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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

What To Do When It’s Hard To Surrender To Christ

Surrender -- from everystockphoto by soldiersmediacenter

Surrender To Christ

We know it’s important to surrender every part of our lives to Christ, and hold nothing back.

But this is not easy.

Maybe you have a girlfriend, and are afraid that Christ wants you to end the relationship.  Or you love your career, but wonder if Christ has other plans.  Or you are devoted to a hobby, which Christ might call you to give up.

So What Can We Do?

Sometimes we just try harder.  We will ourselves to surrender everything, we determine to surrender everything, we try to make ourselves surrender everything.

But it doesn’t work.

So we try a different approach, telling ourselves how wrong it is not to surrender.  We remind ourselves that since Christ surrendered everything for us, we ought to surrender everything to him.

This might make us feel guilty, but it doesn’t change our hearts.  So what can we do?

The Treasure In The Field

Jesus tells us in Matthew 13:44 —

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Notice that this man sells and surrenders everything, so he can buy the field.  And this is not hard for him.  As Jesus says — he does it with joy.

How can he do that?

Let’s get specific.  Maybe the field sells for $5,000, and to buy it he has to sell his $3,500 Honda Civic, his $800 tool collection, his $500 stereo system, and his baseball cards.

So how can he sell all of this with joy?  It’s because he sees, not just the field, but the treasure.  He knows that the treasure in the field is worth millions.  He knows the treasure he gains will far surpass whatever he has lost.

Back To Us

So — why is it hard for us to surrender everything?

It’s because all we see is the vacant lot.  We do not see the Treasure in the field.

Why sell my Honda Civic, tools, stereo system, and baseball cards — for a vacant lot?  That would be hard.

But if we saw the multi-million dollar Treasure in the field, we would have no problem surrendering everything.

So that’s the problem.  We do not believe Jesus is an all-satisfying Treasure.  We do not think the joy we will have in him far surpasses anything we would give up.

We are not seeing the Treasure.

So What Can We Do?

How can we see what we aren’t seeing?

Not by will-power.  Not by making ourselves feel guilty.  Neither of those will change our hearts.

There’s only one way our hearts can change; by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need the Holy Spirit to free us from our blindness so we once again see — and feel — that Jesus is our all-satisfying Treasure.

So turn to Jesus Christ as you are, in your spiritual blindness.  Trust that his death on the Cross has forgiven you (John 19:30).  Trust his resurrection power to free you (Ephesians 1:19-20).  Understand that by faith alone in Christ alone you will receive everything you need (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Pray for more of the Spirit’s heart-changing work (Luke 11:13).  Understand that you cannot change your own heart — but the Holy Spirit can (Luke 18:27).  So pray earnestly for more of the Spirit’s work.

Then, since the Spirit uses the sword of the Word to cut away spiritual blindness (Ephesians 6:17), find passages displaying the all-satisfying glory of Christ.  Recently I’ve used John 19:30 (Jesus’ finished work), John 19:26-27 (Jesus’ love for others even while suffering),  Revelation 5:11-12 (thousands of thousands worshiping Christ), and Philippians 2:5-11 (Jesus’ humiliation and glorification).

Pray over these passages, thinking deeply about Jesus, seeking to see Jesus, and trusting God’s promise to change your heart.

It will be just a matter of time before you feel your heart start to change.  It may be gradual.  But you will start to see and feel the glory of Jesus Christ.  And as you do, you will find your heart fully and overflowingly satisfied (John 6:35; John 7:37-38).

You will see the Treasure in the field — an infinitely valuable, all-satisfying, ever-increasing Treasure.

And you will gladly surrender everything — to gain him.

Comments?  Questions?

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(Picture is from everystockphoto by soldiersmediacenter.)

Category: Overcoming Sin and Temptation

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23 Responses

  1. Right on time!! Just had the whole “So What Can We Do?” conversation with myself yesterday. In the end it was, God I love you, Jesus I love you, I will do whatever you decide. But help me to learn to trust you, to see what you desire for me to see, and most of all, to hold on. It was an evening of tears, fears, but holding on. Today, ah the peace. Thanks so much for this writing, and this vulnerability. We continue to need more of this with Christians.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Sheila,

      Thank you so much for sharing your encouraging story of how God met you. It strengthened me, and I am sure it will strengthen others who read it as well.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  2. Jesse says:

    Thank you for this article. It helped me.

    I made a list of things I would do if I wasn’t afraid of either losing a source of entertainment or judgement from friends and family. And I pray on these things that the Spirit would give me the conviction and courage to take those steps.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Jesse,

      You are so welcome; and I am glad this article helped.

      I love your idea of making a list of what you would do if you were free from fear of loss or judgment. May the Lord fill you with wise and courageous boldness in Him.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  3. Paul Walton says:

    “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.”

    I think the writer in Hebrews is reminding us of that Treasure in the field, using the same language of Matthew of joyfully losing the temporary, for a lasting, abiding and better Treasure. Lets be honest it’s a war to see our Treasure that is Christ, when living in this natural world. But that is the goodness of Christ, even when we become temporary blind to His glory, all we have to do is cry out for Him to help us see again, and he is always faithful to open our eyes.

  4. Roy says:

    The scripture we are looking at says “The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure”, which seems to be referring to what comes after this life. Can you help me understand how it translates to Christ in the here and now?

    • Paul Walton says:

      Roy,

      The treasure is The Kingdom of heaven, the terms kingdom of Heaven & Kingdom of God are used interchangeably, Christ is telling us that His Kingdom has arrived on earth, we can have it now. The key to the Kingdom is for us repent and believe then we can experience Living in the Kingdom because Christ in us, and we in Him.

      “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”- Matt. 4:17

      “and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I agree with Paul, Roy. The “Kingdom of Heaven” refers to the heart-satisfying, sin-forgiving, heart-freeing presence of the King, which we now experience partially, and will fully experience in heaven.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  5. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    And the Lord breathed His Spirit on Steve’s words here. Amen.

  6. Kathryn says:

    Will you please pray that I will not be too prideful to turn to Jesus! That I will love his authority and won’t let pride and foolishness keep me from him!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I will gladly pray. And are you part of a church community, where you could find some wise, godly women to pray with and for you? I think you would find that quite encouraging.

      And then turn to him as you are, trusting him to forgive you, change you, and satisfy you completely in himnself.

      He will. He promises.

  7. Kathryn says:

    And that I won’t feel offended that I need Jesus and desire to be good without Him; that I will love to receive!

  8. Michael says:

    “So that’s the problem. We do not believe Jesus is an all-satisfying Treasure.” Nail meet hammer. That’s exactly right. We hold onto the here and now, (which is soon worthless) in exchange for the later and over there which is literally inestimable. Great thoughts, bro.

  9. Jennifer says:

    “Pray over these passages, thinking deeply about Jesus, seeking to see Jesus, and trusting God’s promise to change your heart.” NOTHING can replace time with Jesus. Nothing will ever profit us as much as the time we spend in His Word and in prayer…and sometimes just being still before Him, meditating and pondering. No willpower or self-help can ever change us as much as He can as we just spend time with Him. Thank you for encouraging us in that pursuit.

  10. Macario Cadatal says:

    Gal. 2:20 comes to mind. It is not really me but it’s me kind of thing that plays here because there is really nothing i can do, of my self. And yet it is me that does it. But in reality it is Jesus who does it through me. It’s only God (Jesus, God the Son) that can satisfy God (God the Father). Paul said that his faith is “in the faith of the Son of God”(KJV) not his own faith. There is just one thing i have to give up, “my will” as Jesus said in the garden at Gethsemane, “not my will but your will be done”. Jesus is all self-sufficient. He is more than enough. Its kind of hard thing to explain!

  11. Don Jarrell says:

    Good word,Steve. Right where I am at.

  12. Andrew says:

    I want to come to Christ but my pride and stubbornness is blocking me. Please pray for me, that God would be merciful and save me from myself.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This article is useless. I’ve been praying and trusting and having faith since I was 11. 15 years. Sometimes I get tired and I mess up but then I start over. Trust, pray hope and do the best that I can. I never feel more alone than when I’m praying. I’m desperate for direction and guidence and praying about it isn’t giving me anything I can understand. This article is titled. “What To Do When It’s Hard To Surrender To Christ” but it doesn’t actually say what you need to do. I just want to know what I’m doing wrong. I don’t know how to surrender or what needs to be surrendered but I will do it. Just tell me how.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I am sorry you thought this was useless.

      I read back through it, and saw that I did give concrete steps to take.

      So I would encourage you to take the steps I suggested, because as you do, God will be faithful to his word, and change your heart.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

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