - then the next thing God will do is to let you know exactly what it is He wants you to do for Him in this life. Your job now, after entering into this full surrender with Him, is to seek to do His specific will for your life.
When you really cut into this part of your walk with the Lord - what God is basically looking for from each one of us is that we take our lives one day at a time - and in each one of these days that we accomplish, to the best of our abilities, what He wants us to accomplish for that specific day. In other words, do what God wants you to do on a daily basis. Do the best and be the best that you can at the jobs and tasks that God will be calling you to do for Him on a daily basis.
In these next set of verses, you will see specific words telling us that we must seek to do the will of God the Father and not our own will - and that we are to seek to finish the work that He has laid out before us.
The verse above from Acts 13:22 is God the Father talking about King David. King David was the greatest king that Israel has ever had. Notice that God saw that David would be a man that would follow after "all" of His will - not just some or part of it. This was one of the main keys as to why David became the greatest king that Israel has ever had.
Notice the one verse from 2 Timothy 1:8 states that we have a "holy calling" from the Lord, but that this holy calling is for God's purpose for our lives, not for our own purpose. This will now lead us right into the next topic.
3. God Has A Specific Plan and Purpose For Your Life
Once you are willing to completely surrender your entire life over to the God the Father for Him to fully handle, then what will happen next is that God will be setting you up to follow the specific path that He will want you to follow in Him - and in that path will be your call, your purpose, your duties and your tasks that you will now be seeking to accomplish for Him. God now has a set plan and a set future for your life.
These two words - "determined and fashioned" - are both telling us that God has our entire lives perfectly planned out for us if we are willing to enter into His perfect will for our life. But the last verse, where it is stating that many are called but few are chosen, is sadly telling us that most people will never enter into God's perfect will for their lives.
I believe this verse is not talking about our salvation, but about our calls in God. I believe this verse is showing us that God is "calling" many to come and work for Him, but most are turning Him down for various reasons.
Most people would rather control their own destinies, call their own shots, decide who they should marry, what jobs they should be taking and what mountains they should be climbing in this life - not really realizing that they are going down dead ends when all is finally said and done.
4. God Will Guide Your Steps in This Life
After coming into this full surrender with the Lord where He is now in full control of your life - two things will now start to occur. God will immediately place you on the path that He will want you to follow in Him. And on that path will be your call or calls, your jobs and exactly what He will want you to do for Him for the rest of your earthly life.
The second thing that will occur is that God will now start to guide your steps so that you can get to where you need to go to so you can fully accomplish everything that He will want you to accomplish for Him. If God is going to call you to be a great musician, a great Bible teacher, a great evangelist, a great doctor, or a great policeman - then He is also going to have to guide your steps so that you can make it to the tops of these types of mountains.
These calls will not fruit out overnight. You will have to work and sweat to make it into these calls or whatever it is God is calling you to do for Him. This is where the real adventure is really at - in the climbing to the tops of these types of mountains. So not only do you get God's best for your life as to what your divine destiny is going to be in Him - but you will also be getting God's guidance on a daily basis so that you can reach those specific goals.
If God is going to call you to be a great evangelist, but does not guide your steps on a daily basis on how to get there, then you will never make it on your own. You can only get to the top of your personal mountain in your call with God only if God is anointing you and leading you to be able to climb that mountain. Otherwise you will never make it on your own. Jesus specifically says that without Him we can do nothing.
Many people have decided, without consulting God first, what mountains and goals they should be striving after in this life. They then might make it halfway up their mountain, but then all of a sudden it happens - everything breaks down and they fall completely back down to the bottom of the mountain, literally losing everything they had built up in climbing halfway up that mountain.
The Bible says that unless God builds the "house" of our lives - we will labor in vain trying to do it all on our own. There are many Christians who are now living defeated and broken lives as a result of broken dreams - all because they were trying to do it all on their own without any of God's help, guidance or power to get them there.
Again, study these next set of verses very, very carefully. These are major foundational verses in which to ground on in your walk with the Lord. The first verse will specifically tell you that it is the job of the Holy Spirit Himself to guide your steps in this life.
The Bible tells us that the steps of a good man are "ordered" by the Lord and that it is not in man to try and direct his own steps in this life - and that if he does try to direct his own steps in this life, that its way will eventually lead to death!
These are major power verses. Burn these verses into your memory bank. Get it settled once and for all in your minds and in your spirits that God will lead and direct your steps in this life. This job belongs to Him, and Him alone. This job does not belong to you, your best friends or your parents!
In the second last verse, it specifically tells us that if we seek to go after our own way and our own path in this life, that we are looked upon by God as sheep that have gone astray.
These verses are all extremely powerful. Notice the specific words that I will now number and highlight for you, once again to hammer home the point that it is God's job to fully guide our steps in this life.
There is no other way in which to live this life. I do not think God the Father could have made it any more clearer than by the way that He has worded all of the above Scripture verses.
5. The Consequences of Not Fully Following God
One of the most dramatic examples of one group of people who followed God "fully" and another group who did not were the Israelites who were tested by God the Father in the desert after being rescued from the Egyptians in the story of Moses.
Near the beginning of the 40 year wilderness experience, they were all getting ready to go into the Promised Land to reap their big reward in God. However, before they went in, they sent in twelve spies to see what their enemies looked like and what they would encounter once they crossed over to possess the land from some of these evil people. When the spies came back, ten of them came back with a bad report. They said the enemies were too big and that their kingdoms were too well fortified.
Mind you, the Israelites had just seen one of the greatest displays of God's power that the world has ever seen when He threw 10 whopper plagues at the Pharaoh to set them free. Yet just as they were getting ready to cross over into their Promised Land, they started questioning and doubting that God could take these enemies out for them, even though God just got done delivering them from an entire Egyptian nation several years earlier!
When God sees their lack of faith and belief in Him that He could conquer these lands for them, He threw up His hands and said that was going to be it. He pronounced judgment on them telling them that all of the men 20 years of age and older would not enter into the Promised Land due to their lack of faith and belief in Him to be able to accomplish this mission for them and because they had not "wholly followed God."
However, God then states that He will allow Joshua, Caleb and all the men under 20 years of age to go in there to conquer and possess the land - all because they had a "different spirit" in them and because they would be willing to "follow God fully."
This story is a perfect, poster story for one group of people who were willing to follow God fully and another group of people who were not. As a result, the one group that was willing to follow God fully got to go into their Promised Land, while the other group did not! Those are the consequences of not having enough faith and belief in God the Father and not being willing to fully follow Him in this life.
I wonder how many Christians have missed out on entering into their Promised Land this side of heaven - all because they failed to fully follow God and take the path that He wanted them to take in this life!
Here are two very powerful Scripture verses describing the above scenario.
Here are two more good verses showing the negative consequences of not being willing to fully follow God in this life.
6. God Will Be Rewarding Those Who Are Willing to Fully Follow Him
For those who are willing to follow God fully in this life and operate in this full surrender with Him, there are some incredible blessings and rewards that God can bestow upon you - not only in this life, but also in the next life as well. Here are 6 very good verses all stating that Jesus will be rewarding us for the works that we are willing to do for Him down here on this earth.
Again, these works will not get us into heaven, as the Bible is very clear that it is only by grace through faith in Jesus that we can receive eternal salvation. But God and Jesus will be rewarding us to some degree for the works that we are willing to do for Them down here.
The Bible does not tell us exactly what these rewards will be - but if we are dealing with a God of maximum intensity, then you can bet your bottom dollar that these rewards are going to be something very special and will definitely surpass any rewards that we can receive down here on this earth. Notice in 5 out of the 6 verses that it says that God and Jesus will be specifically rewarding us for our "works and labor" that we are willing to do for Them.
Again, the Bible does not tell us what this hundredfold reward and blessing may be. But my guess is that it will be one, big, whopper, intense reward due to the extreme sacrifices these people will be making in order to accomplish the mission that God has set them out on.
Bottom line - any earthly wealth by way of money, possessions and fame that is acquired by doing our own thing and calling all of our own shots in this life will all completely disappear and dissipate the second we physically die and cross over into the next life. We will take absolutely nothing that we earn, make or acquire into the next life.
Jesus Himself could not have said it any better when He says in one of the above verses that what good will it do a man if he gains the whole world in the area of material wealth and possessions, but loses his own soul in the process of acquiring all of that wealth. It will have all been for naught when that person comes to the end of his life and he is forced to face up to his own mortality and comes to the full realization that all of the earthly wealth that he was able to acquire and accumulate will all die and perish right along side his physical body when he finally dies. None of that earthly wealth will be passing over with him into the next life.
Many wealthy people do not come to this revelation until they are literally on their deathbeds. They then all of a sudden "see" that they had their priorities all wrong in this life and they had chased after all the wrong things in this life.
The Bible makes it very clear that if we choose to do our own thing and follow our own way in this life - that our way will eventually lead to death. For those who are not Christians, it will mean the death of their souls by not making it into heaven. For those who are Christians, it will mean the loss of being able to receive some really big, intense rewards from God once we enter into heaven to be with Him for all of eternity.
7. Everyone Will Face God For A Personal Judgment
These next 3 verses I will list all show that each and everyone of us will have to face God and Jesus for a personal judgment when we die and cross over to meet Them face to face. These verses will tell us that everything that we have done in this life, all the good with all of the bad, will come before Them for judgment and scrutiny. There will not be one thing that will be hidden from Them, no matter how secret we may think it is this side of heaven.
The last verse I will list from Ecclesiastes states that "every work" that we have done will be brought before God for judgment. There are only two types of work that God will be judging - those that are done in the will of God for our lives and those that are done out of own wills.
Which works do you think will be the more highly rewarded and the more approved of by our Lord once we cross over to meet Him face to face - the works that were done in His name, for His sake and in His perfect will for our lives - or the works that were done solely for ourselves and for our own self-gratification?
These next 3 verses are a very sobering reminder of what is going to happen to each and everyone of us when we die and cross over. This is why you must get all of your priorities straight and live your life for what will be recorded in heaven, not for what will perish down here the minute we die and cross over.
Each Christian must make their own personal choice on this matter. You must choose this day whom you will serve - yourself or God. There is no middle area or neutral grounds on this issue. This is an all-or-nothing proclamation being made by the Lord to each and every born-again believer. After you get saved, this will now become the biggest and most important decision that you will ever make in this life.
8. How to Enter Into a Full Surrender With the Lord
Before you really enter into this full surrender with the Lord, you really need to think about this and really chew on the ramifications that making this full surrender will entail. This will be the most life-altering decision you will ever make in this life.
If you turn your life over to the Lord for Him to completely handle - your life will take a completely different course as versus the one your life would take if you would decide to control your own destiny and call all of your own shots.
Once you make this full surrender with the Lord, there is no turning back - no matter what hell or the devil may try and throw your way. You can obviously always bail out on God anytime you want to as He will never force you to stay loyal to Him and fully serve Him. You are free to go anytime you want.
However, once you have the knowledge of what this full surrender is really all about, and then you decide to embark on this adventure with God, and then you bail out on Him 10-20 years down the road - God is going to judge you much more severely when you die and cross over to face Him for your own personal judgment as versus another Christian who really did not have full knowledge on this part of the walk with Him. To whom much is given, much more will be expected!
Jesus Himself has stated that you are better off never having known the truth than having known the truth, and then turning back to your old ways. Once you receive knowledge from God as to what He wants you to do with your life and how He wants you to handle it - then He will expect you to do something with that knowledge and implement it into your life. The Bible says that faith without any works will be dead.
If after really thinking and meditating on all of this, you decide that there is no other way to live your life, and that you truly want to enter into this full surrender with the Lord - it now becomes very easy to do. You do not have to get all worked up into any type of major prevailing or travailing. This is simply a conscience decision that you will make with your own intellect operating out of your own free will with the Lord.
Here are two short, simple prayers getting straight to the point with God on this decision. The first prayer will be the one that you will do to make the initial full surrender with Him. The second prayer will be the one that you should do at least once or twice a year for the rest of your life so as you can let God know that you mean serious business with Him as to who should be running your life - and that you will continue to let Him have the reigns of your life to the day you die.
One last thing. When I say making a full surrender to God, I mean making a full and complete full surrender. You can hold nothing back. Some Christians only surrender certain parts of their life to God, but not other parts. If you do not make a full and complete surrender of everything in your life to God the Father - then you will partially handcuff Him in being able to work full force in your life.
The Bible says that with the "measure" you use, will be the measure that will be measured back to you. In other words, if you only give God 50% of your life and your efforts, then He will only give you back His 50%. But if you are willing to give God 100% of your life and your efforts, then He will in turn give you back His 100% in the way that He will work your life. It's "your all for His all."
To make sure that you fully surrender everything over to the Lord, you must surrender 4 specific things over to Him. The apostle Paul says we have 3 parts to our beings = body, soul and spirit. He then says we are to have all three parts of our being "completely sanctified" in the Lord. The only way that can happen is if you are willing to completely surrender all three parts of your being to the Lord for Him to sanctify.
Here is the verse from Paul that is specifically telling us to do this:
Some Christians may surrender their job lives over to God, but not the choice as to who they should marry. They then marry the wrong person as a result of making this decision all on their own, and as a result, they end up throwing a monkey wrench into the course that their life had been taking in the Lord and sometimes they are completely knocked off the course that God had initially set them up for.
This is why the Bible tells us that God has to be the One to build the house that you are attempting to build in this life. One wrong move, one wrong choice on your part could cause the whole house to completely unravel and fall apart. A chain is only as strong as each of the individual links are. One weak or broken link can cause the whole chain to completely unravel!
Marrying the wrong person or taking the wrong job could cause you to lose valuable years on the mountain you are attempting to climb in God due to having to deal with the serious consequences of making that wrong choice. This is why God has to be in total control over every area of your life - not just some or part of it.
In these two prayers, you will see I have you surrendering your body, your soul, your spirit and your "entire life" over to God the Father. When you tell God you are willing to surrender your entire life over to Him - He will take you very serious and assume that you literally mean everything and anything in your life - no holds barred!
Here are the two specific prayers. Obviously feel free to add any of your own personal words when making this commitment to Him. But the specific wording in these two prayers, if truly done from your heart, will break you into a realm with God that will completely change the course of your entire life.
1. Making the Initial Full Surrender
I will leave you with three very profound verses from Scripture nicely summarizing the above argument as to why each and every Christian needs to commit to making this full surrender with the Lord. The first one will be on the verse that unless God is the One to build the house of your life, then you will be laboring in vain with the house you are trying to build all on your own efforts and wisdom.
The second verse is from Jesus where He states that unless you build your house on Him, the Rock, then it will eventually fall as soon as any storm clouds start to come against it.
The third verse sums up this whole argument when God says that He is giving each person a real big choice to make in this life. They can either choose to receive true life by choosing to follow God and all of His ways for their lives - or they can choose a life of death and cursing by following their own ways, the ways of someone else, or the ways of this world.
The key words in this last verse is that you "cling to Him," that you "obey His voice" and that you "love the Lord your God."
Clinging to God means that you are walking very close with Him in this full surrender. He leads, we follow - just like the sheep follow the shepherd. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our Shepherd and as such, it is our job to fully follow Him in this life.
These three verses perfectly capture the big picture as to what is really most important in this life and who we should really be living this life for. Here they are:
However, I also feel that the Lord has conveyed to me that this decision is one of the hardest for many of His people to make. There is something inside each one of us that wants to control our own destinies, call all of our own shots, decide who we are going to marry, and decide what goals and aspirations we should be striving for in this life.
This natural desire for independence inside of each one of us is actually good, as it helps to prevent us from falling into human and demonic slavery. Our country is a perfect example of that spirit in operation when we gained our full independence.
However, that same spirit has no place in our personal relationship with God. The Bible specifically says that all men and all women have sinned and fall way short of the glory of God and that without Jesus, we can do absolutely nothing of any consequence. We are imperfect in every way, shape and form.
We are powerless within our own beings to accomplish the impossible. Only God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and He is the only One who can anoint us with His power and guide us every step of the way to accomplish anything meaningful in this life before we die and cross over to be with Him for all eternity.
Many Christians feel that if they make this full surrender with the Lord, that they will lose all of their freedom and independence - even if it is God Almighty Himself they are serving. However, the Bible tells us that there is liberty and freedom where the Spirit of the Lord is at. In other words, you will have much more freedom, liberty and independence by serving God than you would if you serve yourself or someone else.
The apostle Paul could not have said it any better when he says that he is a servant to all - but a slave to none! Here are two good verses from the apostle Paul giving us this piece of revelation:
The choice is now yours for those of you who have not made this full surrender with the Lord. You must now choose this day who you will serve. You cannot try to live in both of these realms.
Many of God's people have been straddling the fence post with God on this issue for a long time and as a result, they have been living in a lot of torment and turmoil over a good course of their life, never finding that true peace that passes all understanding.
This true peace can only be found in the center of God's perfect will for your life - and the only way to enter into that bubble is by being willing to surrender your body, your soul, your spirit and your entire life into the hands of God the Father. There is no other way!
As I said at the top of this article, this decision as to who you will follow and who you will serve in this life will be the most important, life-altering decision that you will ever make in this life after you have become saved and born again. God has made it as clear as He possibly could in the way that He has worded all of the above Scripture verses.
No matter what age you are, it is never too late to come into this full surrender with God. Look at what happened in the story of Moses. He was 80 years old when God called him out to rescue the Jewish people. This one man helped to change the entire course of Jewish history because He was willing to enter into God's perfect will and plan for his life and follow it all the way through until the mission was fully accomplished - and this was all done over the last 40 years of his life, from the age of 80 till the age of 120.