Surrender flows as we begin to trust our heavenly Father, who is all knowing, the very definition of love, and always has our best interest at heart.

Surrender—the Way to Hear God’s Voice

by Adam Wittenberg
7/11/18 Christian Living

Do you want to hear God’s voice? Do you want to understand His will for your life, and walk in a greater revelation of it? Are you hungry for breakthrough? Here’s an easy (but also quite hard) step: Surrender!

The Power of Surrender

Oftentimes, it’s our will that gets in the way of hearing God’s voice and following His will. Deep inside, we have our own plan for how things should go, such as what job we will get, whom we should date or marry, how successful we should be in ministry, etc.—and we really don’t want to give it up. It’s not that God can’t speak to us, and He often does, but we miss it because it’s not what we’re expecting. We’re still clinging to “our will be done.”

That’s why we need the power of surrender.

Jesus, Our Perfect Example

Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith,” modeled this for us in the garden of Gethsemane (Hebrews 12:2). About to face betrayal, torture, and the worst death possible on the cross, He cried out in anguish to His Father:

“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Jesus was honest about what He wanted. He did not hide His emotions or desires, but then He said something amazing: “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

We can all learn from this phrase. Sometimes our will aligns with God’s will, and we get what we’re asking for, but it’s not always the case. We must also not think that if we want something, it automatically can’t be from God; many of our desires are God-given, but we must submit them, and ourselves, to Him first.

Denying Ourselves Is Freedom

Jesus said when if you want to find your life, you must lose it for the Gospel and for His sake (Matthew 10:39). In dying to ourselves, which means laying down our selfish desires, we allow God to raise us up like He did Christ. Resurrected and transformed spiritually, we are free to walk with the Lord wherever He leads.

In this way, God can direct us easily because our spirits are open to doing what He says. The more we surrender to Him, the easier it is for Him to speak to us. The Bible talks about not being like a horse or mule, “which have no understanding, . . . [and] must be harnessed with bit and bridle,” but to trust God who promises to “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8–9).

It’s a Choice

We all have a choice about how much we’re going to trust, and the more we do it, the easier it can become—even when it’s something hard.

This is especially important in the end times, as some of God’s instructions may look strange to us and will certainly go against what society is doing. But if we “trust and obey,” as the old song says, we will come out shining “like the stars” (Daniel 12:3). However, if we cling to our own ideas and understanding, we could face disaster, trial, and even death (Proverbs 14:12).

Walking It Out

So how do you surrender? You surrender! It starts with the will. We can pray like Jesus in the garden: “Father, if it is possible, let (insert your request here); nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

Surrender flows as we begin to trust our Heavenly Father, who is all knowing, the very definition of love, and always has our best interest at heart. Here, we can lay down our fear, our flesh, and selfish ambition and begin to embrace His perfect will for us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

As we do this, we will think more like Him, feel what He feels, know more of what He knows, and do what He does. This is how we find “life and peace,” as Romans 8:6says, because we are “spiritually minded,” not “carnally minded,” which is death.

And so we pray in surrender, “Father, not as I will,” but “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

What is the Lord calling you to surrender to Him?

If you (or your teen) are seeking direction about what’s next, we invite you to Fascinate, our high school conference (which is open to all ages). Join Mike Bickle, Misty Edwards, Corey Russell, Bethel Music’s Cory Asbury, and more for three days of powerful worship, teaching, and encounter with the person of Jesus. Fascinate is July 26-28 in Kansas City, and special pricing is available for youth groups. Learn more »

Adam Wittenberg


    A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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