Surrender Your Will

Surrender your will

“That’s it — I quit!”

“I can’t take it anymore. I give up.”

“I’m tired of running. I surrender.”

Surrender has a negative connotation in our western world. It conjures images of broken people, handcuffed criminals, and failed entrepreneurs. Surrender is a sign of weakness.

Or is it a wise and powerful decision? 

Surrendering our desires to embrace the improved plan and goal of another could be shrewd. And surrendering to the prudent purposes of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving God is both wise and life-giving.

Surrendering to God is easy, yet it is the most difficult decision we will ever make. And it’s not something Jesus followers do once—at salvation—but tens of thousands of times throughout our lives and dozens (if not hundreds) of times a day.

Salvation is surrender.

Salvation is telling Jesus, “I trust you with my life.” It’s proclaiming, “You are good, and I am not God. I can’t save myself. I can’t pay the penalty for my sins. I trust you.”

But our salvation moment can’t be our only time of surrender.

Our salvation moment of surrender determines our eternity, but our daily and moment-by-moment surrender impacts our legacy.

  • Each time you face temptation, you have an opportunity to surrender.
  • Each time you fear or worry, you have an opportunity to surrender.
  • Each time you are ready to say or do the wrong thing, you have an opportunity to surrender.
  • If you’re married, each time you’re enticed to take “the second look” at an attractive person who caught your eye, you have an opportunity to surrender.
  • If you’re single and tempted to go further physically than God instructs, you have an opportunity to surrender.

I love what Gary Thomas writes on this topic.

“Surrender has never come easily to me. I’m amazed at how confident I am in pitting my 35 years of experience against God’s eternal wisdom.”

In our moments of temptation, we need to exchange our will for God’s: surrender our craving for God’s caring. That’s not easy—and I don’t want to minimize the challenge in doing so—but it’s also possible.

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Imagine holding a TV remote, flipping back and forth to channels offering unhealthy content. Seated next to you is Jesus, inviting you to hand him the remote so he can find an acceptable program or suggest an alternative activity. Placing the remote in Jesus’ hand is surrendering control. Jesus now determines what you watch. 

Our salvation moment of surrender determines our eternity, but our daily and moment-by-moment surrender impacts our legacy.

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Our challenge is that we take the remote back multiple times a day and watch what we want. And each time, Jesus invites us to return it to him. When we do, it’s an act of surrender. Picture yourself giving Jesus the remote or your car key or your laptop and saying, “Jesus, at this moment, I am giving you control in this area of my life.” Do that every time you face temptation.

Surrender can be a weakness, or it can be the wisest, most powerful, life-changing decision you make—hundreds of times a day.

That mindset was critical for Bill and Gail Kupec.

Bill Kupec and familyThis is Bill Kupec about 7-8 years ago. He was in his late 50’s but strong, active, serving God, committed to being a disciple and making disciples. He grew up the oldest of 5 boys in an athletic, competitive family. They all played sports. Bill played college baseball and basketball. Two of his brothers played in the NFL. One brother played in the NBA. Fierce competitors.

About the time this picture was taken, Bill’s body started acting peculiar. He went to several doctors before being diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gherig’s disease. It’s a disease that prevents your brain from sending messages to your muscles. 

Bill and Gail KupecIn 18 months, he went from weighing 200 pounds to 130 pounds. Bill could no longer play sports, he could no longer lead Bible studies, he could no longer talk, and he could no longer breathe on his own. He required a ventilator, feeding tube, and 24-hour nursing care.

Bill passed away about five years ago, but I had the privilege of getting to know Bill and his wife, Gail. Bill couldn’t speak, but he could form words using a device where he would blink to indicate which letter he wanted.

It was a painstakingly long process, but he loved ministering to others. On one of my visits, I asked how he was doing. Bill said he had grown closer to God in the previous six months than in all his years together. And then he said something so meaningful to my wife and me, that Janine wrote it on a card and its been beside our kitchen sink for the last seven years.

Kupec quoteHe said, “This is my prayer every day: God is God. I am not. Blessed be the name of The Lord.

Bill Kupek surrendered his will. He didn’t understand why his body withered away and why he had to leave earth earlier than anyone imagined, but he trusted his heavenly father because he knew he’s a good God. Today, Bill has a new body in heaven and is whole and healed, and he’s doing what he always enjoyed—he’s loving Jesus.

Surrender your will.

This is not an easy life, but it can be a fulfilling one. Say ‘NO’ to a boring life. Say ‘YES’ to a faith that matters.

This article is Part 5 of a 5-part series overviewing the upcoming release of my digital course, Take the Jesus Challenge, teaching you how to live as a disciple of Jesus. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here. Read Part 3 here. Read Part 4 here.

QUESTION (leave a comment below)

What is an example of surrender in your life? Or, what do you need to surrender right now?

I want to help you find fulfillment in following Jesus by making disciples. Let’s make a plan for your life, for your church, or both! Contact me at hello@letsmakedisciples.org.

4 thoughts on “Surrender Your Will

  1. Thanks for this powerful story of your friend Bill. He went thru so much pain and suffering and still had great faith. The bottom line is SURRENDER ! Thanks for sharing.

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