A photograph capturing a person kneeling in prayer, hands raised, with a worn Bible open before them, symbolizing the act of surrendering to God's will and seeking guidance from His word.

What Does The Bible Say About Surrender?

Surrendering to God can be a difficult concept for many Christians to fully embrace. However, the Bible makes it clear that surrendering our will to God’s will is an essential part of the Christian life.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible encourages believers to surrender every area of their lives to God, trusting that His plans are good and that He knows what is best for us. True surrender requires humility, obedience, and faith.

Surrender Requires Humility

Acknowledging Our Limits

Surrendering to God requires humility and an acknowledgement of our human limitations. As finite creatures, we are not all-knowing or all-powerful. We make mistakes, fall into sin, and cannot control everything that happens to us.

Surrender involves admitting that we need God and recognizing our dependence on Him. It means laying down our pride and need for control.

The Bible encourages humility and warns against pride. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Proverbs 16:18 warns that “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” When we are humble, we recognize our flaws and limitations.

We admit that we don’t have all the answers and are willing to submit to God’s greater wisdom.

Surrendering requires acknowledging that God is sovereign over all things. As Psalm 135:6 declares, “The Lord does whatever pleases him.” When we surrender, we accept that God’s plans are higher than our own and His ways are better than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

This humility allows us to fully trust and obey Him.

Submitting to God’s Authority

True surrender involves submitting to God’s authority in every area of our lives. We acknowledge that He is Lord and humbly obey His commands. According to Philippians 2:8, this was modeled by Jesus, who humbled himself “by becoming obedient to death.”

Part of surrender is yielding our will to God’s will. As Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” Surrender means laying down our own agendas, plans and desires in order to pick up God’s plan for our life.

It requires a willingness to obey God even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable.

We also surrender by submitting to God’s Word and making it the authority over our lives. Psalm 119:133 says, “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” As we read and obey Scripture, we humble ourselves under God’s commands.

This brings blessing, as James 1:25 says: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

Surrender Leads to Obedience

When we surrender our lives to God, an incredible thing happens – we find the desire and power to obey Him. Surrender unlocks obedience. As we yield control of our lives to our Creator and Savior, we become aligned with His good and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).

Obeying God’s Commands

God gives us commands in the Bible not to restrict us, but to protect us. His laws come from His loving and wise heart. When we choose to obey God’s commands, incredible blessings follow. As Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).

For example, God’s commands to not lie, steal, covet, or commit adultery seem restrictive. But they actually lead to deeper intimacy and fulfillment in relationships and life when obeyed. God knows what is best for us. His commands free us to live the abundant lives He intends (John 10:10).

As we yield more of ourselves to God daily, obeying His Word becomes more natural. We realize that His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). The more we know Him, the more we want to obey Him.

Following God’s Will

In addition to obeying God’s commands, surrendering to Him means following His will moment-by-moment. As we give Him our dreams, plans, relationships, finances, jobs, and decisions, incredible freedom and clarity come. We can pray, “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)

Imagine you are on a road trip with God as the driver, and you are the passenger. Which would you rather do – grip the wheel and try to control the destination and route yourself or relax and enjoy the journey with an all-knowing Driver?

When we release control to God, we find a life filled with wonder, beauty, and surprise. Doors open we never imagined. Paths unfold we couldn’t have designed. Our role is simply to listen and obey as He directs each step ().

As author and pastor A.W. Tozer said, “Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live.” When we surrender wholly to God, trusting His commands and will as good, righteous, and perfect, incredible joy and peace fill our lives.

We join with Jesus who said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (John 4:34). There is no greater place to be than the center of God’s will.

Surrender Requires Faith

Trusting God’s Plans

Surrendering to God requires having faith that His plans are better than our own. As humans, we often think we know what is best for our lives. However, God sees the full picture – our past, present, and future – and knows what will truly bring us joy and fulfillment (Jeremiah 29:11).

Surrendering means trusting that God’s way is higher and wiser than our way (Isaiah 55:8-9). It requires humility to acknowledge that we are not always right and do not have complete control over our lives.

To surrender, we must choose to release our grip on our own plans and agendas. We may fear that God’s plan will be more difficult or painful than our own. But God promises to equip and strengthen us for whatever He calls us to (Philippians 4:13).

Examples from Scripture, like Mary’s willing surrender to bear Jesus (Luke 1:38) and Paul’s submission to follow Christ even through suffering (Acts 9:15-16), inspire us to have faith that God is good and His plans are for our good (Jeremiah 29:11).

Believing God Knows Best

Fully surrendering to God flows out of believing that He truly knows what is best for our lives. God sees and understands everything we face in a way that we cannot (Psalm 139:1-6). He knows the deepest desires of our hearts and our unique gifts and callings (Psalm 139:13-16).

Because of His great love for us, He wants to guide us down the very best path for our lives and for bringing glory to Him (Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

However, many times we think our way is better than God’s way. We want to hold on to control over our plans and future. But Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that God’s plans are higher and wiser than ours. Proverbs 3:5-6 calls us to fully trust in the Lord rather than relying on our limited human understanding.

Believing that God truly knows what is best requires humility and faith. As we choose daily to surrender our agendas to Him, we will experience the peace and joy that comes with trusting His perfect will and timing for our lives.

Areas of Life to Surrender


When it comes to finances, surrendering to God means trusting Him to provide for all of our needs and seeking to use money wisely according to His principles. This may involve tithing faithfully, avoiding debt, being generous to others, and avoiding greed or covetousness.

As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, we should “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”


Surrendering relationships to God requires putting Him first above all else, even our closest family and friends. We must be willing to end unhealthy relationships and seek godly ones instead. As 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.

For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” God may call us to remain single or change our marital status for His glory. We should pray for wisdom and discernment in all relationships.


When it comes to careers, surrender means pursuing work aligned with God’s will for our lives instead of simply chasing money or status. We should develop the gifts and talents God has given us and look for ways to honor Him on the job.

This may involve taking a lower-paying job in ministry, refusing promotions that would compromise our values, or leaving our career entirely if God calls us. As Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”


Surrendering our plans to God requires giving up control and trusting that He knows what is best. Rather than making detailed 5-year plans, we can pray for wisdom and take life one day at a time. As James 4:13-15 warns, we should not boast about our future plans because we don’t know what will happen.

Instead, we say “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” God may redirect our plans to something better than we could imagine if we submit to His timing and calling.

The Blessings of Surrender

Freedom from Worry

When we surrender our lives to God, we can experience freedom from worry and anxiety. We no longer have to carry the heavy burden of trying to control every aspect of our lives. As we release control to God, we can trust that He will take care of us and work all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

This allows us to relax and rest in God’s peace that surpasses human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). As we abide in Christ, we can be confident that He will provide for our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). Surrendering to God enables us to let go of fear and concern and instead experience His amazing peace.

Receiving God’s Grace

Surrender opens us up to receive the fullness of God’s grace and blessings in our lives. When we try to control outcomes and orchestrate our lives through self-effort, we often miss what God desires for us.

As we surrender our will to His will, we align ourselves with God’s purposes and make room for His power to work through us. We gain access to spiritual resources that we cannot manufacture on our own.

As we yield to God’s timing and direction, we begin to see His supernatural grace shaping our circumstances. Surrender allows God’s strength to shine through our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Saying “yes” to God enables Him to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Growing in Christ-likeness

The process of surrendering to God enables us to become more like Jesus. As we submit to God’s refining work in our hearts, He chips away at our selfishness, pride, and sinful desires. God’s spirit transforms us from within, renewing our minds to become more aligned with godly thoughts and attitudes (Romans 12:2).

The more we surrender control of our lives to God, the more space we make for His character to shape how we think, speak, and act. Surrendering to God’s perfect will allows Him to produce His fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Dying to self and living for Christ leads to abundant life (John 12:24-25).


In closing, the Bible clearly teaches that surrendering to God in every area of life is essential for the believer. Although surrender requires denying our natural instincts and desires, the rewards of living a fully surrendered life are well worth it.

As we humble ourselves and submit to God’s perfect will, we can experience the peace, freedom and blessings that come from living under His wise and loving authority.

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