One of my recent blogs prompted the following question and comment.
“Can you tell me how to fully surrender to the Lord? I have read Andrew Murray’s book Fully Surrendered a long time ago, but it was a thing that seemed too hard or it seemed I was not ready. I don’t think we’re ever really ready. I have some very hard consequences in my life now and it seems that to really hear from the Lord I need to know that I am all the way in with him. I need his protection and words of wisdom in my life. If you read this please write me something.”
For the past few days, these words have been going round and round in my mind as I have been wrestling with how to answer the question. Many books have been written on this and similar subjects, and I could possibly add a few thousand words of my own, but I really sensed that the writer of the question wasn’t looking for a long theological answer, but a practical response which really works in the everyday activities of normal life!
So, at risk of sounding simplistic, I’m going to make the answer brief and to the point and say, One step at a time! Now that may sound terribly obvious, but in my experience, it is the terribly obvious things that often get overlooked, especially when people try to look for a comprehensive answer, that will cover all possible situations and types of people.
There is only one place you can start from in your search for a solution – and that’s the place where you now are. And there is only one way you can move from where you now are – and that’s one step at a time. You cannot suddenly find yourself a few years down the road of life, or even a few weeks down the line, with all your problems solved – you can only live today’s moment – none of us can live life in any other way!
So, ultimately, the answer to the question is a little like the Chinese proverb which says: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And when that single step has been repeated many, many times you will discover you’ve travelled a thousand miles from your starting place.
So, if your spiritual objective is to live a fully surrendered life, don’t try and imagine what that might look like and then try and live up to the spiritual image you may have conjured up in your imagination, because you cannot get from where you are now to that longed for destination in one big step! So stop imagining what the end-result may be and only think about the next step – for that’s the most important step in the whole of your life – get that one right and then you can think about the next one, and the next one, and the next one and so on!
Tomorrow’s miracle is always built on the foundation of today’s obedience – and that’s the most important key of all to living that fully surrendered life. Today’s obedience will always lead you in the right direction. I don’t know any people that might fit the category of living a fully surrendered life who got there in one big step. It was always a fruit of determined perseverance, looking to the Lord for His direction about each and every step of the way.
So, having made your decision that you want Jesus to be Lord of every area of your life, simply review every step you make, one at a time, before Him. If you’re not sure what to do, wait until you are. The peace of God will guide you. God does speak to His children. One of the reasons why I wrote Ellel 365 was to help people get to the place where they would be able to know and recognise the voice of the Lord, so that each step they take will be in God’s direction for today – and having made that step we can then leave the consequences with him as we review the next one.
Holiness isn’t delivered by angels, like food from a fast-food outlet! It grows on and in us as we make the right choices on a daily basis. There are very few big decisions in life, only lots of small ones. But when you’ve made lots of right small decisions you will be surprised at how significant are the consequences of the journey you’re on.
A great artist looks at a blank canvas and then meticulously covers it with tiny brush strokes. You may look at the finished work and stand in total amazement at what you now see. But even though you can see the whole picture in its finished state, the painting is not made with one magnificent, artistic gesture, through which the whole image suddenly comes into view. It takes thousands of single brush strokes – one at a time – in the hand of a master artist to create the finished image.
And each one of us is like an artist’s brush – with it we place a blob of paint on the picture of our life. But when THE Master has hold of the brush, and we allow him to decide where the blob of paint will go, then we can be confident that out moment by moment surrendering to Him will one day give other people the impression of what a fully surrendered life looks like!
This past year, I heard you share on Sid Roth’s program. I looked up your website and saw that you have a USA location. I live in Fort Wayne, IN and I am single, 62 years old. After visiting many churches here, for some reason I don’t seem to connect. Recently on October 6th my only brother suddenly passed away from a fall, suffered a serious head injury and found he was very intoxicated. When I got to the hospital, I prayed for my brother, and I hope he is in heaven. The only family members I have left now are some cousins, which I am not close to. I’ve been reading your book Living The Life and your website are helping me. Also, What I read today about taking one step at a time is helping me.
If you have any recommendations for me, I am open to all God has for me. Thanks so much for all your doing and God bless you. Jackie Stuck
Thank you for this blog-writing today. I recently lost my mother and while I was in the UK I could live somewhat in denial; but as soon as our plane landed back in Tampa I could picture my mother where I would meet her at the gate in her wheelchair, and her death hit me like a bolt of lightening. As I was working around the house and praying today I asked Father God how to handle this grief and the Holy Spirit graciously spoke to my spirit saying, “one day at a time.” You can imagine how I felt when I read your blog today! Thank you and bless you for all you do.
I so get this! On the children’s cartoon “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” the Winter Warlock tells Kris Kringle he doesn’t know how to change. Kris begins to sing a tune I have never forgotten from my childhood: “Put one foot in front of the other… And soon you’ll be walkin’ ‘cross the floor… Put one foot in front of the other… And soon you’ll be walkin’ out the door!” As silly as it sounds I have always tried to apply this little ditty to my Christian life. It is not always easy (in fact, it’s rarely so), but by taking one step at a time I have come to appreciate the journey more and not only look forward to the destination. This is a good reminder. Thanks.
Thank you very much for your prompt reply, we are hoping to visit ellel in august at some stage 🙂
You may find one of our short courses “Moving under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit” helpful.
Oops sorry-I forgot to say:
I think of this as a becoming prayer. It is a declaration of the intent of my heart. Also the more I pray it the more it can become a reality in my life.
Me and my wife are youth pastors in a small church that’s filled with the holy spirit. I feel the Lord has called me for the youth of this nation and others. When I asked the Lord on the name of the youth group a word came in my spirit “Deliverance” and He also gave me a bible verse Isaiah 51:3(which I don’t understand in fullness). As our church is more focused on winning lost, my question to you is how do you activate and release the gifts of the spirit that the Holy Spirit gives us. Also I will attend your ministries in the future for I have allot to learn especially in the area of deliverance. Thank you kindly for taking the time to read this, yours sincerely Chris 🙂
When I read your blog it reminded me of a prayer I treasure. It is by Charles de Foucauld [1858-1916]
‘My Father, I abandon myself to you. Do with me as you will. Whatever you may do with me I thank you. I am prepared for anything, I accept everything, provided your will is fulfilled in me and in all creatures. I ask for nothing more, my God. I place my soul in your hands. I give it to you, my God, with all the love of my heart because I love you. And for me it is a necessity of love, this gift of myself, this placing of myself in your hands without reserve, in boundless confidence because you are my Father.
Thanks Peter, I needed to be reminded of this again, and probably will again and again. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a rush to get to where I want to get to with the Lord and life. My mistakes often plague me and I feel like I want to make up “lost time” and speed things up. It has only bought frustration and restlessness, which I still struggle with. Thankfully, God requires us to take one step at a time, and I know I need to relax a bit and enjoy the life the Lord has given me. Thanks again for this blog.
Thank you Peter for your thoughts. I have been in a desert place with God for about 18 months and have finally come out into a thirsty place – a good place where I realise that nothing is going to satisfy my hunger apart from more of God.
So I re-surrendered myself to Him about 2 months ago but didn’t know what that looked like in daily living. What I’m finding is that He is faithful in prompting me ‘don’t say that’ or ‘don’t do that’ and although sometimes I’m confused as to why I should keep from saying or doing it (they seem harmless enough – at least I think so) it’s not how big or harmful they are – it’s whether I will obey His promptings – even when I don’t understand them. I’m learning to take steps, one at a time, in this area and enjoying the continued knowledge that I’m in His will and He is pleased with my attempts to walk daily with Him.
I’m also finding a peace in my heart that hasn’t been there for a long time. I have a long, long way to go yet, but I’m on the journey and it’s exciting and thirst-quenching. Praise God!!
This article on a surrendered life is so pertinent to me. I am 60 years old and look back on my life. There have been many mistakes, and falling from the path, but somehow God has always brought me back. To know that I only have to be obeident one day at a time and it is the foundation for the next day to live obiedent again and not try to see the big picture, but to walk by faith daily is what I have been needing to hear for along time. Thanks so much for this blog.
I also used to think that there was a formula, but after years of trying this and that I finally realised that indeed God must have a “Time table” for our lives- but that advance copies are not allowed. I think that spoils the fun of seeking, knocking and finding God whole heartedly. I agree with Peter, just as I have found out as well that ” One day at a time does it”. However it does not mean that its always easy. I get up each morning and look forward to a great day and expect God to lead me. Staying spiritually alert is helpful.
I need this today. I too have been wondering how to fully surrender to God.I have all kinds of books that may answer the question. The problem is when do I find the time to read them to find the answer. Your answer is the best I have read.
I’ve just read your blog ‘A question in need of an answer’ and I really feel that your answer is answered prayer. I have spent most of my life with a chronic anxiety disorder because, unknown to me, I’d been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, and, therefore, every time the psychiatrist thought I had difficulty in coping, he would suggest that I return to hospital. But I was determined to have a life, and, although I had been baptised and confirmed in the Anglican Church, Jesus was theoretical. It was only eight years ago that I plucked up the courage to ask my GP for help and I then discovered that I had been living with a chronic anxiety disorder for most of my life.
Then three years ago I went on an Alpha course and the Lord revealed himself in a Damascus Road conversion, followed by so many other revelations. But I have to admit that when I hear of Christians who have grown up in a Christian household and gradually grown more and more mature in their faith, I long to have had that experience. For, if I had had a caring loving childhood, I probably would never have had a mental breakdown. And now, even though the Lord has been so merciful to me by giving me all these visions and revelations, I have yearned, and still yearn and believe that He will completely heal me. After all, I’m a born again Christian. But I have had such great difficulty in surrendering to the Lord, yet there is nothing more I desire to do. I have prayed the Lordship prayer so many times, and now I’m beginning to realise that step-by-step is exactly the way the Lord is leading me, as gently he renews my mind. He is an awesome God. I wouldn’t have survived otherwise, even though at the time I didn’t realise that he was protecting me. I know He has a purpose for my life and He has made this purpose very clear to me. And I am at last learning that it is in His timing, not mine. Thank you for this blog. It’s powerful.