Featured image for “Identity in Christ Part 9”


Living a​​ Surrendered Life


Last time we discussed​​ that​​ walking​​ by the Holy Spirit​​ is the​​ walk​​ of faith.​​ In order to walk by the​​ Spirit,​​ we must​​ surrender control of our life to​​ His leading. Jesus​​ demonstrated​​ the​​ surrendered life​​ while on earth.​​ He lived in complete dependence on his Father’s guidance.​​ Then,​​ in the ultimate​​ act of surrender,​​ He​​ willingly​​ gave​​ up​​ His life​​ on a cross.​​ 

Jesus told his disciples that if​​ anyone​​ would​​ follow​​ Him, he​​ must​​ deny​​ himself and​​ take up​​ his​​ cross.​​ (Mat. 16:24)​​ To “take up your cross” does not necessarily mean you must give up your physical life.​​ However, it​​ does​​ mean that you choose to give up your rights. You, in essence, become​​ a bondservant​​ as Jesus did.​​ (Phil. 2:7) A​​ bondservant was one who existed​​ for​​ the sole purpose of serving​​ his master and thus, had no rights of his own.​​ 

In order to surrender,​​ you​​ must​​ be willing to​​ give up​​ your rights​​ – the right​​ to protect​​ your reputation, the​​ right to​​ your​​ dreams and​​ ambitions,​​ and​​ the​​ right to​​ get​​ “life” from any source​​ other than​​ Jesus.​​ 

Living a surrendered life begins with​​ a​​ surrendered attitude.​​ It​​ acknowledges​​ that my life is not my own, I have​​ been​​ bought with a price. (I Cor. 6:19-20)​​ Thus, our mindset/attitude​​ becomes,​​ “Lord, you can do with me whatever you choose.”​​ 

That may sound a little scary, but know this – God loves you and wants the very best for you!​​ 


My flesh says,​​ “I have a right to​​ and I must defend this right in order to protect myself.​​ 

How would you fill in the blank above?​​ my reputation; get even;​​ hold a grudge; withhold forgiveness;​​ be happy, etc.​​ 

When walking by the Spirit I can say,​​ “I give up my right to​​ and am willing to risk​​ ​​ so that Christ’s life may be manifest in me. I will trust Christ​​ in every area of my​​ life.​​ 

Living a surrendered life is living in complete dependence on Christ to meet all your needs. (Phil. 4:19)​​ 


Surrender Occurs in the Moment


At some point in your life,​​ you will hopefully come to the​​ place​​ where you are tired of trying to make life work out on your own. You may declare that you surrender all to Christ​​ and the leading of​​ His Holy Spirit.​​ ​​ But that is only the beginning.​​ For it’s only in the present moment that​​ you​​ can actually surrender.​​ 

It is like declaring​​ that​​ you are going on a diet. Regardless of how sincere you are, it is only when you are hungry and tempted to eat all the wrong things that you​​ actually​​ decide to go on a diet.​​ 

At some point, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you​​ what you need to let go of, i.e.,​​ that which is​​ preventing you from​​ experiencing​​ Christ​​ as your​​ life. It is​​ at​​ that moment that you must choose to surrender. Surrender is not a one-time event. It is​​ a​​ moment-by-moment​​ choice.​​ 


The Power of the Resurrection


Yes, Jesus did certainly rise up from the grave so that we might have life. But did you know​​ that​​ you​​ have access to the​​ very same​​ power​​ with which​​ God raised​​ Christ from the dead?​​ (Eph.1:19-20)

In God’s Economy, Death

Always Precedes Life!

But in order for that resurrection power to be displayed,​​ Jesus first​​ had to die!​​ And so it is with us.​​ We must​​ die to our​​ own​​ plans​​ for our life.​​ It is true that our old spirit man died with Christ the moment we received Christ by faith (Rom. 6). But now we are talking about our soul (mind, will and emotions).​​ It is our​​ will​​ that must “die”, i.e., “not my will, but yours be done”. (Luke 22:42)

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.​​ John 12.24​​ 


When​​ we surrender our​​ will, we​​ allow the​​ resurrection​​ power of the Holy Spirit to take over!​​ (Phil. 3:8-11)

The power of​​ the Holy Spirit​​ is not reserved only for special times when a great task is required. It is for every moment of the day.​​ The power of the Holy Spirit​​ is for hugging your spouse when they have offended you; forgiving your neighbor when they have wronged you; not​​ defending your reputation when​​ you’re​​ attacked;​​ visiting a​​ hurting friend when​​ you​​ really​​ don’t know what to say.​​ ​​ 


Ask yourself (and God) –​​ “What am I holding onto that prevents me from experiencing Christ as my life?”


My Struggle​​ ​​ There are times when the Lord is dealing with me about surrendering a particular area of my life. I find it easy to rationalize why I shouldn’t surrender.​​ 


Scripture References –​​ Mat. 16:24-25;​​ Acts 1:8;​​ Romans 6;​​ 2 Cor. 5:15;​​ Eph.​​ 1:18-20;​​ Philippians 2-3;​​ 2 Tim. 1:7.


Back​​ ​​ Next​​ ​​ Brokenness, Prelude to Surrender