Surrendering to God's Will
“Take my life and let it be...”
Back to Prayer Page
What does it mean to surrender to God's will? George Müller said that 90% of knowing God's will is choosing to have no will of our own, and relates how he "died" one day, a spiritual feat that seems almost impossible, and in many minds unreasonable and unnecessary. Yet, great Christians all agreed that surrender to the will of God was fundamental to their success in prayer. I have accordingly compiled the following quotations to encourage you to make a complete surrender to Jesus.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11: 8
“Not only are we to commit our lives to God, but we must also allow Him to have His way with them. The committal of all things must be accompanied by the submission in all things. When we yield our lives, we yield our plans concerning our lives, and accept God’s dealings with them. Not only “commit your way unto the Lord,” but “trust also in Him.” Not only take your hands off, but let Him put His hands on, however He may see fit. Many mistakes are made here. We commit the clay into the potter’s hands, but we do not remain under those hands. We commit the marble to the divine sculptor, but we do not relish His use of the chisel. We commit our ship to the broad ocean of His will and purpose, but we do not like the way He directs at the helm. Therefore when the potter begins shaping with painful pressure, the sculptor hammers and chisels, and the helmsman steers into the teeth of a dispiriting, heart-rending, tempest, we shrink from the pressured hammer blows and turn from the turbulent, unanticipated, swells.”
“But we must not do this. For God alone knows what is best for the life that has been placed in His hands. He alone sees the preparation needed for an eternal existence hereafter. We only know a little about its present; He knows its end “from the beginning.” He alone knows how to shape it for His perfect purpose. Only He knows what will best achieve its eternal weight of glory in the ages to come. But to do this, He needs a submitted will. He cannot work the desires of His Father-heart for us if we shrink, waver, and rebel under the new and unexpected treatment. The “commit” that puts all into His hands, needs the “trust also” that keeps all things under His hands. Therefore we must not only fully commit everything to God’s keeping, but trustfully submit to God’s shaping chastening. Let us not only give ourselves into His hands, but also stay under His hands as He deals to us that which is best from His standpoint, however grievous it may seem from ours. As we deliberately and irrevocably commit everything to His keeping, let us say to Him: “Lord, I don’t know what is best for this life, but You do. While I pursued my own will concerning it, I only found failure, mistake, fruitlessness, and disappointment. Now, yielding it to You, I also submit to Your will concerning it. As You see fit, send prosperity or adversity, rest or toil, service or suffering, abasement or exaltation, crucifixion or glorification, the midnight darkness of need or the noonday blaze of fullness in You. Continue the work of your hands, do not spare your chastening efforts, and keep the furnace fires burning, until Your perfect work is accomplished with me. By Your grace I will walk with You regardless of the path you have chosen for me. I will trust You when I cannot see You. I will submit to You when I cannot understand You. I choose to yield myself wholly, absolutely, and irrevocably, in humble, trustful submission, to You and Your blessed will.”
“In the fashioning and keeping of our lives there are no hands as safe as God’s. He has planned those lives in Christ Jesus from the beginning of time. He knows their strengths and their weaknesses; He knows how to mold them to achieve their destined end; He knows the place which He has prepared for them; He knows the preparation needed; He knows their limitations and their possibilities. He knows how they can be made to so glorify Him and advance His kingdom that their influence shall last through all eternity.” James McConkey, adapted from “Committal,” The Surrendered Life, Pittsburgh, PA: Silver Publishing, 1923), contemporized by Dan Augsburger 5/1/00 in preparation for future publication.
F B Meyer:
“Consecration is only possible when we give up our will about everything. As soon as we come to the point of giving ourselves to God, we are almost certain to become aware of the presence of one thing, if not of more, out of harmony with His will; and while we feel able to surrender ourselves in all other points, here we exercise reserve. Every room and cupboard in the house, with the exception of this, is thrown open to the new occupant. To give ninety-nine parts however, and to withhold the hundredth undoes the whole transaction.” F B Meyer, Light on Life’s Duties
“How much of our Christian work has been abortive because we have persisted in initiating it for ourselves, instead of ascertaining what God was doing and where He required of our presence? We dream bright dreams of success. We try to command it. We call to our aid all kinds of expedients, questionable or otherwise. At last we turn back, disheartened and ashamed, like children who are torn and scratched by the brambles, and soiled by the quagmire. None of this had come about if only we had been, from the first, under God’s unerring guidance. He might test us, but He could not allow us to mistake.” F B Meyer, Secret of Guidance, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1896), pp. 5, 6.
D L Moody’s Experience:
“Two men were walking by the banks of a river at the twilight hour. One of them said: “The world has yet to see what God can do with one man wholly dedicated to Him.” His companion stopped and said: “Say that again.” Again his friend repeated: “The world has yet to see what God can do with one man wholly dedicated to Him.” Lifting his hand in the twilight, Dwight L. Moody said: “By the grace of God, I will be that man.” And he went forth to do a work for God and His kingdom such as has been given to but few of His servants. Here was the reason for the great evangelist’s power. Wholly dedicated to the will of God he was transformed and filled by the Spirit of God, and therefore empowered to do the work of God. Hudson Taylor said, “God’s man, in God’s place, doing God’s work, in God’s way,” is the secret of power for every true servant of God.” James McConkey, The Surrendered Life, (Pittsburgh, PA: Silver Publishing, 1923), p. 103.
“‘There was a day when I died’; and, as he spoke, he bent lower, until he almost touched the floor. Continuing, he added, ‘Died to George Müller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” Quoted by L. E. Maxwell, Born Crucified, (Chicago, IL.: Moody Press, 1973), p. 60.
“If you will come to Christ Jesus and surrender all, the blessing of God will be on all that you have. There will be a blessing for your own soul. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Try that; trust Jesus for everything, and trust everything to Him, and the blessing of God will come upon you—the sweet rest, the rest of faith. It is all in the hands of Jesus; He will guide you; He will teach you; He will work in you; He will keep you; He will be everything to you. What a blessed rest and freedom from responsibility and from care, because it is all in the hands of Jesus! I do not say trouble and trial will never come; but in the midst of trial and trouble you will have the all-sufficiency of the presence of Jesus to be your comfort, your help, and your guide.... Give over your life, in all its phases, into the hands of Jesus; remembering that the very hairs of your head are numbered, and not a sparrow falls to earth without the Father’s notice. Consent now and say: “I will give up everything into the hands of Jesus. Whatever happens is His will regarding me. Whether He comes in the light or in the dark, in the storm or on the troubled sea, I will rest in that blessed assurance. I give up my whole life entirely to Him.” Andrew Murray, The Master’s Indwelling (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revell, 1896)
“To walk in the whole will of God requires that we walk in the whole truth of God. Some err and depart from walking in God’s ways because they reserve to themselves the right to become critics of God’s Word and to accept or reject it according to the dictates of reason. But how can one do the will of God when he has rejected some portion of the Word of God which possible he most needs.... The one who submits himself to the teaching of the Holy Spirit and who takes the Word of God to be the standard by which his life is to be fashioned and directed will be filled with an intense desire to know the will of God.... To such a man the Word of God becomes a new Book and the discovery of God’s will therein will not be a duty to be shunned but a delight to be enjoyed.” Ruth Paxson, Life on Highest Plane, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1978), p. 368.
“The potter takes the clay and molds it according to his will. He kneads it and works it. He tears it apart and presses it together. He wets it and then dries it. He lets it lie for a while without touching it. When it is perfectly pliable, he continues the work of making of it a vessel. He forms it into shape and on the wheel trims and polishes it. He dries it in the sun and bakes it in the oven. Thus it becomes a vessel fit for use. So the great Master Worker desires to mold and fashion us. And as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we to be in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to be molded by the Master Worker.” Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, pp. 471, 472.
“The Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.” Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 208.
“Each morning consecrate yourselves and your children to God for that day.... Lay all your plans before God, to be carried out or given up, as His providence shall indicate. Accept His plans instead of your own, even though their acceptance requires the abandonment of cherished projects. Thus the life will be molded more and more after the divine example; and ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’" Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol 7, p. 44.
All quotations are taken from books in the public domain, or used with permission. All rights reserved. Many of these books are available at your local Christian bookstore, or on-line at www.ccel.org. Compiled by Dan Augsburger (email@example.com) Commercial use is prohibited. 33b 6/16/02
Back to Prayer Page